Video: 2-Million-Pound Bridge Span Lifted into Place in W.Va.

In December, spectators in West Virginia got to watch a 1.7-million-pound bridge span being lowered onto barges and floated away so a new one could be installed in its place.

On September 6, the West Virginia Department of Transportation released a video of the new 2-million-pound, 314-foot-long main span being lifted into place for the new bridge.

The new span will serve as a replacement to the Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge, which was dismantled last year, between Nitro and St. Albans.

Here’s a time-lapse of the main bridge being lowered onto barges in December:

The bridge project on I-64 is part of the state’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity program on its interstates. The new bridge is scheduled to open next spring where the old one stood and is part of a $224 million project to widen I-64 to six lanes from Nitro to the U.S. 35 exit.

Construction of the new Legg Memorial Bridge is estimated to cost $18 million. The contractor is a joint venture of Brayman Construction and Trumbull Corporation.

“It’s a crowning achievement for that steel to be set over there now,” says WVDOT Secretary Jimmy Wriston. “The end is in sight for that project.”

The new bridge will have a total length of 1,400 feet and uses the bottom portions of the old bridge’s piers.

The bridge was built in 1962. The new one, being built beside the Nitro WWI Memorial Bridge that opened last October, will carry four lanes of westbound I-64. The WWI Memorial Bridge will carry four lanes eastbound after the Legg Memorial bridge opens.

Both bridges include a lane allowing motorists to travel between Nitro and St. Albans exits without having to enter main interstate traffic. “Opening of the new bridge will relieve a major bottleneck on I-64,” the WVDOT says. “About 60,000 cars a day crossed the old span.”