CHESAPEAKE -- Drivers will eventually get some traffic relief on Dominion Boulevard, but you'll have to wait a few more years before that happens.
The expansion of Dominion Boulevard and construction of a new Steel Bridge is about 35 percent finished. The $345 million project, which began in January 2013, is the city's largest ever.
"The project is on time and on budget," Public Works Director Earl Sorey said Friday.
Crews are widening Dominion Blvd. from two to four lanes between Cedar Rd. and Great Bridge Blvd.
The new Steel Bridge will be 95 feet tall, meaning drivers won't have to wait for bridge lifts. The current bridge has about 16,000 lifts a year. That's the equivalent of closing the bridge for 42 days.
Friday morning, crews used two cranes to lift a 100-ton concrete span of the bridge into place. By February 2015, one side of the new bridge will be finished and opened for two-way traffic. Workers will then start demolishing the old bridge.
The entire project is expected to relieve congestion along Dominion Blvd. In 1990, about 18,000 vehicles traveled the roadway. Thanks to growth in the city, that number is now about 33,000 vehicles a day.
You won't have to pay any tolls until the project is finished in April of 2017. The $1 fee will help cover the cost of the publicly-funded project, but you'll have to pay only if you cross the river.