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I-64 bridge repairs mean Charleston traffic changes

Charleston Gazette photo by Chris Dorst The westbound Virginia Street on-ramp to Interstate 64 will be closed temporarily as part of an $18 million project to upgrade 19 bridges and ramps on I-64 in Charleston.
Charleston Gazette photo by Chris Dorst
The westbound Virginia Street on-ramp to Interstate 64 will be closed temporarily as part of an $18 million project to upgrade 19 bridges and ramps on I-64 in Charleston.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A project to upgrade bridges and ramps on Interstate 64 in Charleston will create major traffic changes for the next six or eight months, state highways officials said.

An $18 million project to replace bridge decking, put in new expansion joints and install a system to repel corrosion on 19 bridges and interstate ramps between the Fort Hill bridge and Brooks Street bridge on Interstate 64 could begin as early as next week and is scheduled to continue through October, state Division of Highways spokesman Brent Walker said Monday. Construction work will cause temporary lane changes and closures on ramps and lanes throughout construction.

But one section of road will see a new type of traffic pattern never before tried in West Virginia for the duration of the work, Walker said.

Beginning next week, a single continuous “contraflow” traffic lane, walled in on both sides by concrete barriers, will extend from several hundred feet west of the Oakwood Road interstate exit to just shy of the Interstate 77/79 split to allow contractors to replace decking on the elevated highway between Kanawha Boulevard and Washington Street.

Mike Koelbl, vice president of contractor Kokosing Construction Co., said the section of interstate is essentially one continuous box structure bridge suspended on concrete pillars. He said the best way to work on the decking was to replace the roadway along the entire length of the section of highway, two lanes at a time…

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