James River Bridge reopens to motorists ahead of schedule

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The James River Bridge has reopened to motorists ahead of schedule.

This comes after the first of two multiday closures scheduled for critical maintenance. During the first closure, crews replaced 40 of the bridge’s 80 counterweight wire ropes used to lift the bridge for marine traffic.

Currently, the JRB remains closed to marine vessels that require the bridge to open. However, the bridge is expected to reopen to marine vessels within the next few hours once crews ensure the bridge span is operating properly. Updates will be provided to maritime subscribers by text message.

The other 40 counterweight wire ropes will be replaced during the second extended closure from 1 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 through 5 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 6. Bridge lift restrictions could remain in effect until 5 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Detour signs will be in place to direct motorists to the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT), during the closure. The MMMBT is a primary alternate travel route. Other alternate routes include the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry and Route 460.

Marine vessels that do not require a bridge opening are allowed to navigate the channel under the bridge throughout the project’s duration.

The public can receive project and roadway traffic updates via email and by text message by signing up on the VDOT project website or by texting “MOTORIST” to 833-748-0519.

Those interested in marine-specific traffic can receive closure updates via text message by texting the message “MARITIME” to 833-748-0519.

Motorist are encouraged to use the free VDOT traffic information tools below:

  • Download the 511 Virginia smartphone app or the 511-integrated Waze app

  • Visit the 511 Virginia website or

  • Dial 511 for traffic information on your phone

VDOT will provide the public with advanced notice if the closure dates are changed.

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