Wasena Bridge Replacement

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.

Get involved

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.

Public Meetings

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.

For more information about this project’s status, please contact:

Josephus Johnson-Koroma
Civil Engineer and Bridge Project Manager

Project Timeline:

  • Dec. 2016: Hill City Studio Presentation to Roanoke City Council #1 (View Slide Deck)

  • Jan. 2018: City of Roanoke Presentation to Council #2 (View Slide 1, View Slide 2, View Slide 3)

  • July 2018 – Fall, 2019: Surveyors, engineers, and contractors will compile and analyze data to begin developing a project plan. Starting in the fall, the City will seek feedback from the community at six neighborhood meetings, one open house meeting, and through online surveys

  • Summer, 2021: Complete engineering design and construction documents

  • Spring, 2023: Construction Begins

  • Spring, 2025: Complete Construction

* Please note: this timeline could change as the project progresses

Neighborhood Stakeholder Meetings

The City is collaborating with three neighborhoods – Wasena, Old Southwest, and Mountain View – to present information and collect feedback from the community.

Wasena Neighborhood Forum

Location: Wasena Elementary

(1125 Sherwood Ave. SW)

Old Southwest, Inc.

Location: 641 Walnut Ave. SW

(Gish House)

Mountain View Neighborhood Association Inc.

Location: 714 13th St. SW

(Mountain View)

Public Meetings

General Public Meeting
  • The project study phase was completed in January, 2020. The City held a public open house where the consultants shared information about the design concept before diving into construction details.

Date: Feb. 13, 2020: 7:00 pm (Meeting Minutes)
Location: Patrick Henry High School

(2102 Grandin Rd SW)

While you’re here…

We are currently seeking community feedback for the following projects. Please take a minute and share your ideas!

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If you’d like, we will send you an email when new projects and opportunities to get involved in your community come up.

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