Final beams added on Nitro-St. Albans bridge
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Crews spent Friday putting the last steel beams of the new Nitro-St. Albans Bridge in place.
It is part of the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s efforts to expand Interstate 64 to six lanes from Nitro to the U.S. 35 Interchange.
The project is part of Gov. Jim Justice’s Roads to Prosperity Program.
Officials with the Division of Highways told WSAZ the beams were lifted through a process called “strand-jacking,” lifting the beams from barges to beams already in existence.
After more than 40 years in river construction himself, Teays Valley resident Cecil Cash spent Friday checking out the work.
“We set a bunch of beams and walls and stuff to build docks,” he recalled.
“I can do whatever I want now that I’m retired.”
Jason Hamilton with the Division of Highways said this is just the beginning phases of the expansion project.
“This will get us closer to having the new westbound structure,” he said. “We have the existing truss bridge, it’ll be demoed out, traffic will be put onto the new westbound structure, then demo out the existing bridge.”
Hamilton described the strand-jacking process as “innovative.”
“It’s a bit of a chance to nerd out, a little bit of excitement that this is what we do all day,” he said. “This is a design-build project, so the design was ongoing as construction started.”
Hamilton believes it is a full-circle moment.
“I get to see the stuff hit the paper and we go through reviews and work through it and then now we get to see it in real life in 3-D, so it’s pretty rewarding,” he said.
Now in retirement, Cash said he is looking forward to traffic relief.
“It’ll make it great knowing you won’t have the big backup, and it’s pretty bad usually with all the traffic. This will help a lot.”
Hamilton estimates the bridge will be open by the end of the year.
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