CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Contractors are lifting the final sections of steel into place for the new span of the Nitro-St. Albans Bridge on Interstate 64 Friday afternoon.

It’s been a long time coming: the bridge is part of a massive construction project to widen I-64 to six lanes from Nitro to the US 35 interchange. The project also includes building a new bridge next to the existing span. The project is part of Governor Jim Justice’s Roads to Prosperity Highway Construction and Maintenance Program. Leaders with the West Virginia Division of Highways say the final product will make a huge difference for people who travel this span of road.

“So if you’re used to South Charleston, Dunbar, You’ll be able to get on at Nitro. Go westbound and get off at St. Albans without ever merging traffic. You’ll have a dedicated lane and same thing St. Albans to Nitro,” says Jason Hamilton, a construction engineer with the DOH.

Hamilton says there is still a lot of work to do and safety is their number one priority. “There’s a lot going on. Please don’t be distracted. We want you guys to get to work. We want to get to work. We want you to get home, so we can get home. So slow down through the work zone, be conscious of what’s going on and please no distracted driving anywhere. But especially in a work zone.” 

Once completed, the existing bridge will be rebuilt using a portion of the existing piers to carry traffic east. Each bridge will be four lanes wide to allow drivers traveling between the Nitro and St. Albans exits to drive without having to merge into through traffic.