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Taking a Closer Look At Massive I-70 Bridges Project

West Virginia State Highway Engineer Alan Reed, left, looks over a section of the I-70 Bridges Project in Wheeling Wednesday near the eastbound side of Fulton Bridge, while speaking with WVDOH Area Engineer Mike Witherow, center, and WVDOH District 6 Engineer Tony Clark. (Photo by Scott McCloskey)

WHEELING — West Virginia State Highway Engineer Alan Reed was quite impressed while making a stop in Wheeling on Wednesday for an inspection tour of various sections of the I-70 Bridges Project, including the eastbound side of the Fulton Bridge which is currently under construction.

The nearly three-year, $215 million highway project — the largest single highway project in West Virginia in terms of both scope and cost — is in its second phase with the closure of the eastbound side of the Fulton Bridge. A total of 26 bridges are being fully renovated or replaced as part of the project, with one of those bridges being in Ohio.

Reed said the massive project was going well and on schedule, while visiting the Fulton Bridge site along with representatives from Swank Construction, several consulting firms, and local media representatives.

“It’s going real well,” he said. “I think we’re on schedule for what we intended to do. Obviously, it’s a large project. In an area that impacts traffic, these guys are doing a great job to get this work done,” Reed added as he looked over the construction site near the Mount de Chantal Road/Oglebay Park exit.

Reed said he wanted to get a firsthand view of projects around the state now that COVID-19 restrictions have lessened.

“We’re just out looking at projects,” he said, “and with restrictions we’ve had in the past year it’s been very difficult to get out and look at these things and we’re trying to spend a little time taking a look at some of our projects.”

West Virginia Division of Highways Area Engineer Mike Witherow, who provided Reed with an overview of the project, said the project is going very well.

“They (Swank Construction) are on schedule to open on time and maybe a little bit early,” Witherow said, as the eastbound side of the Fulton Bridge is scheduled to reopen by Nov. 1. “And the project as a whole, we’re on time and we will complete it by our intended scheduled completion date next year.”

Currently, Swank Construction crews are nearly 50% done with setting the steel beams into place on the eastbound side of the Fulton Bridge, according to Tony Clark, West Virginia Division of Highways District 6 Engineer. Clark said construction on the Fulton Bridge is most definitely “impressive to look at” while taking a tour of the site along with Reed and other construction officials.

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