|Work on the project began in April 2020 and is expected to be complete in October 2021. WVDOH District 5 Bridge Engineer Paul Steedman said contractors are currently building the superstructure for the new bridge right next to the existing structure and will finish the bridge one-half at a time.|
“That’s called phased construction,” Steedman said. "Contractors will finish the new section of bridge first and open it for traffic. Then they’re going to knock down the old structure and build the other half of it.”
The existing bridge was built in 1936 by the Fort Pitt Bridge Works, of Pittsburgh, PA. Originally known as the Grace Bridge, it was renamed the John Blue Bridge in honor of John Blue, an early settler who came to Hampshire County in 1725 and whose family figures prominently in Hampshire County history.
In October 1861, Union and Confederate troops fought a skirmish in the area on a bridge that crossed the South Branch at almost the same spot as the John Blue Bridge.