|With the summer construction season in full swing, the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) is seeing major construction projects on all of the Mountain State’s interstate highways.|
Gov. Jim Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity program has allowed the WVDOH to undertake major construction projects on the state’s interstates. Seven major construction projects are currently underway on Interstate 64 alone.
Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge
The new Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge on Interstate 64 is expected to be open to traffic in the spring of 2024. The $18 million bridge construction project is part of a larger, $224 million project funded by Gov. Justice’s Roads to Prosperity program to widen Interstate 64 to six lanes from Nitro to the US 35 exit.
Contractors Brayman-Trumble are currently cutting the tops off the old bridge piers, pouring new piers and setting massive steel beams for the approximately 1,400-foot bridge. The new bridge is being built on the site of the original Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge using the bottom portions of the existing bridge piers.
|The span replaces the old Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge, which was built in 1962. When completed, the new bridge will carry four lanes of traffic eastbound, while the Nitro WW I Memorial Bridge will carry four lanes of traffic westbound. Both bridges include a lane allowing motorists to travel between Nitro and St. Albans exits without having to enter main interstate traffic.|
Opening of the new bridge will relieve a major bottleneck on I-64. About 60,000 cars a day crossed the old span.
The new Nitro WW I Memorial Bridge opened to traffic in October 2022. The old Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge was then cut apart and removed in sections. Brayman-Trumble is now using diamond saws to cut the tops off the old bridge piers, pouring new pier tops and setting beams.
I-64 widening, Nitro to US 35
Work also continues widening an approximately four-mile stretch of I-64 from four to six lanes between Nitro and the US 35 interchange. In addition to replacing the old Donald M. Legg Memorial bridge with two new spans, the project also involves the construction of nine new bridges. Work is expected to be complete in the spring of 2025.
Cabell County widening projects
Work should be complete in the fall of 2024 on two interstate widening projects near Huntington.
A project for approximately $91 million is widening I-64 from four to six lanes between the 29th Street exit and the Guyandotte bridge. A concurrent, $71 million project widens I-64 from four to eight lanes between the Merritts Creek exit and the Huntington Mall.
Both projects are funded through Gov. Justice’s Roads to Prosperity program.
The WVDOH just completed a $14.3 million project to completely replace a bridge where I-64 crosses over Miller Road near mile marker 9. The new bridge is wide enough to allow for six lanes.
Preliminary construction work recently began on an approximately $32 million Roads to Prosperity project to build a new interchange linking I-64 with Culloden. The project will build a connector road about 2/3 of a mile long connecting I-64 with US 60 just west of the Putnam/Cabell County line, and will require construction of a new, 200-foot bridge.
Both the bridge and about 3/4 of a mile of I-64 will be made six lanes wide to allow for future interstate expansion. Work is expected to be complete in the summer of 2026.
Kanawha County paving
In Kanawha County, work is underway completely repaving an approximately five-mile stretch of I-64 between Dunbar and the Oakwood Road exit. The $18.6 million project is expected to be complete later this fall.
Work on the project is being done at night to minimize the impact on the traveling public.
Work is nearly complete on a $27.4 million project to clean and paint nine interstate bridges and six ramps where I-64 passes through downtown Charleston. Spans and ramps include Piedmont Road, Bigley Avenue, and Court Street, and ramps accessing Court Street, Leon Sullivan Way, and Brooks Street.
Work should be finished by winter.
With work continuing on I-64, the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) urges motorists to slow down and pay attention in work zones.
In 2022, there were 800 crashes in West Virginia work zones, killing eight people and injuring 276. Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E., has vowed to do everything possible to eliminate work zone fatalities in the Mountain State, including installation of more message boards and radar speed monitors in work zones, collecting crash data to better target work zone safety response, and asking our media partners to help spread the word about obeying speed limits and traffic laws in work zones.