Replacement Project Scope: The project will replace the federally-owned Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Deep Creek Bridge -– a functionally obsolete, two-lane, 20-foot-wide, single-leaf bridge –- with a 144-foot-long, 60-foot-wide, five-lane, dual-leaf drawbridge.
The project includes improvements to approaching roadways.
Authorization: The U.S. House of Representatives authorized Deep Creek Bridge's replacement as part of H.R. 1495, the Water Resources Development Act of 2007. WRDA is a bill dedicated to authorizing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers activities.
Cost: $59.5 million
Built in 1934 at a cost of $64,000, the Deep Creek Bridge is a federally owned and operated two-lane bridge that crosses the Dismal Swamp Canal and Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway at U.S. Route 17 in Chesapeake’s Deep Creek community.
The District’s effort to replace the bridge began in 1977.
Noting traffic congestion and the structure’s failure to meet width and design load standards, Norfolk District engineers first recommended replacing the bridge in a January 1977 feasibility study, but that recommendation was rejected. In March 1996, the Chesapeake city manager, citing city plans to improve the Route 17 corridor, asked USACE to again study the feasibility of replacing the bridge. The District published its initial appraisal two months later and again requested Congressional authorization for a feasibility study.
With Congressional authorization and funding in hand, the Norfolk District initiated a new feasibility study in 1998 and those results were transmitted to Congress in a March 2003 Chief of Engineers Report recommending replacement of the bridge.
In 2007, Congress authorized the replacement project in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007 and, in the 2020 WRDA, reauthorized the project at a cost of $59.5 million.
Replacing the bridge will improve traffic flow and meet Virginia Department of Transportation and city of Chesapeake requirements. It comes at a time in which road improvements are being made to either side of the bridge. Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to replace Deep Creek Bridge with a five-lane roadway located 100 feet south of the existing bridge.
Once completed, the AIWW Deep Creek Bridge will be operated, maintained and owned by the City of Chesapeake.