Wasena Bridge Replacement Project
The City of Roanoke is planning to replace Wasena Bridge. Construction will not begin until 2022, but we want your feedback and for you to be involved in the decision-making process as we move forward. We want to make sure that the new bridge reflects the functional and aesthetic preferences of you and your neighbors, while continuing to make our community proud for the next 75 years.
Community consultation is currently open for the Wasena (Main St.) Bridge project. Starting in the Fall of 2018, the City will visit six neighborhood meetings in Wasena, Old Southwest, and Mountain View, and will host one open house meeting.
Can’t make it to a meeting? We want to know what bridge features are most important to you. This feedback will help the consultants develop a fresh bridge design that will continue to meet our community’s needs for the next 75 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the bridge being replaced?
Built in 1938, the Wasena Bridge is a fracture critical structure that is nearing the end of its intended lifespan and needs to be reconstructed to ensure public safety and usability.
How much will the bridge cost?
It is still very early in the process, but City Council has approved allocating $24 million as part of its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
Will the bridge replacement impact traffic along Main. St?
Total construction is anticipated to take 2.5 years, starting in May 2022, but the bridge’s road will be closed for a shorter period.
Will the Greenway be affected?
The Roanoke River Greenway under the bridge will remain open and accessible for the vast majority of the project. No closures are currently anticipated.
What will happen to the skatepark under the bridge?
City staff are currently evaluating options for the skatepark. In conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Roanoke Parks and Recreation is conducting a skatepark feasibility study. For more information about that particular project, please contact Roanoke Parks and Recreation at 540-853-2236.
When was this presented to the community?
As of Sept. 2018, two presentations to City Council have been made. In Dec. 2016, Hill City Studio presented potential design sketches to council to illustrate the potential of what a signature bridge could look like. View Hill City Studio’s presentation. Two years later, in Jan. 2018, City Council was presented with the pros and cons of rehabilitating the bridge and replacing just the superstructure, as opposed to removing and replacing the entire bridge. View the Jan. 2018 presentation to council. Community outreach officially began in Sept. 2018 and will continue until groundbreaking in May, 2022.
Why is getting input on the Wasena bridge’s design important?
Unlike other bridges in the City, the new Wasena Bridge’s design is anticipated to aesthetically complement its environment while making a positive statement. Typically, signature bridges have a unique shape and ancillary features, such as lighting, that deliver a pleasant experience for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and passerbys.
Is there an alternative to replacement that will result in a shorter closure period?
In late 2017, a Rehabilitation versus Replacement study was conducted to research alternatives. This study’s findings were presented to City Council in January, 2018. A rehabilitation would entail replacing the bridge’s superstructure while repairing deterioration of the existing substructure. Construction costs for this option are approximately $4 million less than a complete replacement, but will reduce the bridge’s lifespan by 35 years. In addition, replacing the superstructure would mean that the bridge is closed to traffic for an additional six months when compared to the complete bridge replacement plan. City Council voted to pursue the complete replacement option.
What do you mean by superstructure and substructure?
The portion of the bridge that supports the deck, the part of the bridge that directly carries traffic, and connects one substructure element to another via steel beams, is referred to as the superstructure. The substructure is composed of concrete abutments and piers that support the superstructure and transfer the structural load into the bridge’s foundation, which is seated underground.
1: Wasena Neighborhood on Oct. 4, 2018
2: Old Southwest Neighborhood Meeting on Oct. 16, 2018
3: Mountain View Neighborhood on Jan. 7, 2019
4: Wasena Neighborhood on Feb. 7, 2019
Public Meeting Photo Gallery
The City of Roanoke has awarded contracts to the following team of consultants:
Example of Rosales + Partners signature bridge in Panama City, Panama.