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WVDOH passes major milestone on I-64 widening project

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) passed a major milestone today after one lane of traffic opened on the new Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge on Interstate 64.
The new bridge, one of two new spans over the Kanawha River between the Nitro and St. Albans exits of I-64, is part of an approximately $225 million project to widen I-64 to six lanes between Nitro and the US 35 exit. It is one of the largest construction projects undertaken under Gov. Jim Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity construction and maintenance program.
 
The project will greatly reduce congestion at a major bottleneck on one of the most heavily traveled sections of highway in the Mountain State. The original two-lane Donald Legg Bridge carried an average of 60,000 vehicles a day.
 
“It’s exciting to see projects like this near completion so that people can see how the governor’s and the WVDOH’s vision for what the state’s transportation network can be when we have the proper funding,” said Joe Pack, P.E., WVDOH Chief Engineer of Operations.
In November 2019, Gov. Justice announced a contract for more than $224 million to Brayman-Trumble, A Joint Venture, to build a new westbound bridge on I-64, tear down the old Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge and replace it with a new structure, and widen I-64 to six lanes between the Nitro and US 35 exits. The contract also included replacing I-64 bridges that cross Conrail railroad tracks, Rocky Step Road, McCloud Road and Bills Creek Road, plus revamping the St. Albans interchange and the ramps connecting the interchange to WV 817.​
 
The original Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge opened to traffic in 1962. It was named for Cpl. Donald Milton Legg, a steelworker who lost his life when he fell from the bridge during construction.
In October 2022, Gov. Justice announced the opening of the westbound World War I Memorial Bridge just north of the old Donald M. Legg Bridge. Eastbound and westbound traffic was shifted onto the new bridge to allow demolition of the old span.
 
The main span of the old Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge was gently lowered onto a barge in December 2022 as contractors began disassembling the old structure. The bridge had served the public for 60 years.
On Wednesday, September 6, 2023, Brayman-Trumble lifted the 314-foot main span of the new Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge into position, completing the bridge superstructure from one side of the Kanawha River to the other.
 
With the concrete bridge deck poured and paving underway, the new Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge is expected to open all lanes to traffic soon.
Widening work between the Nitro and US 35 exits is also nearly complete. Work that remains to be finished includes construction of a new I-64 bridge over WV 25, construction of approximately 6,000 feet of barrier wall between the Nitro and St. Albans exits, striping, and installation of interstate lighting and signage.
 
The entire project is expected to be complete this fall.