CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – The West Virginia Division of Highways celebrated the continued success of Gov. Jim Justice’s Roads to Prosperity highway and bridge construction and maintenance program on Friday, May 20, 2022, as contractors lifted the main span of the new Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge into position in Nitro.
Contractors have been lifting steel for the new bridge over the Kanawha River for several months. The main span, five beams wide and 417 feet long, was pre-assembled and lifted into place Friday from a barge in the middle of the Kanawha River.
Construction of the new bridge between the Nitro and St. Albans exits of Interstate 64 is part of an approximately $225 million project to upgrade I-64 to six lanes from Nitro to the US 35 exit. The project also called for construction of five new bridges in addition to the new Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge.
The project is paid for through Gov. Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity program.
Plans call for building the new bridge just north of the existing Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge to carry westbound traffic. Once completed, the existing bridge will be rebuilt using a portion of the existing piers to carry traffic east. Each bridge will be four lanes wide, to allow drivers traveling between the Nitro and St. Albans exits to drive without having to merge into through traffic.
Since Gov. Justice rolled out Roads to Prosperity in 2017, more than 1,000 projects have been completed through the program, everything from repairing small slips on rural roads to multi-million dollar four-lane highway construction projects.
Roads to Prosperity funding has tackled large projects like a $33 million contract to pave the upgraded Coalfields Expressway four-lane between Mullens and Slab Fork, or $48 million to rebuild Interstate 64 from the ground up between Milton and the US 35 interchange near Teays Valley. Roads to Prosperity provided $20 million to expedite putting new decks on a series of interstate bridges on Interstate 77 in Charleston.
Among Roads to Prosperity projects scheduled to be completed this year is an approximately $220 million project replacing or upgrading 26 different bridges on Interstate 70 in the Wheeling area.