WV Transportation

WV Transportation

WV Transportation

WV Department of Transportation

Demolition of Upper Gassaway Bridge completes $4.7 million bridge replacement project


On Tuesday, January 9, 2024, contractors for the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) demolished the Upper Gassaway Bridge over the Elk River in Gassaway, completing a replacement project in the works for nearly 10 years.
MEDIA: For footage of Gassaway Bridge Demolition, CLICK HERE.
The steel truss bridge was built in 1935, replacing an earlier span across the Elk River dating from 1912. A new deck was added to the bridge in 1963, with further repairs and renovations to the span in 1970, 1992, 1995, and 1996.
But by 2016, it was apparent that the bridge was in need of replacement. The bridge, which carries WV 4 across the Elk River, sees about 1,900 cars a day. But the span is narrow, and in later years carried weight restrictions limiting the amount of weight the bridge could support.
WVDOH engineers began planning a replacement for the aging structure.

“The old bridge didn’t allow commerce to flow freely between Gassaway and the interstate,” said Tracy Brown, P.E., WVDOH State Bridge Engineer.
Brown also said the new bridge will allow heavier vehicles to travel through town and serve the area for the next 75 to 100 years.

In November 2020, Orders Construction was awarded a contract for $4,719,806.85 to build a new bridge across the Elk River and tear down the old truss bridge. Orders Construction built a new, curving bridge immediately downstream of the steel truss bridge to allow the use of the original bridge approaches.
The new bridge opened in late 2023, allowing for the demolition of the 1935 span. Orders placed explosive charges on key points of the old bridge on Tuesday, January 9, 2024.
The charges sliced like a knife through the steel trusses on the bridge, allowing it to fall harmlessly into the churning waters of the Elk.