WHEELING, W. Va. (WTRF)
On Friday, you can drive eastbound out of the Wheeling Tunnel and keep on going.
Eastbound I-70 will reopen to traffic around noon, according to DOH officials.
“Last year’s project went very well,” noted Tony Clark, West Virginia DOH District Engineer. “This year’s went even better. And this part was the most nerve-wracking because of the restricted access to Wheeling Hospital.”
But it went smoothly and finished a month earlier than projected.
Now for the not-so-good news.
On Monday, eastbound drivers coming across the Ft. Henry Bridge will not be able to exit onto Main Street.
That exit ramp will be closed for repairs.
“They have a 120-day window to get that work done,” Clark said. “It’s the same type work that’s been going on throughout the project—some rehabilitation of that bridge. It doesn’t have to be completely demolished like the Fulton Bridge. But there’s some work on the deck, work on the existing steel beams and work on the substructure beneath that.”
To access Main Street, drivers will take the Wheeling Tunnel then proceed to 16th Street, then to Market Street and then to Main, which is in the midst of a project that makes it hard to navigate now.
But focusing back on the I-70 eastbound reopening, Tony Clark urges drivers not to get too used to using it yet.
“This corridor we’ve been working on—basically from the Ohio line to Elm Grove and beyond—there’s still going to be some lane restrictions, some shifts happening as work gets done and things get shifted around so pay attention when you’re driving through.”
And for any through traffic not headed for a destination in Wheeling, he urges them to take I-470.