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Two lanes of Glade Creek Bridge on I-64 closed for bridge inspection

CHARLESTON, WV – The outer two lanes on the Glade Creek Bridge on Interstate 64 near Beckley remain closed for a bridge inspection.

The bridge, also known as the Phil G. McDonald Memorial Bridge, crosses Glade Creek on I-64 between exits 129 and 133. The 2,179-foot bridge rises 700 feet above Glade Creek and is the highest bridge in the United States interstate highway system, and the sixth tallest bridge in the country.

On Monday, July 1, 2024, bridge inspectors discovered cracks in a bridge girder connection during a routine inspection, said West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) Director of Operations Steve Johnson, P.E. The slow lanes on eastbound and westbound I-64 will remain closed until the inspection is complete.

WVDOH engineers are developing a plan to repair the location identified in today’s routine inspection. The bridge has been on a standard, two-year inspection cycle.  The strength of the bridge safety inspection program is that all bridges are monitored routinely, allowing needs to be identified and repairs to be completed in a timely manner. The WVDOH will follow up with additional press releases as repairs are initiated and when repairs are complete.

The bridge is named after West Virginia native Phill G. McDonald, a United States Army soldier who was awarded the Medal of Honor for sacrificing his own life to save his platoon near Kon Tum, Vietnam, on June 7, 1967. The completion of the bridge was the final part of I-64 to be built in West Virginia with Governor Arch Moore opening the bridge at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on 15 July 1988.