NITRO, W.Va. — West Virginia Division of Highways officials are still projecting construction on a main I-64 bridge through the Nitro-St. Albans area to be complete by late this fall.

WVDOH Chief Engineer Joe Pack said on 580 Live last week that they recently were able to open up two lanes of traffic on the eastbound Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge near Nitro– a major milestone for the ongoing construction in that area.

He said it’s also resolving one of the largest major traffic issues that the Roads to Prosperity has addressed.

Joe Pack

“A lot of blood, sweat, and tears have been poured into these projects, especially this one, it is going to improve a major congestion area that exists right here in the Charleston to Huntington area,” said Pack.

He said this project is even further along than another major Roads to Prosperity project, Jefferson Road in South Charleston.

Once complete, Pack said motorists merging onto the Legg Memorial Bridge heading eastbound from St. Albans will enjoy an extended entrance ramp. During construction drivers have had to come a stop before merging into traffic.

He said it will make that whole area going east so much easier to navigate.

“That issue that we’ve all dealt with for the last couple of years will be removed and it will be a merge on and off to allow the traffic to be able to move smoother and also just improve the overall safety of the area driving in on that route,” he said.

Pack said the project has consisted of much more than the construction of the two large bridges, but also included re-construction on a couple more smaller bridges along Route 25, upgrades to an interchange, repaving and rehabilitating the roadways through the area, among other work.

He said it has been a lot more involved than what people may have even realized.

“There were so many other issues with this besides just a bridge construction or a bridge rehab, there were so many other steps involved that at times it felt like we would be driving in that traffic control forever,” he said.

Pack said Governor Jim Justice’s Roads to Prosperity program has allowed WVDOH road crews to address issues that have proven to be problematic for years, and this particular one helps get rid of one of the last main bottlenecks on I-64.

He said it will have a significant impact on the daily driver in that area.

“Coming in in the morning or leaving in the afternoon is usually when we see some of the biggest congestions in that area, we expect that to be a much less congested area, a much smoother transition for the public, and it will actually make their lives a little bit easier coming and going from work,” Pack said.

Pack said while they anticipate work on the bridge to be complete by late fall, the Nitro exit ramp east of Cross Lanes and the overall road-widening project from Nitro to Teays Valley isn’t projected to be finished until 2025.

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