Gilmerton Bridge repairs to restrict vessel traffic Oct. 2-12

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The Coast Guard Captain of the Port of Hampton Roads advises all local mariners and vessel operators that scheduled repairs to the Gilmerton Lift Bridge fendering system will result in restricted operation October 2 through 12.

The repairs will replace the temporary fenders that have been in place since the tug Steve McAllister allided with the bridge Aug. 13, damaging the west-side fendering system.

The repairs will replace the temporary fendering system which has been in place since the allision.

During the restricted operating times, the drawbridge will open once every two hours, on the hour, which will allow recreational and passenger vessels to pass.

The drawbridge will be opened upon request at any time by piloted vessels, but will require a two-hour advance notification to the drawbridge operator, who can be reached at (757) 545-1512.

Restricted operations are scheduled to occur:

* 8 p.m. Oct. 2 through 5 a.m. Oct. 5
* Oct. 5 through Oct. 8 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.
* Oct. 9, 2009 from 8 p.m. through 5 a.m. Oct. 12.

“The replacement is imperative to the support structure of the bridge,” said Lt. Tiffany Duffy, chief of waterways management at Sector Hampton Roads. “Should a vessel allide with the supports, they could cause significant damage to the stability of the bridge.”

source: USCG press release