Leaders from the West Virginia Division of Highways, including Deputy Commissioner of Highways Jimmy Wriston, P.E., hosted members of the media today for a press conference to preview the upcoming bridge deck replacement project at the I-64 / Danner Road overpass bridge in Charleston.
“I want to assure you, this project needs done. This project needs done, desperately. And we’re gonna get it done,” Wriston said. “We’re gonna extend the life of this bridge. We’re gonna work as quickly and as safely as possible.”
The project on the bridge – one of the most-traveled bridges in the entire state – is set to begin this Saturday, Oct. 5, and is scheduled to take approximately 60 days to complete.
“We’ve been working on this and looking at it from every standpoint we can to try to minimize the disruption, minimize the congestion,” Wriston said. “We’re taking this project very, very seriously. This is a very, very busy spot.”
With the high volume of traffic, WVDOH leaders are also taking steps to make sure the work zone for this project is as safe as possible.
“We need every worker, in these work zones, to go home safely at the end of each and every day. It’s paramount that we really work together to keep this project moving, to get it done on time, and let’s try to do it without incident.”
Speed limits in the work zone will be reduced to 50 miles per hour. Additionally, ample signage will be used on the roadway leading up to the work zone, as well as in the work zone itself, to alert drivers to the project.
Wriston is also asking members of the media to work alongside the WVDOH to keep the traveling public informed. He also had a suggestion for drivers who frequent the area.
“Let’s stay off those cell phones when you’re driving through these work zones and obey the speed limits,” Wriston said. “It’s very important. You wouldn’t want somebody coming through your office at 70 miles per hour.
“Don’t be distracted. Pay attention. You’re operating a piece of machinery when you’re operating an automobile, and you’re going through a place where folks are making their living. They need to go home at the end of the day.”
WVDOH leaders are also spreading awareness for the project with increasing posts on the agency’s social media pages as well as increased PSA’s on local radio outlets.
The Danner Road overpass bridge is located between the Oakwood Road (exit 58A) and Montrose Drive (exit 56) exits along I-64 in Charleston.
During construction, crews will maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction.
Phase I of the project – beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 5 – involves completely removing the bridge deck on the eastbound lanes of I-64, replacing it with new, steel-reinforced concrete that will make use of the bridge's existing beams. To complete this work, eastbound traffic will be shifted across the median to the westbound side.
Phase II will mirror the exact same scope of work in the opposite direction.