VDOT recommends adding studs to JRB grid deck

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on July 24, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 24 at 5:40 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH- The Va. Dept. of Transportation released results of its three-month study on the safety of the James River Bridge Wednesday.

Officials recommend adding studs to the grid deck of  the JRB to help provide, "enhanced vehicle traction."

VDOT began their investigation in May after a rise in accidents, many on the new grid deck installed in December 2012. Concern intensified after 20-year-old Kayla Williams died in a crash on July 1.

Earlier this month, the Isle of Wight County Sheriff says deputies have responded to 35 crashes so far this year, nearly double the number for all of 2102.  Nearly 30,000 drivers travel over the bridge every day. 

VDOT's District Administrator says it's unknown what's causing accidents on the James River Bridge.

A skid test of the grid deck came back inconclusive, according to District Administrator Jim Utterback.

VDOT, the sheriff's office, Va. State Police and Newport News Police said the the number of crashes warranted an immediate response.

Installation of the studs is expected to begin late summer or early fall and is anticipated to take  three months to complete and will cost $800,000.

Click here for 13News reports on the safety concerns.

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