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Work on I-81 bridges begins

July 24, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Construction crews have started dismantling sections of the northbound and southbound Interstate 81 bridges over W.Va. 45 as part of the work to build two new six-lane spans, an official with the project said Wednesday.

Workers hope to have portions of the old bridges dismantled by Friday, and are closing W.Va. 45 under the bridges between midnight and 5 a.m. each day to do the work, said Claude Williams, spokesman for Greenhorn and O'Mara, a company doing consulting work on the Berkeley County project.

The portions of the bridges being demolished are in the center part of I-81, Williams said.

W.Va. 45 will be closed only during the demolition of the sections, he said.

There are no detours for the W.Va. 45 traffic, said Williams, adding that motorists must find other routes to travel.

Once the bridge sections are removed, construction crews will start building the two center lanes that make up the new bridges, Williams said.

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When the two new center lanes are completed, I-81 traffic will be diverted to those lanes and work will begin on building the rest of the new bridges, he said.

Traffic will not have to be detoured on I-81 at any time during the project, Williams said.

Traffic on W.Va. 45 under the bridges will be blocked between midnight and 5 a.m. in the fall when construction crews begin dismantling the outer sections of the old bridges, he said.

The project is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30, 2004, Williams said.

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