HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — The City of Hopewell held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday to officially opened the new East Broadway Bridge.
The bridge was deemed unsafe and closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic in April of 2014.
After all the requests for proposals were reviewed, the new bridge and demolition of the old bridge structure commenced in the spring of 2016.
“We actually had to remove a 92-year-old bridge,” Hopewell City Manager Mark Haley said. “Everything runs a life cycle and that old bridge it just was old and broken.”
Haley said the project was funded by VDOT and the city.
The current East Broadway Bridge starts a new life cycle as a non-weight restricted structure that is capable of carrying all highway permitted loads as recognized by Virginia.
Hopewell Fire Chief Donald Hunter said emergency vehicles were previously banned from traveling across the old bridge due to weight restrictions. Now, all emergency vehicles and school bus routes will be allowed to traverse the new bridge.
“We knew we couldn’t cross it so to us it was basically like a dead end street,” Hunter explained. “It will be a shorter route for us.”
The bridge, which connects Ramsey Avenue residents back to the city, also offers a new perk for residents.
“We have a sidewalk so strollers and bicycles and walkers can safely come across the bridge and get back and forth,” Haley said.