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Huguenot Bridge closing overnight

At 10 p.m. tonight the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will close the existing Huguenot Bridge to traffic to allow crews to move barriers into position and install pavement markings at the approaches to the new bridge. VDOT expects preparations to be completed and traffic shifted to the new bridge by 10 a.m. Saturday, June 30, weather permitting.

During the overnight closure, drivers are encouraged to use the following alternate routes:

• Northbound Huguenot Road - Chippenham Parkway (Route 150) north over the Willey Bridge to River Road east to Huguenot Road, or use Powhite Parkway (toll) east into Richmond
• Southbound Huguenot Road – River Road west to Chippenham Parkway (Route 150) south to Huguenot Road

This milestone marks the halfway point for the $54.5 million bridge construction project, with approximately one year remaining until the wider and more bike/pedestrian-friendly bridge is complete.

“The 62-year-old bridge is being replaced with a new structure, providing a critical transportation link to the region,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. “Taking traffic off the old bridge and onto the new one means people will have a safer and more reliable way to reach their destination.”

The existing traffic pattern of one travel lane in each direction with no shoulders will remain in place until the second half of the new bridge is ready to receive traffic next summer. In addition, the sidewalk on the new bridge will be closed until approach work on the north end is completed in spring 2013.

After VDOT shifts traffic from the existing Huguenot Memorial Bridge to the first half of the new bridge on Saturday, the public will have the opportunity to walk, bike or picnic on the old bridge Sunday, July 1 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. without disruption from vehicles. Crews will begin demolition of the 62-year-old bridge the following week to make way for the remaining half of the new bridge.

During the event, Huguenot Road traffic will continue to use the new bridge to cross the river. In order to safely access the old bridge, event participants will enter by foot or bike via the closed ramp from Riverside Drive on the south end of the bridge. Parking will be available along Riverside Drive.

Ice chests and folding chairs will be permitted on the bridge. Glass containers and alcohol will not be permitted.

VDOT expects the second half of the new bridge to be completed and open to all travelers in summer 2013 with final project completion in October 2013. Once complete, the new structure will have one 12-foot travel lane and one 10-foot shoulder in each direction. The wider shoulder will function as both an emergency breakdown lane and an area for cyclists to safely use the bridge. In addition, there will be a 5-foot wide sidewalk on each side for pedestrians.

Efforts to build a new bridge to replace the aging Huguenot Memorial Bridge began in October 2010. The Huguenot Bridge spans the James River and connects the city of Richmond to the south and Henrico County to the north via Huguenot Road. Approximately 25,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day.

To find out more about the Huguenot Bridge reconstruction project or to sign up for project updates, visit http://www.huguenotbridge.org


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

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