Construction crews are in the demolition phase of a bridge replacement project above Interstate 70, and motorists are urged to be aware of alternating traffic patterns.
Shelly and Sands Inc. has been contracted to replace the span that carries Reservoir Road over Interstate 70 between exits 215 and 216 in Belmont County. Work on the $13.1 million project began July 9 and has a completion date of Nov. 31.
Shelly and Sands Inc. Senior Bridge Engineer Bob Hunt said there is a contraflow traffic pattern within the project limits, which utilizes a temporary concrete barrier to divide traffic into three lanes on one side of the interstate and one lane on the other. Additionally, lanes have been reduced from 12 to 11 feet wide.
Traffic patterns could alternate as often as every other week and could remain in place as long as seven weeks at a time, Hunt said.
"I would advise drivers to use extreme caution when traveling through the construction area, because traffic patterns will change multiple times from now until Nov. 31," Hunt said.
By having three lanes of traffic on one side of the interstate, Hunt said, crews can shut down one of those lanes during weekend or night construction.
Hunt said workers eliminated the rumble strips and removed some of the median barrier from I-70 within the project limits before putting the I-70 work on hold for Jamboree In The Hills.
Demolition of the bridge deck from Reservoir Road began July 19 with no interruption to I-70 traffic. Both sides of the bridge connecting Reservoir Road have since been removed, and the demolition phase will conclude Tuesday, Hunt said.
Following demolition, workers will reconstruct bridge piers and abutments before installing the temporary support structure that will enable them to construct the bridge deck.
After the deck in constructed, that temporary support structure will be removed.
Repairs to I-70 pavement caused by temporary traffic control will follow, along with minor reconstruction on Reservoir Road that will connect it to the new bridge deck.
Hunt estimated 20 percent of the project's budget has been spent and said work is on schedule to conclude on time.