Governor Jim Justice (R) and the West Virginia Department of Transportation recently hosted an event officially commemorating the completion of the $221 million I-70 Bridge Project in Wheeling.
[Above photo by the WVDOT]
While major construction on the project is complete, painting below some of the bridges and other minor work will continue into 2023, the agency said.
The project rehabilitated or replaced 26 bridges and ramps along a seven-mile stretch of I-70 in Wheeling. It was also the largest project undertaken by the governor’s $2.8 billion “Roads to Prosperity” program when construction began in September 2019.
“We really put out the full court press [on the I-170 bridge project] with all the stakeholders up there – the emergency responders, the local government entities, even the businesses and hospitals,” said WVDOT Secretary Jimmy Wriston in a statement.
“We needed everyone to know exactly what we were going to do and how we were going to do it, so we could still get traffic safely through this monstrous 26-bridge project,” he added. “We needed to have a safe work zone out there that the public could still traverse, and we did that.”
Wriston noted that the largest impact on traffic was total replacement of the twin Fulton bridges, which required the complete closure of portions of I-70 for nine months at a time. Work on the westbound span was done in 2020, while work on the eastbound span was done in 2021.
Bridges and ramps west of the Wheeling Tunnel were painted blue at the request of the city of Wheeling, WVDOT noted, while spans east of the tunnel received a fresh coat of gray paint.