BECKLEY, W.Va. — West Virginia University football fans planning on catching the noon kickoff Saturday in Morgantown will need to allot extra travel time as U.S. 19 across the New River Gorge Bridge, which will be closed between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for the 35th Anniversary Bridge Day Celebration.
Those traveling on Interstate 79 or Interstate 77 and not planning on attending Bridge Day may want to stay on the interstate and pass through Charleston to get to Morgantown. Those who do take the interstate should expect heavier traffic than normal, said event chairwoman Cindy Dragan.
Those planning on traveling U.S. Route 19 on Saturday must detour through the Town of Ansted, she said.
Southbound traffic will exit onto U.S. Route 60, through Ansted, onto W.Va. 16, and back onto U.S. 19 below the bridge. Northbound traffic will detour on Route 16 just before the bridge and travel through Ansted and onto U.S. Route 60.
Since Bridge Day is the state’s largest festival, vehicle and pedestrian traffic near the bridge is expected to be much heavier than usual, she said.
An estimated 80,000 people are expected to come from around the world for Bridge Day and vendors from near and far will offer an unbelievable variety of food, local crafts, photos and more.
Dragan said Bridge Day is one of the nation’s largest one-day extreme sports events, and the world’s largest single gathering of BASE jumpers will join more than 250 rappelling experts to jump off the New River Gorge Bridge.
“This festival is all about living…