WHEELING - It's been more than a month since a truck carrying a load too tall for the overpass damaged the Interstate 70 east bridge over Dallas Pike Road, but a West Virginia Division of Highways official said traffic on the overpass likely will remain reduced to a single lane for at least a few more weeks.
After assessing the damage, DOH District 6 Bridge Engineer David Sada doesn't believe the bent beam will need to be replaced. They've opted for a less costly and hopefully less disruptive alternative, which involves applying heat to the damaged beam and straightening it that way.
The state is contracting out the work, and there's no specific timetable for it to happen. But the DOH hopes to restore more normal traffic flow within a few weeks.
File Photo by Ian Hicks
Lane reductions on Interstate 70 remain in effect as a result of this April 22 incident, in which a large load became wedged beneath the overpass over Dallas Pike Road.
"In the meantime, we're working on plans to get it back to two lanes," Sada said.
The right shoulder on the bridge should be wide enough to be able to open a second lane, he believes, while still keeping weight off the damaged beam.
On April 22, a truck carrying a large load exited I-70 to refuel at Travel America, but became wedged beneath the overpass.
The incident disrupted traffic on Dallas Pike Road between the eastbound and westbound interchanges for several hours as crews worked to free the truck.
Sada said the Dallas Pike exit tends to be a problem area for large trucks who may have a permit to be on the interstate, but not Dallas Pike Road.
"They get off to get gas, they're overheight and they hit" the overpass, Sada said. "They should have a permit to be on that road."