The popular Wasena Bridge will be closed for 2 years as it undergoes a major replacement project

ROANOKE, Va. – The popular Wasena Bridge will be closed for 2 years as it undergoes a major replacement project.

City leaders said the new bridge is estimated to cost more than $50 million. They said it will feature designated bike lanes, wider sidewalks, a roundabout and LED lighting on top and under the bridge. There will also be lookout areas.

Roanoke City said the bridge has reached its lifespan and needs to be replaced. Project Manager Josephus Johnson-Koroma with the City of Roanoke said the replacement will also reflect the growing community.

“Years ago, we used to design bridges just for vehicles. Now, we have to incorporate automotive traffic, which involves pedestrians and bike users on the bridge. So, we incorporated vehicular, pedestrians and bicyclists on the bridge as part of this design of this project,” said Johnson-Koroma.

Construction already started in April. Crews are now getting ready to start demolition. Johnson-Koroma said that demolition of the bridge would start in May.

The new bridge will not be replaced until 2026, so you might be concerned about how else you can get around. The city said the official detour route is Franklin Road to Brandon Avenue. There is also a Grandin Road route.

You’ll still be able to walk or ride you’re bike on the Roanoke River Greenway during the construction process, but there will be a marked detour. You’ll be routed through the parking lot adjoining the playground, then along Winchester Avenue, Main Street Winona Avenue then Wiley Drive.

You will also not be able to use the Roanoke River or the Wasena Skate Park over the next two years.

The nonprofit Wasena Neighborhood Forum said they have been waiting for this project for five years, and they are excited about it.

“Losing a connection to downtown is never a positive. Nobody is like welcoming that concept from a business perspective or from a convenience standpoint, of course, but again something that we all knew was coming for a long time. We’re ready for it to start,” said President Jim Hosch with the Wasena Neighborhood Forum.

About the Author

Keshia Lynn is a Multimedia Journalist for WSLS. She was born and raised in Maryland and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Society from American University and a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Recommended Videos