By WILLIAM BROWN
04/23/06 - PARKERSBURG — Corridor D is progressing well and is now open from I-77-U.S. 50 interchange to the interchange with West Virginia 95 near Lubeck. Construction on the remaining roads and the bridge across the Ohio River is under way. It will not be too long before travelers will easily motor west from Clarksburg over the river into Ohio.
There are webcam views on the Corridor D Web site (www.corridord.com) that reveal the latest progress on the construction site. You may choose between the Ohio and the West Virginia side of the construction zone. The W.Va.-cam has a view from Blennerhassett Island and one from one of the bridge abutments. The Ohio-cam has a view from Pier 4, from Blennerhassett Island and from a bridge abutment. These views provide a construction update that cannot be beat.
Eleven piers make up the new bridge design. Two of the piers are complete. That means the foundations, footers, columns and caps are complete. Work is in progress on another eight of the piers.
Steel beams will begin to arrive soon. All of the beams will be delivered by truck to the bridge site. Some of the girders will be preassembled on the ground before being hoisted in place via cranes. Steel erection will begin during the first half of May.
In total, there are 11 million pounds of structural steel to be erected for the bridge. There are 350 main girders for the bridge plus lateral beams. The roadbed will be fabricated as the structure is completed. The bridge construction is 37 percent complete, and the bridge is scheduled to open on Sept. 10, 2007.
A temporary causeway was installed to provide access to the Island.
This causeway provides for ready delivery of materials to the Island.
“There are signs at both ends of the Island indicating the phone number for boaters to call. This contact information may be used by boaters for assistance through the blocked back channel,” indicated Julie Hott, project manager for contract administration for West Virginia Department of Highways.
The roadway approach in West Virginia from W.Va. 95 to the river bridge is complete. Paving will continue when the asphalt plants open and should be complete in July. As soon as the paving, signage and guardrail work is complete, the last section of the four-lane will open all the way to Dupont Road. According to George Shinsky, District 3 construction engineer for the West Virginia Department of Highways, “This last section of road should be open for public use in August 2006, weather permitting.”
The Ohio interchange and bridge approach is 27 percent complete. This road work connects the bridge to U.S. 50 and Ohio 7. This section is scheduled to be complete Oct. 27, 2007.
It was not that long ago that the Corridor D project was undertaken, and it will not be long before traffic will travel from Clarksburg all the way to Cincinnati on a four-lane highway. Yes, traffic may go east as well. This new road system brings an economic advantage for commercial traffic and will make recreational travel safer and quicker. We can hardly wait.
William Brown, president of TSR Associates, is a member of the chamber public relations committee.
Posted with permission from The Parkersburg News & Sentinel