Berkley Bridge to shut down for weekend repairs

NORFOLK, Va. – The 5th Coast Guard District commander issued a temporary deviation from the regulation governing the operating schedule of the Berkley Bridge across the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk Friday.

The deviation is necessary to facilitate structural repairs to the lift spans and resurfacing the bridge roadway, both of which can only be completed with the bascule span in the closed position.

Under this temporary deviation, the drawbridge will be maintained in the closed-to-navigation position on four separate weekends beginning at 8 p.m. on Fridays until 4:30 a.m. on Mondays from April 23 through 26; April 30 through May 3; May 14 through 17; and June 4 through 7. In addition, if inclement weather occurs, the closures may be rescheduled to May 7 through 10 or June 18 through 21.

During these closure periods, openings of the draw spans for vessels, along with the removal of barges in the waterway, will be provided if at least two hours advance notice is given to the bridge operator at (757) 494-2490. No significant marine events are scheduled during these times, and the waterway will still allow for the passage of vessels less than 48 feet tall.

Smaller vessels that can pass under the bridge without a bridge opening may do so at most times. There are no alternate routes for vessels transiting this section of the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River. The bridge can be opened for emergencies but may be delayed by two hours.

“Doing the repairs during the weekend will avoid negative impacts on the weekday rush-hours,” said Terrence Knowles of the 5th District bridge branch. “We’re also avoiding impacts on mariners because the majority of commercial marine traffic on the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River operate during the week, not the weekend.”

“Also, this weekend repair deviation should not be confused with the ongoing deviation to change the drawbridge operating schedule during the week, which was due to increased land traffic impacts,” Knowles said.

If you have questions about the deviation or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail Knowles at 757-398-6587 or Terrance.A.Knowles@uscg.mil.

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