Although work in and around Interstate 70 in the Wheeling area will continue into next year, all 26 bridges in a massive $215 million bridge replacement and rehabilitation project are either completely or partially open to traffic, the West Virginia Division of Highways announced.
Work on the project, funded through Gov. Jim Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity highway construction and maintenance program, began in 2019. The project entails repairing or replacing bridges, entrance and exit ramps and highway work in and around Wheeling.
Major bridge work undertaken in the project included repairs, a deck overlay and painting of the Fort Henry Bridge; repairs, deck overlay and painting of the Main Street Bridge; completely new decks for the eastbound and westbound East Tunnel Bridge; complete demolition and replacement of the eastbound and westbound Fulton Bridge and deck overlays or replacements on four bridges in the Elm Grove area.
The massive project has seen construction work from the Ohio River to Elm Grove Exit 5.
Closed bridges, ramps and sections of interstate have reopened as work has progressed. The eastbound I-70 off ramp providing direct access to Main Street and downtown that had been closed since September for a deck overlay and steel repair project reopened to traffic on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021.
All lane restrictions will also be removed where I-70 East meets Interstate 470 near the Elm Grove exit on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. I-70 has been restricted to a single lane in the area.
Work will continue on Interstate 70 over the winter and into next year. Work underneath the bridges that couldn’t be done until deck work was finished will be tackled in the spring of 2022.
All work on the project is expected to be finished by late 2022.