Memorial Bridge Repairs Complete; Reopens May 26th

By: Phillip Hickman, Shannon Houser Email
By: Phillip Hickman, Shannon Houser Email

UPDATE: 5/25/2013 4:31 PM

The Memorial Bridge will reopen Sunday morning, May 26th at 6 a.m.

The bridge was shut down for repairs expected to take two weeks to complete, but they finished ahead of schedule after closing the bridge for only a week.

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell says more work has to be done on the bridge though. It needs to be repainted.

A date hasn't been announced yet, but when that work begins the bridge will be reduced to one lane.

Temporary traffic lights at both ends of the bridge will control traffic.
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The Memorial Bridge is getting some repairs, and it's going to last for at least two weeks.

A normally busy Memorial Bridge is closed for the next two weeks for repairs.

"It starts with the West abutment, we're replacing the expansion joint and the approach slab. Later on this year, we're going to do a painting project," says Parkersburg City Engineer, Justin Smith.

Some drivers say they were prepared for the detour. Others say it's a huge inconvenience and effects their commute.

Tina says, "I come from Marietta. I have class right over here. I have to go clear down to Belpre and go across. So ya, it bothers me."

But it's something that needs to be done, for the safety of drivers.

"The bridge is inspected by a consultant every year and then they recommend the repairs that are needed," Smith adds.

This is just one of the many projects the city does. They do work on the bridge every year. It's to help maintain the lifespan of the Memorial Bridge.

Smith says, "we try to put so many dollars into this bridge every year as part of a maintenance program to try and get another 30 to 40 years out of the bridge before it has to be closed."

Something drivers don't need to worry about is the cost of repairs. The toll bridge essentially pays for itself.

"Since we raised the toll to 50cents a car, the bridge sustains itself. It brings in one point eight million dollars a year and we try to spend all the extra money on maintenance and repairs," Smith explains.

The project is scheduled to wrap up on June 3rd. After that, the city says they'll begin painting the bridge. The bridge won't be closed, but traffic will be reduced to one lane.
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A major detour ahead for drivers here at home.

The Memorial Bridge will be closed for two weeks starting on Monday May 20th.

The project is scheduled to wrap up on June 3rd, and cost close to $120,000.

The repairs will include the complete replacement of the west abutment expansion joint and the replacement of the west approach slab and curb.

The city says a bid for painting the bridge should go out later this summer, but that should have no impact on bridge traffic.


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