When Norfolk, Virginia’s Berkley Bridge is lifted, it stays open for as long as required to allow water traffic to pass, which can be as much as 15 minutes, during which time road and pedestrian traffic is stopped.
Subject to federal regulations, during weekday daytime hours, the double-leafed bascule bridge over the Eastern Branch Elizabeth River is limited to four lifts for vessels that have signaled and are waiting to pass, at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 2:30 pm.
To accommodate I-264 rush hour traffic, the bridge normally remains in the closed position during weekday commute periods, from 5 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 7 pm, except during federal holidays. Outside of the restricted hours, and on weekends, the bridge lifts on request.
Operators of vessels with a draft of at least 18 feet can request a bridge lift during restricted times, with at least six hours’ notice to the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control room.