CHESAPEAKE, Va – The North Landing Bridge, which spans the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal between Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, is operating on an alternative lift schedule after being struck by a barge yesterday morning.
At 3:45 am Tuesday, while attempting to pass by the open swing bridge, a barge hit the structure causing damage to both the fender system and bridge.
Engineers from the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have assessed the damage and deemed the bridge safe for vehicle traffic; however, only one span of the swing bridge is able to open at this time, and navigation is restricted down the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway to pleasure craft only.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard to operate the bridge on an alternate schedule because of if its inability to open fully.
Bridge openings have been reduced to once every hour until repairs can be made.
“We are currently working with our federal and local partners to ensure limited impacts to local commuters traveling over the bridge,” said Joel Scussel, Norfolk District project manager. “Once we are able to start working on repairs there maybe the need for detours or other traffic impacts.”
Due to the age of the 65 year old bridge, it is unknown how long it will take for repairs to be made as most parts will have to be fabricated.
The district has issued a notice to mariners and will continue to keep the boating and local communities informed through local media, its web site, Facebook and Twitter accounts.