VIRGINIA BEACH---The City of Virginia Beach is getting ready to build the new Lesner Bridge.

The bridge is still on the federal list of deficient spans, and city crews have slathered concrete on decaying spots for the better part of a decade.

It's still drivable, but the busy thoroughfare needs more than just a patch job.

A replacement has been years in the making, and crews have just started testing the foundation in the last week, which means construction may start in about a year.

'We're anxious to get it going,' said city spokesperson Drew Lankford. 'It will be a big improvement for that corridor of the city.'

More than 41,000 cars and trucks use the bridge every day, and the new six-lane span will be structurally sound and better for traffic.

The city's biggest hurdle has been funding, something Lankford says was remedied with the governor's transportation package.

'That was really the big piece we needed to get things started and see this come to fruition,' said Lankford.

Contract bids are likely to go out next summer, with construction expected to start December 2013.

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