WELLSBURG, W.Va. — The long-awaited float of the Wellsburg Bridge structure down the Ohio River and the lifting into place is slated for Friday and Saturday.
Following several years of planning and several years of building on the banks of the Ohio River in Brooke County, the bridge that will connect Route 2 in Wellsburg with Route 7 in Brilliant, OH is ready to be placed by Flatiron Construction.
Constructed entirely offsite, the tied-arch bridge will be transported by barge one mile down the Ohio River and lifted into place onto the existing trestles, the West Virginia Department of Transportation said in a release.
The bridge float and lift process will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday with opening remarks by officials and the process will continue over a two-day period.
The West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) released this tentative schedule:
Day 1 – FRIDAY, APRIL 23
7:30 a.m. – Media begins to arrive, check-in and set up
8:30 a.m. – Bridge will be floated out to the middle of the river
9 a.m. – Bridge will be floated downriver between the piers in the river
11 a.m. – Bridge will turn 90 degrees
1 p.m. – Bridge will be pushed upriver and positioned ready for lifting into place
Day 2 – SATURDAY, APRIL 24
3 a.m. – All systems and positioning will be checked
3:30 a.m. – Bridge will be lifted to the height needed to position over piers
11:30 a.m. – Once in the air, the bridge will be pushed upstream over the bridge piers
12:30 p.m. – Once in position, the bridge will be lowered onto the piers and positioned
3:30 p.m. – Once on the piers, jacking system will be lowered to clear the bridge
4 p.m. – Barges with jacks will be pushed back upstream to barge slips. Once this action is completed, all river traffic will be cleared.
Awarded in 2016, the $131 million Wellsburg Bridge is Flatiron’s first project in the state and West Virginia’s first alternative delivery project.
Flatiron said the goal for completion for the WVDOT was based on traffic volume projections and the need for a safe and reliable span for commerce and emergency responders.
The WVDOT has pushed back the date of the float twice in the past week due to weather concerns, including scheduling it for Friday and Saturday on Monday morning. Officials said due to the highly sensitive nature of the actions being performed during this operation, execution will not be possible if river and wind conditions are not favorable.
Livestream coverage of the entire two-day event will be available HERE.