CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Emergency management officials in Kanawha County are part of the chorus calling for motorists to exercise caution in connection with I-64 bridge project that will be the target of work over the next 60 days.
The traffic pattern changes begin Friday night between Charleston and South Charleston because of the deck replacement work planned for the Danner Bridge.
It’s a small bridge but it’s the volume of traffic that concerns Kanawha County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director C,W. Sigman.
“It’s usually really backed up and really hectic and there are a lot of accidents anyway and then you add that construction project on there and some rain expected Monday morning–it could really be a bad time,” Sigman said.
DOH contractors will rebuild all six lanes of the bridge deck. The project calls for lane closures and a shifting of traffic from eastbound to westbound lanes an vice-versa. I-64 westbound in Charleston from Virginia Street and Oakwood Road will be closed for the duration of the project.
According to the DOH, both the Oakwood Road westbound on ramp will close at 8 p.m. Friday followed by the westbound Virginia Street entrance ramp. At 9 p.m. lanes will be closed near the bridge and barrier walls will be moved to make way for the project to begin. The 60-day clock begins Saturday morning.
Sigman is urging motorists to eliminate the normal distractions as they approach the work zone.
“If we slow down and obey the speed limit and pay attention to our driving. Put the phone down, put the coffee cup down while you’re in that heavy traffic, give yourself plenty of time, it will help alleviate a lot of problems,” he said.
Sheriff’s deputies will provide assistance in in and near the work zone, according to Sheriff Mike Rutherford.
“The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office will have extra patrols in this area as part of Project Orange Barrel. We will have no tolerance for speeding and or aggressive driving. Please be very cautious in this area to prevent any accidents,” Rutherford said.