While one construction project on Interstate 64 is wrapping up ahead of schedule, another is just beginning to take shape.
At a news conference Friday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that work on the Danner Road Overpass bridge, in Charleston, is complete after only 36 days.
The project, which involved replacing the bridge decks in both eastbound and westbound lanes, was expected to take 60 days to finish. But crews with Brayman Construction, of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, reached the finish line more than three weeks early.
Justice said the bridge will reopen to normal traffic Saturday, as will the on-ramps at Virginia Street and Oakwood Road.
“We really thought that our original 60-day schedule was being very aggressive,” Justice said. “But our great [Division of Highways] crews and the contractor absolutely knocked this one out of the park.”
Justice also announced Friday that the last of 10 major highways construction projects to be funded by the first round of Roads to Prosperity bond sales is under contract, a 3.8-mile lane expansion of I-64, starting at the Nitro/St. Albans bridge and going west into Putnam County.
The $225 million project, where preliminary work is expected to begin in the spring, will include the construction of a new bridge and renovation of the existing span. Completion is slated for October 2023.
Justice said that, when trying to recruit new business investment to the state, good roads are second only to good schools on companies’ priority lists.
He said the I-64 project will be another sign to businesses that West Virginia has turned a corner economically.
“We want people to think we’re the diamond in the rough that they missed, and not the backward, ignorant, slow, 50th state that we were forever and a day,” he said.
The project had to be rebid in August, after initial bids came in over budget. Brayman Construction and Trumbell Construction, of Pittsburgh, are joint contractors for the project.