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Traffic concerns cloud start of I-64 bridge project in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — “This one is going to be a doozy” is how Deputy Commissioner of Highways Jimmy Wriston first explained the Interstate-64/Danner Road overpass bridge deck replacement project on Monday.

Wriston along with other DOH and project officials stood in front of the bridge to discuss the work that will start on Saturday and voiced their concerns for the number of headaches this may cause.

“We are going to have a lot of delays, we are going to have a lot of congestion on this 60-day project,” Wriston told the media.

Jimmy Wriston

“I want to assure you this project needs to be done, this project needs to be done desperately. We are going to get it done, we are going to extend the life of this bridge and we are going to work as quickly as safely as possible.”

The bridge sits between the Oakwood Road Exit 58A and Montrose Drive Exit 56 along I-64 in Charleston, which Wriston called one of the heaviest traveled areas in the state.

Gary Mullins, the District One Construction Engineer, said the eastbound lanes will be closed during Phase I. All traffic will be moved to the westbound side of the interstate with two lanes in each direction.

Phase II of the project will mirror the same scope of work, replacing the bridge deck on the westbound lanes of I-64. This phase will require westbound traffic to be shifted across the median to the eastbound side, a release said.

The Oakwood Road/I-64 westbound entrance ramp will be closed for the duration of the project. Area traffic will be detoured to the Montrose Drive interchange via MacCorkle Avenue, WVDOH officials said.

Another westbound entrance ramp that will be closed for the duration of the project is Virginia Street. Traffic there will be detoured to the Lee Street/I-64 westbound entrance ramp via US 119, Pennsylvania Avenue and Washington Street.

Danner Road underneath the bridge is expected to be closed during the duration of the project. Prep work had it shutdown on Monday morning.

The project, which Wriston said will preserve the bridge’s life for “many, many years”, will get underway on Saturday at 12:01 a.m. and scheduled to last 60 days. Each phase is expected to be around one month under contractor Brayman Construction.

The speed limit will be lowered to 50 mph and more law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Wriston said worker and driver safety is the number one concern of a project of this magnitude.

“We need every worker in these work zones to go home safely at the end of each and every day. It’s paramount that we work together to keep this project moving, get it done on time and let’s try to do it without incident.”

For more information on the project and detours, please go to the WVDOT website or WV511.

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