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Demolition Continues on I-70 Bridges Project

T-L Photos/KIM NORTH WORKERS WITH Swank Construction of New Kensington, Pa., remove old beams from I-70 over top of South Lincoln Avenue as part of the I-70 Bridges Projects in Ohio County. A worker uses a torch to cut the old beam. The old beam is removed with a heavy crane. South Lincoln Avenue was closed Tuesday.

BRIDGEPORT — Traffic on Ohio 7 South near the village of Bridgeport was delayed intermittently throughout the day Tuesday as demolition crews with Swank Construction removed large steel bridge beams from the eastbound side of Interstate 70 as part of the on-going $215 million I-70 Bridges Project.

Traffic came to a slow crawl at times throughout the day Tuesday on Ohio 7 South and backed up into the Martins Ferry city limits as a Bridgeport Police unit detoured traffic from Ohio 7 South off the Bridgeport off-ramp as Swank crews cut away and removed heavy steel beams above a section of Ohio 7, including a one-block closed-off section of South Lincoln Avenue in Bridgeport. The beam removal work above Ohio 7 began on Monday.

Demolition crews could be seen using torches to cut through large blue beams one at a time as a large crane was fastened to each while the work was completed. Subsequently, each beam was lowered onto wooden boards stretched across a section of Lincoln Avenue, where they were eventually loaded onto large flatbed semi tractor trailers and hauled away.

The demolition work caused heavy traffic at times Tuesday in the village of Bridgeport near the municipal building. According to West Virginia Division of Highways Area Engineer Mike Witherow the delays on both Ohio 7 and Lincoln Avenue for the current beam removal work was expected to conclude Tuesday. Demolition crews are expected to move slightly west of the South Lincoln Avenue location this week while continuing the beam removal process in that area.

It was early last month when Swank Construction shifted I-70 single lane traffic in both directions above the back channel bridges between Wheeling and Bridgeport over to the westbound side of the highway to move forward with work on the eastbound side of the interstate in that area.

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