Michael Baker International, a global leader in engineering, planning and consulting services, recently helped to provide a safer and more efficient commute for City of Chesapeake residents along Dominion Boulevard, U.S. Route 17 in Southeastern Virginia. The firm provided construction engineering, inspection and public involvement services for an improvement project, which replaced the 50-year-old Dominion Boulevard Steel Bridge and added modifications to the roadway and existing intersections.
The Michael Baker team in Virginia Beach, Va., partnered with Chesapeake Public Works and MBP, Inc. on the four-year, $345 million project, which was completed in early 2017. The project expanded Dominion Boulevard from two lanes to four lanes and replaced the original two-lane drawbridge with a four-lane, fixed-span high level bridge, known as the Dominion Boulevard Veterans Bridge. These improvements greatly reduce traffic congestion, create easier access to the region, and provide a more efficient hurricane evacuation route for residents.
“Dominion Boulevard is a vital roadway for residents in Virginia and North Carolina, with more than 33,000 vehicles crossing the bridge each day,” said Beth Drylie, Office Executive for Michael Baker’s Virginia Beach office. “The heavy traffic and drawbridge lifts multiple times a day caused a choke point for travelers and a challenge for the client. Michael Baker’s team collaborated with the city on appropriate construction solutions that will minimize maintenance and make a difference for the community for years to come.”
The previous Steel Bridge along Dominion Boulevard saw heavy traffic and needed to be lifted for boats to pass through 16 times per day for 10 minutes at a time – ultimately closing the bridge for 42 days each year. The new solution adds two lanes and is 95-feet high, to allow for boats to pass underneath without lifting the bridge.
Project construction also included the replacement of three intersections with three interchanges and overpasses at Cedar Road, Dominion Lakes Boulevard – Bainbridge Boulevard, and Great Bridge Boulevard, as well as a new bike path/pedestrian walkway on the southbound bridge span. In addition, a weaving lane ramp bridge was required on the north end of the project to tie into interstate highways and included a post-tensioned straddle bent.
Throughout the project, Michael Baker verified compliance with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Locally Administered Project Manual. In addition to providing construction engineering and inspection for the nine bridges, the team also reviewed shop drawings, developed and implemented a quality assurance quality control plan, ensured maintenance of traffic and environmental compliance, and private utility coordination. Michael Baker also offered public relations graphic and media support to help the client engage with community members during construction.
View a video on the project, including the major details, impact on the community and renderings of new construction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U19-FMoTv-Y
About Michael Baker International
Michael Baker International is a leading global provider of engineering and consulting services, which include planning, architectural, environmental, construction, program management, and full life-cycle support services as well as information technology and communications services and solutions. The company provides its comprehensive range of services and solutions in support of U.S. federal, state, and municipal governments, foreign allied governments, and a wide range of commercial clients. Michael Baker International has more than 6,000 employees in more than 90 locations across the U.S. and internationally. To learn more visit www.mbakerintl.com.