Home / Event / Route 5 (Main Street) over Norfolk Southern Railway Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacement Project in the City of Richmond – Technical Lunch Meeting

Route 5 (Main Street) over Norfolk Southern Railway Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacement Project in the City of Richmond – Technical Lunch Meeting


Presenter: Jacob George, P.E. VDOT Senior Structural Engineer

Topic: Main Street (Route 5) Over NS Railway Bridge – Technical Lunch Meeting

If you missed this event or would like to revisit the presentation, please click the link below to download the slides.  Thank you!

PDF_Route 5 over NS_ASCE102417


This presentation will describe the design and construction of a bridge replacement project that is located on the route that will carry the proposed GRTC Pulse project. While the bridge is not a long structure, there were some major challenges that had to be addressed to ensure that this would be a successful project.

The Main Street Bridge carries 11,000 vehicles per day and is along a major route that carries traffic between downtown Richmond and Rockets Landing. The existing bridge was owned by Norfolk Southern Railway and it was built in 1913 although the substructure was a result of multiple upgrades. Multiple structures were in place to carry variable live loads; from horse traffic to trolley trains to wheeled vehicles.  The bridge has been posted for many years for maximum live loads of 3 Tons.  During the past 40 years, there were several studies and preliminary plans developed to rehabilitate or replace the original structure.  However, because of geometric challenges and lack of funding, the project did not progress.  With the funding that was provided for the GRTC Pulse project, there was a renewed interest to rehabilitate this structure, and VDOT was asked to provide the design and develop the plans for this project.   Major challenges that had to be dealt with were an aggressive project schedule, critical vertical clearances that had to be maintained for two railroads (NS Rwy and CSX RR), the need to construct the structure while maintaining railroad traffic on the Norfolk Southern tracks  and very little information available concerning the design and plans of the century old existing structure.

The rehabilitated bridge, which was designed and constructed three months ahead of schedule, has been developed to facilitate future traffic needs of roadway and undercrossing railroad, makes use of state-of-the-art construction materials and meets the latest AASHTO requirements for strength and serviceability.


Jacob George, P.E. is licensed structural engineer with over 25 years of experience primarily working in the consultant industry in seven states in the US. He is currently serving as Senior Structural Engineer with the Structure and Bridge Division of the VDOT Central Office.

Mr. George has been Project Manager for several bridge rehabilitation, replacement and new construction projects including LADOTD: Load Rating of Six Complex Truss bridges over the Mississippi. As Bridge Engineer, he has been part of bridge projects including the NYSTA New Tappan Zee Bridge, LADOTD I-10 high level bridge over Lake Pontchartrain, VDOT Rte 15/29 over Broad River ABC replacement, VDOT Route 460 Bypass Bridges, and DDOT New Hampshire Avenue bridge replacement over CSXT/ Metro, just to name a few.  Since joining VDOT, Mr. George has utilized his talent and experience to develop projects from concept to completion.  Mr. George also has international experiences, serving as the lead structural engineer for the design of the Grand Mosque in Abu-Dhabi, UAE, valuing over $600M.

His hobbies include singing and traveling. He is member of the Barbershop Harmony Society.