Dawn Eischen 804-524-6179


June 7, 2010

Inspection reveals deteriorated concrete pier cap

COLONIAL HEIGHTS—The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has posted the Huguenot Bridge (Route 147) over the James River from its current capacity to three tons. During a routine inspection yesterday, engineers discovered a deteriorated concrete pier cap on the south end of the bridge. For driver safety, VDOT has decreased the maximum vehicle weight to reduce the amount of stress on the 61 year old bridge.

“The bridge can withstand normal passenger vehicle traffic,” says Gary Martin, district bridge engineer. “However, we recommend larger vehicles like buses and trucks use the Willey Bridge to cross the James River.” As a precaution, pedestrians will be restricted from using the sidewalk on the southbound side of bridge. Pedestrians will continue to have access to the sidewalk that runs parallel to the northbound lane. The Huguenot Bridge carries approximately 28,000 vehicles per day.

VDOT recommends drivers of vehicles over three tons use the following alternate routes:

  • Northbound Huguenot Road - Chippenham Parkway (Route 150) north over the Willey Bridge to River Road east to Huguenot Road or use Powhite Parkway (toll) east into Richmond
  • Southbound Huguenot Road – River Road west to Chippenham Parkway (Route 150) south to Huguenot Road

VDOT is initiating an emergency contract to make immediate repairs to the bridge. Repairs are estimated to cost $100,000 and will involve shoring up the beam and recasting a portion of the pier cap. VDOT will maintain traffic on the bridge during the repairs. Completion is expected by early July. The vehicle weight limit will return to normal capacity once repairs are complete.

VDOT has posted signs on the approaches to the bridge indicating the reduced weight limit. Local police are responsible for enforcing the restriction.

VDOT will begin construction of a new Huguenot Bridge later this year. “Reconstruction of the Huguenot Bridge remains a priority for VDOT,” said Tom Hawthorne, district administrator. “We will advertise the project later this month as planned with construction starting in late October or early November.” The $65 million bridge reconstruction project involves replacing the existing structure with a new structure in approximately the same location. The new structure will have one 12 foot lane and one 10 foot shoulder in each direction. The 10 foot shoulder will function as both an emergency lane and a lane to allow bicyclists to safely use the bridge. In addition, there will be a five foot wide sidewalk on each side for pedestrians. For more information about this project, visit  

For more information on VDOT’s bridge inspection program and to see a video of a bridge inspection, visit


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 14, 2012