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Bridge replacement project progresses

More than three months have passed since work began on the Route 671 Bridge Replacement Project in Southampton County, and efforts with regard to the first of two bridges are on schedule to meet an estimated completion date of Oct. 1.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) project, which began Jan. 4, is intended to replace two existing structurally deficient bridges over the Nottoway River with two new bridges that meet current design standards, Senior Communications Specialist for VDOT Hampton Roads Public Affairs Nina Ullrich stated.

“The proposed bridges will be constructed within the same roadway corridor,” she added. “The roadway across the proposed bridges will carry two 12-foot lanes with 9-foot shoulders. The project also includes roadway improvements to the approaches to the bridges and new stormwater management facilities.”

The first of two scheduled closures for the project is underway in both directions on Route 671 between Shady Brook Trail and Buckhorn Drive through fall 2021 to replace what is known as the overflow bridge, a VDOT press release and Ullrich stated. A second closure in this same location is expected to be in place again starting in early 2022 and lasting through fall 2022 to replace what is known as the river bridge.

In reference to work on the overflow bridge, Ullrich said all existing bridge elements have been removed minus the piers as they have been under water since work began.

“Removal of those piers begins this week,” she said April 9.

A VDOT release noted Crowder Construction Company was awarded the $11.8 million construction contract for the bridge replacement project.

“Currently, Crowder Construction is focusing on installing the 36-inch concrete cylinder piles that will essentially be the two piers for the overflow bridge,” Ullrich said. “To date, they have installed two of four piles in pier 1 and one of four piles in pier 2, with piles delivered every 4-5 days. Crews are also placing fills on the west side of the overflow bridge for the widening of the new approaches. This step has been completed for the south side of the roadway and (crews) are now placing fills on the north side of the roadway.”

Ullrich stated the overflow bridge is estimated to be completed as early as Oct. 1 and is on schedule, though all work is dependent on weather conditions.

“The roadway and new bridge is estimated to be open for traffic from October 2021 to January 2022, and another detour will be in place as early as January 2022 through the fall of 2022 for the construction of the river bridge,” she said.