Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E. will host an event with other state and local officials on the main span of the Wellsburg Bridge on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, at noon, to celebrate the grand opening of the structure.
Gov. Justice will cut the ribbon on the massive bridge connecting the communities of Wellsburg, West Virginia, with Brilliant, Ohio. The bridge will drastically reduce travel time between the two communities, spur economic development in the area, provide a new river crossing for commerce, and provide another way across the river if work needs to be done on neighboring spans.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, community members will host a festival on the bridge including a car show, food trucks, a disc jockey, and high school bands and choral groups. Additional details, including parking information and a schedule, will be announced closer to the date of the event.
Flatiron won the $131 million contract to build the new bridge. Flatiron decided to build the main span of the bridge on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River and float the bridge into place downstream upon completion.
On Monday, April 26, 2021, the 830-foot main span was lifted onto two pairs of barges and moved into position in a massive, 13-and-a-half-hour operation. It was the largest bridge floating project ever attempted in North America.
The bridge was supported on the barges by eight sets of sectional pilings. Once in place, it was slowly jacked up and additional pylons set underneath until it was high enough to rest on its support piers.
Gov. Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity bridge and highway maintenance and construction program freed up money to complete the massive bridge project.