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West Virginia Moves Forward With $224M Road, Bridge Project

Thu February 24, 2022 - Northeast Edition #5
Brenda Ruggiero – CEG Correspondent


Phasing of the work is a unique aspect of the project.
Phasing of the work is a unique aspect of the project.
Phasing of the work is a unique aspect of the project. A multi-year design-build project is moving forward between Nitro and Scott Depot, W.Va. The prime contractor is Brayman – Trumbull, A Joint Venture and funding is mostly from WV Roads to Prosperity Bonds, with some FHWA Build Grant funding, as well. According to Project Manager Jason Hamilton, design for the project began in December 2019 and field work began in December 2020. Completion is expected in the summer of 2024. W.Va. Gov. Jim Justice (seated next to podium) attends the Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge groundbreaking ceremony on April 2021.

A multi-year design-build project is moving forward between Nitro and Scott Depot, W. Va. It includes the widening of Interstate 64 and major upgrades to the Nitro-St. Albans Bridge.

The prime contractor is Brayman – Trumbull, A Joint Venture and funding is mostly from WV Roads to Prosperity Bonds, with some FHWA Build Grant funding, as well.

The winning bid for the project was $224,480,422, but the current figure is $233,718,062.50 with change orders.

According to Project Manager Jason Hamilton, design for the project began in December 2019 and field work began in December 2020. Completion is expected in the summer of 2024.

The project will upgrade I-64 from four to six lanes between Exit 40 (Scott Depot, US35) to Exit 45 (Nitro, WV25). To widen the existing roadway, multiple structures will need to be upgraded, as well.

This includes, working from west to east:

  • the I-64 overpass bridge pair at Rocky Step (CR29) is being replaced with a new overpass bridge pair. In addition, the I-64 overpass bridge pair at McCloud Rd (CR33/5) is being replaced with an underpass structure;
  • the Bills Creek (CR44) two-span bridge over I-64 has been replaced with a new single span bridge over I-64;
  • the St. Albans interchange (exit 44) two-span bridge has been replaced with two new bridges, alleviating I-64 WB entrance and exit traffic interaction and the I-64 WB Entrance bridge passes overtop of the I-64 WB Exit bridge;
  • a new slab-on-girder bridge is being constructed over the Kanawha River to the north (downstream) of the existing Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge, a truss bridge built with the original I-64 system. The new bridge will carry four lanes of I-64 WB traffic. Portions of Donald M. Legg's Memorial Bridge's piers will be reused for a new four lane bridge carrying I-64 EB traffic. The four lanes will consist of three continuous interstate lanes and a fourth auxiliary lane that connects Exit 44 to Exit 45; and
  • the I-64 overpass bridge pair near the Nitro interchange (Exit 45, WV25) will be replaced with a new overpass bridge pair.

"The project will result in I-64 being six lanes from Teays Valley [Exit 39] to Charleston, alleviating heavy traffic congestion," Hamilton said.

He noted that challenges with the project include coordination with other agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. There also are two railroads and multiple utilities.

According to Hamilton, the phasing of the work is a unique aspect of the project, since it is to be accomplished while attempting to minimize impacts to interstate users.

"The contract requires two 11-foot lanes to remain open," he said. "That means traffic must be shifted around within the existing 4-foot shoulder, two 12-foot lanes and 10-foot shoulder to provide room to build."

Major equipment used on the job includes a Manitowoc MLC-300 Max crawler crane with 197-ft. boom, a Grove GMK7750 with 115.9-ft. boom, a Manitowoc 888 barge-mounted ringer crane with 225-ft. boom and a Manitowoc 2250 series 3 crawler crane with 130-ft. boom and carbody counterweight.

Major subcontractors on the job include HDR Inc. for design; West Virginia Paving for supply and laydown of HMA; Beeghly Tree LLC for E&S items; Highway Safety Inc. for traffic control devices and pavement markings; Martin Reinforcing for rebar work; North Suburban Tree for clearing and grubbing; P&G Construction Company for stay-in place deck forms, shear studs, approach slabs and E&S Items; Pritchard Signal & Light for roadway lighting, high mast towers, and signal work; Allen Stone Company for piling and drilled shafts; Shepaul Enterprises for guardrail items; MP Dory Co. for extruded panel signs and overhead structures; Virginia Drilling Co. for drill and shoot; Boca Construction for milling and grooving; Concrete Cutting and Breaking for sawcut pavement and deck and wire cut piers; Specialty Groups Inc. for digital message sign work and LMS Construction for TL-5 barrier wall.

Interstate 64 (I-64) serves the communities of Kanawha and Putnam counties. Originally built in 1966, the segment crossing the Kanawha River currently carries approximately 70,000 vehicles per day. An increase in traffic volume has been noted to result in congestion, sudden stops and collisions along I-64.

"It is an incredible project that is needed so badly," Gov. Jim Justice said when the contract award was announced. "It's needed from the standpoint of congestion, but it's also needed so badly from the standpoint of safety."

The project is a part of Gov. Justice's Roads to Prosperity program.

"We've waited on this a long time and now, we're here," Justice said. "We just keep delivering and delivering and, eventually, the whole world is going to wake up and say West Virginia is the place we want to be." CEG




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