It’s been a year since the largest bridge ever floated into place in Noth America was hoisted onto its piers above the Ohio River in Wellsburg. The 830-foot main span of the Wellsburg Bridge was floated down the river on barges and lifted into place by massive jacks on Monday, April 26, 2021.
“The bridge float was the biggest news story around at the time, but there has been a great deal of work since then,” said West Virginia Division of Highways District 6 Engineer Tony Clark, P.E.
When finished, the bridge will connect the community of Wellsburg, West Virginia, with Brilliant, Ohio. The bridge will drastically reduce travel time between the two communities, provide a new river crossing for commerce, and provide another way across the river if work needs to be done on neighboring spans.
It took more than 13 hours to float the bridge into place in 2021. At the time it was the largest bridge floating project ever attempted in North America. Now work is progressing to tie the main span in with WV 2 on the West Virginia side of the bridge, and with Third Street in Brilliant on the Ohio side.
On the West Virginia side, work is complete building a nearly mile-long retaining wall necessary to add a third lane to WV 2. The third lane will allow access to the bridge.
Steelwork has also been finished and most of the concrete poured to connect the main span of the bridge with WV 2.
On the Ohio side, part of the bridge connecting the main span with the Ohio shoreline is complete. A section of the bridge passing over OH 7 must still be built to connect the Ohio side of the structure with Third Street in Brilliant.
Work is projected to be complete late this year.
“We’re looking forward to seeing it open,” Clark said.