The bridge is going to be demolished and replaced because it was originally built in 1933, was widened to four lanes in 1970 and is at the end of its service life.
Yes, the street does have to be completely closed for the project. Although it could have been kept partially open throughout the project, doing so would have increased the costs, lengthened construction time for another year and caused additional safety concerns.
It’s estimated that the street will be closed from late March through the end of September but it all depends on the weather.
Yes, all of the businesses on both sides of the bridge will remain open throughout the project.
First Street will remain open so drivers will be detoured either south to Omaha Avenue or north to Benjamin Avenue. They can then take Victory Road to the east end of Norfolk Avenue.
There will be a new trail under the bridge, a new water main crossing the river and a new roadway section from First Street to Cottonwood Street. The new roadway section will have five lanes with landscaping, decorative lighting and roadway lighting to tie in with the downtown business district.
Trees had to be removed from the banks to allow for workers to install the new bridge, retaining walls, trail and the new water main. The harvested wood is owned by the contractors hired to remove the trees.
The total cost is estimated to be $5.7 million.
The suggested detours for the East Norfolk Avenue bridge project are south on Omaha Avenue or north on Benjamin Avenue. It is not recommended that residential streets are used because they aren’t able to handle the heavy flow of traffic that Omaha Avenue and Benjamin Avenue can.
City of Norfolk Engineer