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VDOT to Closer Route 5 Bridge over Chickahominy River - February 25, 2004 - James City County, Virginia

Date: June 9, 2004


Contact: Jeff Caldwell


Phone:(804) 524-6179

Cell: (804) 586-1446



Judith Stewart Dresser Memorial Bridge To Be Closed to Vehicular Traffic Due to Safety Concern


New Kent County-The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has closed the Route 5 bridge spanning the Chickahominy River and connecting Charles City and James City counties. The bridge is commonly known as the Barretts Ferry Bridge and was officially named the Judith Stewart Dresser Memorial Bridge in 2003.


Crews installing an underwater electrical cable to supply power to the 65-year-old bridge this afternoon noticed scour damage to one of the piers supporting the swing-span drawbridge. VDOT engineers examined the erosion beneath the timber pier and damage to the pier itself and determined that safety precautions needed to be taken immediately.


Repairs will be made as quickly as possible, but no details about repair schedules or cost is available at this time.

Motorists can expect significant delays as the detour for traffic is approximately 63 miles. Eastbound motorists should take Route 155 to Route 60 to Route 614 to Route 5. Westbound motorists should take Route 614 to Route 60 to Route 155 to Route 5. Detours will be marked.


The swing-span truss bridge was originally constructed in 1939 and carries one lane of traffic each way on Route 5. The bridge stands 2,025 feet long with 29 spans and is 24 feet wide from curb to curb. It was constructed using timber pilings and has a concrete and steel driving deck. It functions as a swing-span drawbridge, meaning it pivots on an axis to allow boats to pass through an opening rather than lifting upward as is often the case with drawbridges.


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