Route 895 Opening - September 2002

VDOT had a news release, on September 20, 2002, " Pocahontas Parkway Opens All Lanes - James River Span Dedicated as Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge". Excerpts follow (blue text):
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and FD/MK, the contractor building the Pocahontas Parkway, along with political luminaries and Vietnam veterans, dedicated the Parkway's signature bridge today just prior to the opening of all lanes. The celebration marked the four-year $324 million public-private transportation project's completion. [....] Officials presiding at the dedication and ribbon cutting included: Senators John Warner and George Allen, Congressman Randy Forbes, former Lt. Governor John Hager, Secretary of Transportation Whitt Clement, VDOT Commissioner Philip Shucet, Tom Hawthorne, VDOT Richmond District Administrator, Virginia Representatives Jackie Stump and Kirkland Cox, Colonel Wesley L. Fox, USMC (Ret.) Medal of Honor Recipient, Lt. Colonel Howard V. Lee, USMC (Ret.) Medal of Honor Recipient, Bruce MacDougall, USN Seabees, Vietnam Veteran, and Master Sergent William A. Davis USA (Ret.).
 

See VDOT Photos of the Dedication.

Here's 27 photos of Route 895 taken on the opening day of the westbound James River Bridge on September 20, 2002 (the eastbound bridge opened on May 22, 2002).

I took these photos a couple hours before the dedication ceremony, while westbound Route 895 was still closed to traffic. The Route 895 James River bridge was dedicated as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Click the small image to link to a larger image (they range from 80K to 160K).

Route 895 westbound, I am standing near the toll gantry. The James River bridge is in the distance.

Route 895 westbound, I am standing a couple hundred yards down the highway from the last photo. The James River bridge is in the distance.

Route 895 Pocahontas Parkway administration building. The photo was taken from about the same point as the last one, but I turned to the left.

Route 895 westbound, I am standing on the approach to the James River bridge, which begins right ahead.

Route 895 westbound, the photo was taken from about the same point as the last one, but I turned completely to the reverse, and I am looking toward the direction of traffic. The toll plazas are visible at the bottom of the hill.

Route 895 crosses the James River on a 4,765-foot-long concrete box girder bridge that has a main span with 672 feet of horizontal navigational clearance and 145 feet of vertical navigational clearance. This high clearance is necessary for ships heading to and from the Richmond Marine Terminal which is a mile north of the bridge. I am standing on the west approach of the westbound bridge, looking toward the main span which is in the distance.

Similar vantage point to the previous photo, about 100 feet further up the bridge. The bridges have significant horizontal curves, but are designed for a speed of up to 60 mph.

Same vantage point as the previous photo, but taken with a 135mm (2.7x) telephoto lens.

Large image, 303K

Similar vantage point to the previous photo, same telephoto lens, about 200 feet further up the bridge. The vehicles parked on the bridge are associated with the dedication ceremonies that started about 2 hours after I took these photos.

Standing on Ramp H (westbound Route 895 to northbound I-95), the elevated ramp that branches off the James River bridge, looking south, at the west approach spans of the James River bridge, and I-95. The lower bridges are for the ramps connecting I-95 to VA-150 Chippenham Parkway.

Standing on Ramp H, looking westward toward the west approaches of the James River bridge, elevated Ramp G (westbound Route 895 to southbound I-95), and the ground level ramps from I-95 southbound and I-95 northbound to VA-150 Chippenham Parkway.

Looking from Ramp H, the elevated ramp that branches off the James River bridge, at the main span of the westbound bridge. The vehicles parked on the bridge are associated with the dedication ceremonies that started about 2 hours after I took these photos.

Similar vantage point to the previous photo, about 100 feet further up the ramp.

Similar vantage point to the previous photo, about 100 feet further up the ramp.

Standing near where Ramp H connects to the James River bridge, looking north toward Ramp H, I-95, and the ramp from VA-150 Chippenham Parkway to I-95 northbound (that is the ramp with the tractor-trailer on it).
Standing on the James River bridge, just west of the main span, looking westward down the west approach of the bridge, with elevated Ramp G (westbound Route 895 to southbound I-95) visible in the distance.

Standing on Ramp G, the elevated semi-directional ramp from westbound Route 895 to southbound I-95. Looking eastward toward the main spans of the James River bridge.
Standing on Ramp G, looking westward toward the western end of the James River bridge, Ramp G passing overhead in the distance, and the ground level ramp from I-95 southbound and northbound to VA-150 Chippenham Parkway.
Standing on Ramp G where it crosses over the James River bridge, looking westward toward the western end of the James River bridge, and the beginning of VA-150 Chippenham Parkway (VA-150 and Route 895 form a continuous seamless freeway) . The ground level ramps connect I-95 to VA-150 Chippenham Parkway.
Standing in the same place as in the previous photo, but turned around and looking eastward over the James River bridge, toward the main span of the bridge. The three elevated I-95 ramps that connect to the bridge are visible in the distance. The ground level ramp connects I-95 southbound and I-95 northbound to VA-150 Chippenham Parkway.

Standing on Ramp G several hundred feet down the ramp from where it crosses over the James River bridge, looking eastward toward the James River bridge, toward the main span of the bridge. The stub for Future Ramp F is visible ahead, and elevated Ramp E (northbound I-95 to eastbound Route 895) is visible in the distance where it connects to the James River bridge.
Randy Forbes of the U.S. House of Representatives (R-VA-4th District) speaks at the opening ceremonies. A full military color guard was at the rear of the platform, as the dedication ceremonies took place at the top of the main span of the James River bridge, which was dedicated as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge. Seated just to the right of the podium are U.S. Senators John Warner and George Allen.
George Allen of the U.S. Senate (R VA) speaks at the opening ceremonies. Seated just to the left of the podium is U.S. Senator John Warner.
John Warner of the U.S. Senate (R VA) speaks at the opening ceremonies, as the keynote speaker. John Warner has extensive military service including a tour in the Navy, and a tour in the Marine Corps. He also has held a number of government appointments related to the military up to and including Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, during his 24 years of service as a U.S. Senator for Virginia. Seated just to the left of the podium is U.S. Senator George Allen.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge roadway sign that was prepared for the bridge. This sign was unveiled at the opening ceremonies. Five such signs were fabricated to mark the Route 895 James River bridge. The green, yellow and red emblem at the top of the sign matches the campaign ribbon that Vietnam veterans received for their service. There were several hundred Vietnam veterans attending the dedication ceremony.
Two Vietnam-era U.S. Army helicopters fly over near the end of the dedication ceremony. They are UH-1 "Huey" helicopters that are stationed at nearby Fort Lee.

All photos taken by Scott Kozel.

Copyright 2002 by Scott Kozel. All rights reserved. Reproduction, reuse, or distribution without permission is prohibited.

Lead page for Route 895 Construction
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Route 895 - Pocahontas Parkway

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By Scott M. Kozel, Roads to the Future

(Created 12-1-2002)