Proctorville bridge set for closure

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

PROCTORVILLE - The East Huntington Bridge in Proctorville is safe right now and the West Virginia transportation officials will temporarily close the span to make sure it stays that way.

The cable-stayed bridge that connects to State Route in Proctorville will be closed soon for a four-week repair project that will make sure the structure remains safe and is reopened in time for the holiday shopping season.

The bridge will be closed either Monday or Oct. 17, depending on material delivery, said Jeff Ball, district bridge engineer with the West Virginia Department of Transportation's Division of Highways. Regardless, the bridge will be reopened Nov. 17, Ball said.

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"We are biting the bullet right now. Something has to be done and this is the best way to do it," Ball said.

"We just have to close it down. There is no way to maintain traffic."

Motorists will be detoured to the West 17th Street Bridge or the Robert C. Byrd Bridge near Huntington's downtown 5th Street.

The two-lane bridge with a main span of nearly 2,000 feet is simply too narrow to allow for repairs with traffic on it, he said. The repairs include replacing two failed expansion joints that allow the bridge to move and resist stress and replacing cracked casings on several suspension cables that are allowing moisture to rust the cable.

"There would be safety concerns if we didn't repair the expansion joints," Ball said.

Orders Construction Company of St. Albans was awarded the $898,211 contract.