With water being such a prominent part of the Hampton Roads landscape, bridges are a critical part of the regional transportation system. There are over 1,200 bridges in Hampton Roads, ranging from small culverts to some of the longest bridges in the world.
Of these 1,214 bridges in Hampton Roads, 77 are classified as structurally deficient. Structurally deficient bridges are structures with elements that need to be monitored and/or repaired, and eventually need to be rehabilitated or replaced. It should be noted, however, that structurally deficient bridges are not necessarily unsafe, and bridge inspectors will close or place weight limits on any bridge that is unsafe.
Examples of prominent structurally deficient bridges in Hampton Roads include the Gilmerton Bridge, Lesner Bridge, Denbigh Boulevard Bridge over I-64 in Newport News, Churchland Bridge, and a segment of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.
In addition, another 271 bridges in Hampton Roads are classified as functionally obsolete. Functionally obsolete bridges are structures that were built to standards that are no longer used today, and have narrow lanes, low vertical clearances, difficult approaches, or may occasionally be flooded.
VDOT has made improving bridges a priority, both in Hampton Roads and throughout the Commonwealth. A total of 27 bridge projects in Hampton Roads are included in the current Six-Year Improvement Program, with a total of $339 million in allocations. Many structurally deficient bridge projects are funded, including the Gilmerton Bridge, Lesner Bridge, and Denbigh Boulevard Bridge over I-64.
The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization completed a thorough study of bridges in 2008. This study is available at the HRTPO website at http://hrtpo.org/Documents/Reports/2008/RegionalBridgeStudyFinalReport.pdf.
Structurally Deficient and Functionally Obsolete Bridges in Hampton Roads