RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Jessica Cowardin 804-524-6094
Jessica.Cowardin@VDOT.Virginia.Gov

RICH-120864

Nov. 2, 2017



OVERHEIGHT VEHICLE DETECTION SYSTEM ADDED TO BENJAMIN HARRISON BRIDGE IN PRINCE GEORGE/CHARLES CITY COUNTIES
New system will help prevent damage to bridge and protect commonwealth’s valuable asset

Detection equipment, along with flashing lights and signs, help signal to drivers of overheight vehicles

COLONIAL HEIGHTS — The Virginia Department of Transportation has recently installed an overheight detection system at both ends of the Benjamin Harrison Bridge, the region’s only vertical lift bridge, which connects Prince George and Charles City counties. The system was installed primarily to help prevent damage to the 51-year-old bridge by alerting overheight vehicles before they reach the bridge. In addition to the existing warning gates, both visual and audible alerts now signal overheight drivers to pull over in designated areas to make alternate plans before arriving at the bridge’s lift gate.

Several hit-and-run crashes over the past couple of years have resulted in costly repairs and major impacts to area travelers. “At approximately $200,000 for both systems, it’s a minor cost to protect one of the commonwealth’s most valuable assets.” says Crystal Smith, VDOT’s Petersburg Residency Administrator. “Commuters and the community will find that the need for lengthy alternate routes will be less often because the new prevention system is now in place.”

This system is a first for the Richmond region. Similar systems exist in the Hampton Roads region and plans are underway to expand the program to bridges in the downtown Richmond area.

To learn more about Virginia Department of Transportation’s bridge program, visit http://www.virginiadot.org/info/bridge.asp.  

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Page last modified: Nov. 2, 2017