Wasena Bridge Replacement Project expected to begin in spring 2023

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 10:07 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Wasena Bridge Replacement Project was expected to begin in spring 2022, but the city of Roanoke has run into some challenges that have pushed back the expected start date.

”The main concern is to complete the agreement process with Norfolk Southern,” said Josephus Johnson-Koroma, a civil engineer and the project’s manager.

The design for the bridge is finished, but Johnson-Koroma said the last real piece of the puzzle is completing the permitting process with Norfolk Southern. This is needed because the bridge is atop a handful of railroad tracks.

The main reason the city is replacing the bridge is public safety. Johnson-Koroma said the bridge is past its normal life span and after construction over the years, they want to build a new one. The city also wants to expand access for the variety of travelers using the bridge.

”Typically one-way design bridges are for vehicles; now we’re accommodating other modes of traffic. We’re gonna have wider sidewalks, we’re gonna have bike lanes established and making connections to the greenway.”

The new design will also minimize the number of piers below the bridge. They are going from the current eight piers to five. Johnson-Koroma said they are doing this to expand access under the bridge for parkgoers or the general public.

Johnson-Koroma said they hope to advertise the project in the fall and begin construction in spring 2023. He says they expect it will take two years to complete.

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