UPDATE: Memorial Toll Bridge Passes Annual Inspection

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Update: 8/13/2015 5:20 P.M.

The memorial toll bridge recently passed its annual inspection.

Parkersburg City Engineer Justin Smith says the inspection happened about two weeks ago.

City officials say the bridge-as it has been before-is graded in "fair" condition... meaning it's safe for traffic.

The structure gets a look-over roughly every 12 months.

In recent years, the bridge has been the subject of social media posts saying it failed inspection.

Officials emphasize that's not true.

Update: 09/15/2014 6:35 P.M.

Two updates on two recent controversies about the Memorial Toll Bridge.

First, the safety of the bridge itself.

A recent social media post, which the mayor says is still subject of a police investigation, said it failed an inspection after construction work last month.

Mayor Bob Newell says another inspection, by a private company, confirmed the earlier result was a false reading.

"They themselves re-inspected it and found their first tests were faulty," the mayor said, "but then had another independent company come back in and do some testing on that one pin, and there's nothing wrong with it."

Mayor Newell adds, even if that pin was found to be deficient, it would be reinforced by other pins in the bridge structure.

Meantime, the West Virginia Division of Environmental protection fined the construction company, for something dumped off the bridge when it was closed in August.

That was captured on home video.

The mayor says it was leftover concrete and nothing toxic.


UPDATE 8/26/2014 6:00 PM

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell says legal action might be considered involving a social media post about the safety of the Memorial Toll Bridge.

A Facebook post has been shared, claiming the bridge did not pass an inspection made days after it reopened earlier this month.

The mayor says, however, it was inspected a second time and no flaws were found.

"The first ultrasound was flawed; it appeared there was a flaw in the bridge. They reexamined it and found there wasn't a flaw in one pin on the bridge, and that was the issue at hand," says Mayor Bob Newell. "The bridge is safe to drive on, and the story going around on Facebook is a fabrication. It's as simple as that."

Mayor Newell says the bridge will be inspected again as a precaution.

The Memorial Bridge was closed for repairs for two weeks beginning August 4, but was reopened just a few days before Homecoming weekend.

The mayor told The News Center late Tuesday afternoon his office received numerous calls about the post, and believes the post generated concern-maybe panic-in the community.

UPDATE 8/12/2014 4:20 PM

The Memorial Bridge reopens Wednesday.

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell says work on the bridge is done.

The $182,000 project started August 4th.

The span two expansion joint and 400 square feet of concrete deck and concrete curb were replaced.

UPDATE 8/4/2014 6:00 PM

The toll bridge closed Monday for repairs.

It'll be a while, so think about either leaving a little early or taking a different way to get across the river.

The two week project started Monday.

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell says it should be done the Wednesday before homecoming.

It caused a big traffic back up Monday on Main Street in Belpre.

One alternate route is the Blennerhassett Bridge.

Officials say these are necessary repairs and there's no good time to do it.

Repairs are shutting down the Parkersburg Memorial Bridge for two weeks in August.

The city says the bridge will close Monday, August 4 and reopen Monday, August 18.

The span two expansion joint and 400 square feet of concrete deck and concrete curb will be replaced.

The project cost is $182,000.

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