It’s no secret that, since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have been committed to rebuilding and modernizing America’s transportation infrastructure – supporting critical road, bridge, transit, rail, maritime, and aviation projects that create jobs today and economic growth well into the future.
One such project is the Gilmerton Bridge replacement in Chesapeake, Virginia, which Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez toured last week.
This project has already created jobs by putting people to work replacing the current bridge--more than 70 years old--with a safer, stronger structure. The new bridge, expected to be completed in early 2014, will have a higher vertical clearance to allow marine traffic on the Elizabeth River to pass below with fewer bridge openings and road traffic stoppages. That will help relieve congestion on the busy US-13 and I-64.
With 35,000 people a day using this bridge, improved safety and reduced congestion are critical upgrades--important steps toward creating what President Obama calls an America built to last.As Administrator Mendez said, “This bridge will be built to accommodate the future needs of the region. Virginians are closer to having a new bridge that will make it easier for workers to get to their jobs and for businesses to deliver their goods and products.”
But what’s also exciting about this project is the innovative construction technology that’s being put to work.
Modeling technology is helping everyone involved with this project work from a virtual model created across several dimensions, improving speed and accuracy as the project is built.
And pre-fabricated bridge elements will be built off-site and then floated into place, accelerating construction and minimizing disruption to the traveling public.
The Gilmerton Bridge replacement – and projects like it across the country – are helping to provide our children and grandchildren with a modern transportation network that ensures safe and reliable travel. I look forward to its completion, and I know that it will serve Virginians well for generations to come.