6th Street Bridge to remain open during cleaning & painting project

After hearing concerns, a supervisor with KMX Painting says one lane in each direction of the bridge connecting Huntington and Chesapeake will stay open.
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 8:08 PM EDT
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UPDATE 4/3/23 @ 10 p.m.

CHESAPEAKE, Ohio (WSAZ) --People in Chesapeake, Ohio, are feeling relief after learning the Robert C. Byrd Bridge connecting their village to Huntington will not be closing to traffic after all.

Also known as the 6th Street Bridge, it had been expected to close March 27 through November to be painted and cleaned. WSAZ reported on March 23 that closure had been postponed.

Chesapeake Mayor Drew Griffin said he only learned about the bridge closure after seeing the report on WSAZ.

KMX Painting had been awarded the contract from the West Virginia Department of Transportation.

Work has already begun with two lanes closed.

A manager and supervisor with KMX attended Monday night’s Chesapeake Village Council meeting and listened as the mayor spelled out their concerns.

“This bridge closure is going to provide a huge economic impact on our village, our businesses in our village,” the mayor said.

At the meeting, KMX supervisor Emanuel Koullias said they will keep the bridge partially open to traffic during the project.

“We’re not trying to hurt anybody,” Koullias said. “We’re just here to paint the bridge. We want everybody at the end of the day to go home safe to their kids and families. I’m hearing all these people now hurting with their business. We definitely don’t want to hurt anybody.”

When Koullias said one lane will remain open in each direction, the crowd attending the meeting applauded.

KMX manager Michael Xipolitas says this will cause the project to take more time, and it’s now expected to be completed in the fall of 2024.

Lawrence County Commissioner Mike Finley says this development is an enormous win.

“It really helps when everybody just comes together and doesn’t do anything radical, just come express your concerns, and it actually worked out really well today,” Finley said.


CHESAPEAKE, Ohio (WSAZ) - At a Chesapeake Village Council meeting Monday night, it was announced the Huntington 6th Street Bridge will remain open to traffic during a project to clean and paint it.

Last month, the WVDOT announced the bridge would be closed to traffic for more than half a year during the project.

Chesapeake village leaders said they hadn’t heard about the closure until seeing the report on WSAZ.

KMX Painting had been awarded the contract. A supervisor and manager with the company attended Chesapeake’s council meeting Monday night and listened to concerns about how the bridge being closed would negatively impact the community.

Michael Xipolitas, a manager with KMX, told the crowd they will do as the village has requested and not shut down the bridge during the project. Two of the lanes are currently closed.

He says this will cause the project to take more time to complete, and it’s now expected to be finished in the fall of 2024.

He said worker safety was a primary reason for wanting the bridge closed to traffic.

For previous coverage:

WSAZ Investigates | 6th Street Bridge closing postponed