New westbound entrance and exit ramps for the St. Albans exit of Interstate 64 are scheduled to open to traffic by the end of the day on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, the West Virginia Division of Highways announced. The ramps are part of a massive widening project on I-64 funded through Gov. Jim Justice's $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity highway construction and maintenance program.
The new ramps are part of a $224 million project to widen I-64 to six lanes from Nitro to the US 35 interchange near Scott Depot. The project also includes construction of a new bridge adjacent to the existing Nitro-St. Albans Bridge and replacing several smaller bridges between Nitro and Scott Depot.
Site work and construction on the project began in earnest in the spring of 2021 and required massive excavation and earth work. Contractors began blasting in the area over the summer.
The new westbound St. Albans interchange replaces the existing single bridge with two new bridges, one for traffic entering I-64 and the other for traffic getting off I-64. The new westbound entrance ramp bridge is 339 feet long, while the exit ramp bridge is 167 feet long.
Contractors were completing guardrail installation and striping work during the days leading up to opening the new ramps.
New eastbound and westbound bridges at Bills Creek opened to traffic in early December. Widening plans also include replacing bridges at Rocky Step, McCloud and at Nitro over WV 25.
Two new piers for the main Nitro-St. Albans bridge are nearly complete.
Plans call for building a new bridge just downstream of the existing Nitro-St. Albans Bridge to carry westbound traffic, then demolishing the existing bridge and replacing it with a new span using a portion of the existing bridge piers to carry eastbound traffic. Each new bridge will be four lanes wide to allow motorists to go from the St. Albans exit to the Nitro exist and from the Nitro exit to the St. Albans exit without having to merge into interstate traffic.
The entire project is expected to be complete in late 2024.