WSAZ Investigates | Downtown Huntington bridge to close Monday for cleaning/painting project

The entire project is expected to be completed by November 2023.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 9:34 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - We have a traffic alert to pass along to drivers who use the downtown Huntington bridge into Chesapeake, Ohio.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation said Tuesday that the Sixth Street bridge, also known as the Robert C. Byrd Bridge, will completely close to traffic starting this Monday, March 27.

According to the WVDOT, that’s so crews can “completely clean and paint the bridge.” The entire project is expected to be completed by November 2023.

For the last few weeks during the early stages of the project, traffic has been down to one lane in both directions over the bridge.

“The Robert C. Byrd Bridge is one of our major highway structures that spans the Ohio River and provides an important local link to the City of Huntington as well as a regional connection between the states of Ohio and West Virginia,” said West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) District 2 Engineer Rob Pennington, P.E., in the release “Completely closing the bridge during the project will allow the project to be completed quicker, more efficiently and more safely for the traveling public.”

Drivers will be forced to use either the West Huntington Bridge, located about 2 miles west of the Sixth Street Bridge or the East Huntington Bridge at 31st Street. DOT officials say detour routes will be well-marked.

“All bridges are created equal,” said WVDOT Cabinet Secretary Jimmy Wriston. “We get criticized for doing the work, and we get criticized for not doing the work. What do you want ... the bridge painted or not?”

Wriston said the agency considers alternatives for traffic when doing major projects, but shutting down the bridge was the safest and quickest way to complete the project.

According to the WVDOT release, “KMX Painting Inc. was awarded a contract for nearly $10.3 million in December 2022 to completely clean and repaint the bridge approaches, main spans, and support piers.”

Built in 1994, the Sixth Street Bridge carries State Route 527 across the Ohio River.