CHESAPEAKE, Va. – The North Landing Bridge will operate under additional restricted bridge openings after being hit for the second time this year.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. Saturday, a barge traveling along the Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal attempted to pass through the North Landing Bridge, which was performing a half opening, and struck the bridge, damaging gears.
The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, had previously restricted openings after a barge hit the bridge in March.
Engineers from the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have assessed the damage and deemed the bridge safe for vehicle traffic; however, in order to limit stress on the bridge, engineers have recommended only one extended opening per day at 9:30 a.m. for barge traffic to pass by.
The bridge will continue to swing open one span for smaller vessels every hour and half hour from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on demand after 7 p.m.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard to operate the bridge on an alternate schedule.
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 and will necessitate a full multi-hour closure of the structure.
The Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal allows for 1 million tons of commerce to safely travel north and south along the waterway.
The North Landing Bridge handles approximately 11,000 vehicles per day under normal conditions.
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 and social media pages.