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I-70 Exit 1B Near Tunnel Reopens to Traffic

Photo by Scott McCloskey – I-70 Exit 1B which serves as the off-ramp to W.Va. 2/U.S. 250 South was reopened to traffic Monday morning.

WHEELING – Swank Construction reopened I-70 Exit 1B (W.Va. 2/U.S. 250 South) to traffic Monday morning in both the east and westbound directions after being closed since earlier this year. Swank Construction made renovations and updates to both ramps as part of the I-70 Bridges Project.

Swank initially hoped to reopen the ramps on Friday, but inclement weather conditions delayed the opening until Monday morning, according to West Virginia Division of Highways District 6 Engineer Tony Clark.

While the westbound section of the Fulton Bridges near the off-ramps was completed and reopened in early November, the eastbound side of the highway in that same area is not scheduled to close to traffic until Feb. 1. Like the westbound side of the Fulton Bridges section, the eastbound work is scheduled to take nine months to complete. Clark said Swank has already started “foundation” work beneath the eastbound side of the interstate in that area.

“They’re working on the foundations of that structure,” he explained.

Clark said they are able to begin the foundation work on the new piers ahead of time because the new piers are constructed in a different location than the old piers.

Swank officials have expressed to DOH officials that because they are “confident in their (construction) schedule” they will be shutting down work with their own employees on the I-70 Bridges Project for a few weeks “around the holidays.” Yet Clark said they will still have subcontractors working on the project.

Clark said this is the time of the year when inclement weather typically begins to slow down construction schedules.

“This coincides with the time of the year when production is not really great anyways because of the weather, and they can’t close (I-70) eastbound until late January or early February,” Clark added.

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