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No time to waste on I-70 project in Wheeling

WHEELING — Swank Construction crews have wasted no time starting the demolition of the eastbound side of the Fulton Bridge spans over the past week.

Yet there are some areas of the Interstate 70 Bridges project that will require warmer weather to complete.

“They have to get all the substructure concrete off of there and then they’ll get the steel beams out and then they’ll start working on the substructure concrete,” said Tony Clark, West Virginia Division of Highways District 6 Engineer.

Clark said Swank is not completely back to full force throughout the entire project following the recent holiday break.

He said crews should be back in full swing once weather permits.

While severe winter weather obviously can slow some areas of construction at times, Clark said Swank is taking advantage of the colder months to do most of the demolition work on the Fulton Bridge spans. Certain types of construction activities, such as pouring concrete or painting, require warmer weather.

“There are several bridges where the concrete deck has been removed and rebar (reinforcing bar) is in place and they’re just waiting for warmer weather to pour the concrete,” Clark explained. “So once that warmer weather hits around March or April there will be a lot of people in here doing a lot of work.”

Wheeling Police Department Public Information Officer Philip Stahl said now that work on the Bridges Project is underway again the police department continues to monitor and try to help mitigate areas where traffic backups may occur during peak drive times along the local detour — especially mid-afternoon, when traffic has backed up near at the intersection of National Road and Mount de Chantal Road near Perkins Restaurant.

“It’s more significant in the afternoon. It’s combined with when school lets out typically around the 3 o’clock mark till people get home around 5:30,” Stahl explained. “We’re trying to figure out a solution,” he added.

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