UPDATE: I-79 Work Completed in Lewis County - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

UPDATE: I-79 Work Completed in Lewis County

Posted: Updated:


Interstate 79 in Lewis County is back to normal after construction work caused delays along eight miles of the road.

Crews from the Division of Highways were replacing the surfaces of eight bridges.

DOH Supervisor Keith Loar said the repairs should last the county a long time before they need to be redone.

"I want to say it was somewhere around '92 or '93 the last time these bridges were overlaid, so we're getting around twenty years," Loar said.

Loar said only the surface was due for repair. The main structure of the bridges are still sound.

Original Story

Drivers passing through the Jane Lew and Weston areas have had to deal with one-lane roads and delays on Interstate 79 from time to time all summer, but the end is near, and doing all at once may actually have been cheaper, too.

It's been a pain for many drivers in Lewis County, with seven miles of interstate in a 10 mile stretch reduced to one lane while crews repair eight bridges in that span. The original plan was to do half at one time, but doing them all is actually saving money in the long run.

"The original plan was to do two sets and then do the other two sets, but it was more economical for the contractor to do all of them at the same time," said Division of Highways supervisor Keith Loar.

Crews are going up and down I-79 replacing the driving surface on each bridge. Workers are out in the early morning replacing the concrete on the bridges since it's sensitive to the high temperatures. Work like this has been done once before, but Loar said the bridges are due for another update.

"These decks have actually been overlaid once before, I think it was back in the '90s. That overlay is now deteriorating as well as part of the deck. The substructure and the actual superstructure, the girders underneath are still in good shape," Loar said.

One drawback to the repairs is a slowdown for traffic. Loar said drivers should pay close attention to the road and drivers around them, and continue through the construction areas to keep traffic flowing and keep workers safe.

"The speed is reduced to 55 miles per hour. That's for the safety of the traveling public and for the safety of our workers. Our workers are out there from early in the morning, between three and four o'clock in the morning and are usually there until maybe seven o'clock at night," Loar said.

There is so good news, too. If you're looking forward to having the interstate back to normal, you won't have too long to wait. Loar said the project is on track to finish on time at the end of August.

Powered by Frankly