NITRO, WV (WOWK) – Commuters who use the Nitro-Saint Albans Bridge on I-64 are excited, yet nervous about a major construction project that’s about to kick into high gear.
Tomorrow, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and the Department of Transportation will break ground to officially start the project. The plans call for a new bridge over the Kanawha River and widening the interstate to three lanes in each direction.
Those who use this bridge to commute daily say it can be a nightmare. They say they’re excited about plans for construction but are nervous about even more traffic backups.
It’s one of busiest bridges on Interstate 64 and some commuters say it’s also the most dangerous. “When you’re going over to saint albans, you have to switch lanes to turn left, and that side always gets backed up to the top.” said, Amanda Keeny, a St. Albans resident.
Teays Valley resident, Anne McClure says, “The traffic when it’s coming West.. That one lane it stops and people don’t realize that there’s another lane merging and people don’t know that and that’s why they’re getting in so many accidents.”
The 224 million dollar project was approved in 2019 and some say the traffic and problems with the bridge are nothing new. Cross Lanes resident, Jim Cyrus says, “There’s always problems with it. Even a couple years ago when they had the separation in the bridge, the steel was coming out of it and everything. So there’s always something going on with it and accidents go on without even mentions of those.”
The new bridge will still be called the Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge. Drivers say although the project may create a traffic headache, ot will be worth it down the road. “It will definetly cause some trouble for people who are always going over it. But I think once it’s all said and done it will be very nice.. It’ll be easier and safer for people.” added Keeny.
DOT officials estimate the improvements will provide another 100 years of service life to travelers.
The entire project is scheduled to be finished by october 2023.