Coast Guard seeks public input on Steel Bridge proposal

5th Coast Guard District News

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard is seeking public input after receiving an application from the City of Chesapeake for the proposed replacement of the Steel Bridge.

The city proposes to convert Dominion Boulevard/U.S. Route 17 to a limited access four-lane toll facility from the Interstate 464/64 interchange to a point approximately three-quarters of a mile south of Cedar Road.

The proposed changes include the widening of Dominion Boulevard to a four-lane divided toll roadway, and the replacement of the existing Dominion Boulevard/U.S. Route 17 Bridge with a new four-lane high-level fixed bridge and new approaches on essentially the same alignment.

Compared to the 12 feet of vertical clearance above mean high water, the proposed bridge will have 95 feet of clearance above mean high water.

In addition, the City of Chesapeake is seeking authorization to remove the existing foundations to two feet below the existing mud line versus the removal of the entire foundations.  Full removal of the existing foundations would greatly disturb and loosen the soil surrounding the new pier foundations, severely reducing the lateral capacity that is critical for a 95-foot high-level fixed bridge.  A new fender system would be constructed.

Interested parties are requested to express their views, in writing, on the proposed construction of the replacement bridge giving sufficient detail to establish a clear understanding of their reasons for support or opposition to the proposed project by July 13, 2011.

Please send comments for the record to the office of the Commander (dpb), Fifth Coast Guard District, Federal Building, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704-5004.

Copies of Public Notice 5-1228, which describes the proposal in detail, can be obtained by writing to the above address, by calling 757-398-6222 or at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=pnBridges.

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