Each year Roads and Bridges names their list of best bridge projects based on overall design excellence, project execution, and safety improvements. Environmental responsibility and impact to the community are also taken into consideration. They selected their Top 10 Bridges in the November 2019 issue of the magazine. Coming in at #4 Lesner Bridge in Virginia Beach has established a striking new gateway into the city.
Clark Nexsen was heavily involved with the new Lesner Bridge from inspection and rehabilitation of the former structure to partnering with the City of Virginia Beach and FIGG Bridge Engineers for bridge design. The new $84 million bridge is a multimodal connector that is safe but also an attractive space for bicycles and pedestrians as well as vehicles. The project included significant public involvement to ensure the surrounding community felt a strong sense of ownership and pride in the new bridge. The aesthetic lighting features served as the finishing touch for the completion of the 1,575-ft dual-span structure.
From the article:
The aesthetic features and lighting designs along the bridge attract the attention of residents and tourists in the area. “People really love coming to the bridge—more than just crossing over the top, it becomes an experience sitting underneath the bridge and seeing the lights from the beach,” said Christopher J. Wojtowicz, PE, construction bureau manager with the Virginia Beach Department of Public Works. “It’s very majestic looking from the beach, seeing these aesthetic lights. It makes an impression on folks that see it.”
In addition to challenging environmental conditions, concerns about environmental impact also affected the team’s approach to the project. While construction was carried out, a health and safety officer was tasked with watching for sea turtles so that the work would not impact any nests. The possibility of the endangered Atlantic sturgeon roaming the area also impacted construction methods, as the team specified drilled shafts instead of concrete piles to be driven in order to produce less vibration while installing so as not to disturb the sturgeon. The team also had restrictions on dredging in the Lynnhaven between October and February due to the winter flounder season.
Read the full article online or in Roads and Bridges’ November issue.
Photograph of Lesner Bridge by Chris Cunningham.