Bridge update on track for early completion

Beth Sergent

September 10, 2013

OHIO VALLEY — Though the official completion date on upgrades to the Silver Memorial Bridge is May 30, 2014, it appears work is ahead of schedule, and the job is on track for a completion date of Nov. 30 — a little more than two months away.

The Nov. 30 date was confirmed Friday by Carry Bly, communications specialist with the West Virginia Department of Transportation. Of course, the Nov. 30 date is dependent on the weather.

As motorists may have noticed, more lane changes recently took place, allowing for the pouring of new concrete overlay — two lanes remain to be poured.

Motorists should continue to expect one lane of traffic to be shut down on the bridge in both directions until the project is basically completed. As the nature of the work has changed, so has the traffic pattern from time to time — a pattern, which again, will ultimately return to the original when the job is complete.

Over the course of the upgrade, motorists were first alerted of the lane restriction and asked to yield to oncoming traffic on U.S. 35 when driving the bridge’s on ramps from either direction. In later months, lane shifts alerted motorists to come to a complete stop before merging on to the bridge and oncoming traffic on U.S. 35. Motorists are also instructed to slow to a speed of 40 mph in the work zone.

The Silver Memorial Bridge upgrade project is estimated to cost $3.5 million with Triton Construction as the contractor.

The upgrade has entailed concrete patching and repairs to the bridge piers and parapet walls. The scope of the work also includes electrical work done on the structure aimed around replacing lights, including navigational lights under the bridge and roadway lights on the surface. The final component of the project will be resurfacing the structure across all four lanes which is happening now.

Bly has described these improvements to the bridge as “routine” and similar to the work which took place a couple of years ago on the Fort Hill Bridge in Charleston.

The Silver Memorial Bridge opened to traffic in 1969.