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I-64 Nitro/St. Albans bridge project construction officially underway

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 12:11 AM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Drivers who travel along the Nitro/St. Albans bridge will soon experience delays as construction is in full swing to expand the current bridge to six lanes.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, Department of Highway officials and U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who helped get a federal grant to help fund some of the project, held a ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday.

“It’s a 200 million dollar plus project that’s going on here,” said Byrd White, Secretary of the Department of Highways. “Replacing bridges, widening the road, gives us six lanes coming through there, three in each direction.”

The project will widen the interstate from the U.S. 35/I-64 interchange, eventually creating two bridges that both have three lanes.

Gov. Jim Justice believes the project will increase safety on the roadway and bring jobs and people to West Virginia.

“The benefit is easy when you see that we’re going to have congestion alleviated for decades to come, that’s easy,” Justice said. “The other thing that they may miss is just this, all the jobs that are going on within our state like crazy right now. By doing this, people come here, people move here, in all honesty their own home could significantly increase in price, all the advantages of the economics to the safety to absolutely all the jobs it’ll provide.”

Gov. Justice, Secretary White and Sen. Capito discussed the importance of allowing more time for your commute as delays are to be expected.

“If we got a three-mile project out here, the difference in going through that work zone at 70 and going through at 50, is less than a minute,” White said. “People are speeding through work zones, they’re not saving any money, they’re not saving any time but they’re risking somebody’s life.”

DOH officials said the first phase is underway currently at the St. Albans interchange, which they expect to last for at least the next year. They say the new bridge will be done first.

“The second bridge, from my standpoint, will be underway either right at the moment the other is done or it will be underway prior to,” Justice said. “So that’s your timeline.”

The DOH has created a website for the public to follow along with their progress, you can find that here.

DOH officials anticipate everything being completed by fall 2023.

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