New Wellsburg-to-Brilliant Bridge Construction Could Begin This Summer

Construction of a bridge spanning the Ohio River between Brilliant and south of Wellsburg is expected to begin in mid-summer, according to Gus Suwaid, West Virginia Division of Highways District 6 engineer.

Suwaid provided updates on the bridge and other road projects on Wednesday while meeting with the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission. Suwaid said the start of the $131 million bridge project is awaiting the issuance of permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard and others.

Once those are approved, easements for property in the area will be pursued, he said.

Suwaid confirmed much of the adjacent property is owned by the state, which was one reason it was favored as the span’s future site.

Two BHJ studies showed the need for the new bridge, citing the advancing age of the Market Street Bridge and the since-demolished Fort Steuben Bridge and the distance between the newer Veterans Memorial Bridge and bridges in the Wheeling area.

Officials have suggested the span would encourage economic development in the southern ends of Brooke and Jefferson counties while offering another transportation artery in areas that have been plagued by rock slides.

The Flatiron Corp. was selected as the general contractor after submitting the lowest of three bids and a proposal that reduced the anticipated completion date by a year. To complete the bridge by spring 2021, the company plans to build the span in segments elsewhere, then ship them by barge to the project site.

The bridge will be a tied-arch span, consisting of an overhead arch and deck that resembles a bow being drawn to fire an arrow.

Officials with the Ohio Department of Transportation earlier told BHJ members work on the span’s abutment at the intersection of Third and Cleaver streets in Brilliant could begin in April. Suwaid said engineering designs for a major project along W.Va. 2 in Follansbee are expected to be completed this summer.

It involves replacing the deck of a bridge beneath the intersection of W.Va. 2 and Allegheny Street. Years ago, the highway was paved over the bridge, which also functions as a culvert for water from Allegheny Creek emptying into the Ohio River.

Two years ago, two sinkholes formed near the intersection, revealing the bridge had deteriorated.

Suwaid said he and others hope the repairs can be done in the fall, with two-way traffic maintained by flaggers.


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