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After three years of construction, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced today that the project to build a new Huguenot Memorial Bridge over the James River between Henrico County and the city of Richmond is complete. While major traffic impacts ended in May, contractor Skanska USA wrapped up landscaping, spot paving and minor construction activities last week.

“Coordination between the contractor, VDOT, local partners and the community was key to completing this project on schedule,” said Mike Saunders, project manager.

The new bridge structure offers capacity and safety features that the previous 62-year-old bridge could not. Ten-foot shoulders were added to each side of 12-foot vehicle travel lanes to provide accommodations for cyclists and emergency break downs. Pedestrians can safely enjoy a walk across the bridge using the five foot wide sidewalks. The bridge carries more than 25,000 vehicles between Henrico County and Richmond per day.

In all, the project employed over 250 workers, which, if laid head to toe, would span only half the length of the Huguenot Bridge. The bridge is composed of over 4,700 tons of steel, which is equivalent to almost 111 million Twinkies; and approximately 6,200 cubic yards of concrete, which would cover eleven football fields at 4 feet deep.

The first phase of construction to replace the aging Huguenot Bridge began in October 2010. Traffic continued to use the existing bridge while crews built the western half of the new bridge. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held June 29, 2012 and the first half of the new bridge was open to traffic the following day. On July 1, 2012, VDOT closed the old structure to vehicular traffic so that the public could enjoy the bridge one last day before demolition. Approximately 2,000 bridge fans endured 100 degree temperatures to walk, bike, picnic and hula hoop on the old structure to memorialize their beloved bridge. The remaining half of the new Huguenot Bridge was opened to traffic on May 28, 2013, three months ahead of schedule.

To find out more about the Huguenot Bridge reconstruction project, visit www.huguenotbridge.org.

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