Replacing a 60 Year Old Bridge in Virginia

About the Sandbridge Bridge Replacement Project

Sandbridge Road is the only public access route in and out of Sandbridge, a coastal community in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Sandbridge has developed considerably in recent years which has resulted in increased traffic and construction. Consequently, the Hell’s Point Creek bridge that was built in 1961 deteriorated to the point of concern.

The City of Virginia Beach approved a three-phase bridge reconstruction project that included demolishing the previous bridge, construction of a temporary bridge, construction of road approaches and a new two-lane bridge.

Temporary Bridge Construction

The temporary bridge provided the Sandbridge community continuous access throughout construction. Before the temporary bridge construction began, a Type III Impervious Turbidity Curtain was installed in the waterway. The Turbidity Curtain controlled construction related sediment in Hell’s Point Creek.

After clearing the marsh of trees and stumps, the area was filled in with structural fill. The fill was followed with layers of nonwoven geotextile fabric, biaxial geogrid and stone.

These layers, also known as lifts, stabilized the approach roadways for the temporary bridge.

The nonwoven geotextile fabric is a drainage layer that separates the course aggregates, promotes positive drainage and prevents stones from falling through the geogrid’s apertures. The geogrid stabilizes the subgrade by spreading the load across the entire plane.

After the bridge approach roadways were stabilized and capable of bearing the weight of heavy machinery, temporary bridge construction began. The temporary bridge began accepting traffic in April 2019.

Construction Completion

The new bridge opened in October 2020. This bridge sits 18 inches higher than the original bridge. Final close out of the Sandbridge Road Bridge Replacement included stabilizing the road shoulder with Single Net Straw Erosion Control Blanket and grass seed, restoring the wetlands with plants, and area drainage improvements.

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