Largest Highway Contract in WV History Awarded

Wed April 20, 2005 - Northeast Edition
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CHARLESTON, WV (AP) The largest single highway contract in West Virginia’s history was awarded March 31 when the Division of Highways (DOH) announced a Chicago company will construct a $119.9-million bridge over the Ohio River near Parkersburg.

West Virginia’s share of the contract is approximately $21 million, with Ohio paying another $6.2 million. The remainder will be paid with federal funding, said Carol Melling, DOH spokeswoman.

The bridge will complete the four-lane upgrade of U.S. 50 from Clarksburg to the Ohio line. The route was one of the original 23 Appalachian corridors selected in 1965 under the Appalachian Development Highway System.

Walsh Construction Co. received the contract to build the approximately mile-long bridge, officials said.

In 1973, the state exhausted a major portion of its Appalachian corridor money on a single bridge — the New River Gorge Bridge. That $37-million contract produced the world’s second-longest steel-arch span, at 3,030 ft., and the nation’s second highest bridge at 876 ft.