Several options for both Superstructure Replacement and New Bridge Construction are discussed in the Executive Summary:
OPTION D1: $349 Million
A “fracture critical” bridge is defined by the Federal Highway Administration as a bridge whose design include steel members in tension, or with a tension element, whose failure would probably cause a portion of or the entire bridge to collapse.
OPTION F: $237 Million [Same as option D1 but no transit across the river]
OPTION 7A: $258 Million
What is a Superstructure Replacement ?
Due to increasing traffic that caused the 2-lane Coleman bridge to be congested during peak hours, the bridge was widened and reconstructed
to 4-lanes in order to align with 4-lane Route 17.
Construction spanned from August 1994 to August 1996.
The Coleman Bridge was closed for +/- 17 full days during construction.
The Coleman Bridge is where VDOT first used the method known
as SUPERSTRUCTURE REPLACEMENT.
Photos from the Coleman Bridge Superstructure Replacement 1994 ~ 1996:
--Demolition of existing bridge leaving existing piers
--Floating in Prefabricated components using barges and tugboats
--Connection of roadway segments
Are the Favored Alternatives for the Replacement of the Norris Bridge
in the best interest for the Northern Neck?
FIRST: Anything is better than nothing.
But looking to the future with foresight and intelligence:
BE SMART ABOUT THE DESIGN OF THE SHOULDERS-
The specifications for all alternatives include 2-lanes to align with 2-lane Route 3.
Functionally, the finished product differs only whether there will be
two 4' wide shoulders or two 3' wide shoulders.
To be a true "Emergency lane" a shoulder is a minimum of 10'-0" wide.
The shoulders as specified for the rebuilt bridge are better than having no shoulders.
However in case of breakdown or other on bridge incident these 3' or 4' wide shoulders
do not benefit the flow of traffic any more than no shoulders as currently are in place.
The new bridge, whatever the construction plan, should include
at least one 10'-0" shoulder~Emergency lane to serve the needs of the Northern Neck.
Two 10'-0" shoulders~Emergency lanes would allow for both emergency considerations
and pedestrian/bike traffic.
The fact that the projected bridge height will be 75'-0" above the waterline
as opposed to the current 110'-0" makes pedestrian and bike traffic
especially attractive as a tourist activity.
Additionally, two 10'-0" shoulder~Emergency lanes would allow for roadway repairs
without major traffic interruption in the future.
Traffic could be diverted to Emergency lane shoulders during the repairs.
The Commonwealth welcomes a new Gubernatorial administration this Fall.
Both parties, whatever the outcome, are committed to Broadband for rural communities.
In tandem with soon to be viable transportation the door
is opening to small business development that is in compliance with
the Comprehensive development plan for the Northern Neck.
A rising tide lifts all boats equally.
If planned with foresight and intelligence Healthcare, Education, Employment and all aspects of quality of life will benefit from the replaced Robert O. Norris Bridge.