WV Transportation

WV Transportation

WV Transportation

WV Department of Transportation

Jennings Randolph Bridge to reopen this afternoon



The Jennings Randolph Bridge, which carries US 30 across the Ohio River between Chester, West Virginia, and East Liverpool, Ohio, is scheduled to reopen to traffic this afternoon.
The bridge was closed on Monday, December 11, 2023, after a federally mandated inspection discovered cracking in two welds on the steel bridge structure. The cracks were not visible to the naked eye, but the WVDOH, in an abundance of caution, decided to close the bridge while repairs were completed.
The Jennings Randolph Bridge was built in 1977 using T-1 steel. At the time, welded T-1 steel was common in bridge construction, but it was later discovered that cracks could develop in the welds joining the beams. Cracks in T-1 steel welds led to the closure of the Interstate 64 Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2011, and the Interstate 40 Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis in 2021.
Recently, the federal government required specialized testing on all bridges made with T-1 steel. Special testing on bridges made with T-1 steel has since been conducted on bridges all over the United States.
It was during one of those tests that a few cracks were identified in welds on the Jennings Randolph Bridge. Because the cracks could cause safety issues in the future, the WVDOH shut the bridge down to repair the cracks.
Bridge inspection consultant Modjeski & Masters identified 18 additional internal defects on welds on the bridge that needed to be repaired before reopening the bridge. Those defects on the bridge have since been repaired.

All four lanes are opening this afternoon.  Intermittent closures of the outside lanes will be required at times as additional repairs are completed.  Those repairs can be completed with traffic present, allowing at least one lane in each direction to remain open.