WELLSBURG, W.Va. (WTRF) – While construction on the bridge lasted for only a few years, leaders in Wellsburg and Brilliant will tell you this way to connect the two cities and states across the river has been in the works for decades.
Putting plans on paper and gathering bids for the project officially began around 2013 and lead to the official groundbreaking and kick off construction of the 830 foot bridge in July of 2018.
It brings hope and promise that we are on the move in West Virginia. Our border states, we all need to be working together and pulling the rope together, because there could be so many things. The natural gas business is rocking. The tourism businesses is going. There’s so many things that working together just makes us stronger.Governor Jim Justice (R) West Virginia
A few months later, work officially began and the Ohio Valley anxiously watched the progress ever since.
Now that we have our construction plans in place, we’re actually out doing something.Joe Juszczak, WVDOT District 6 Construction Engineer (2019)
From unseen structures under the Ohio River waters, to piers and temporary trestles above ground and small pieces put in place for the larger structure; the actual archways of the bridge finally started to take shape off site about a year ago.
Officials explained it was more efficient to build at a separate location, than to erect temporary towers and use cranes in the waterway.
A lot of unique things happen on this project that we don’t normally experience with our normal road and bridge projects here at highways.Mike Witherow, WVDOT District 6 Construction Engineer
The anticipation led to now, April of 2021, for the bridge to float down the river.
Although it may seem like it’s a major step in the progress, there’s still plenty more to go.
We still have to finish the construction of the West Virginia Route 2 wall. We have to finish construction of the bridge over Ohio Route 7 as well as the embankment between Ohio Route 7 and 3rd Street in Brilliant. There’s a good bit of work there to make a full connection.Mike Witherow, WVDOT District 6 Construction Engineer
Officials said drivers probably won’t be allowed to cross the bridge and shorten the 17 mile span between Wellsburg and Brilliant until the Fall of 2022.