Guyandotte bridge to close for floodwall exercise
HUNTINGTON — The 3rd Avenue entrance and exit into Guyandotte will be closed for several days starting Wednesday as members of the Huntington Stormwater Utility close the floodwall gates on either end of the 3rd Avenue Bridge crossing the Guyandotte River.
Beginning at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, 3rd Avenue (W.Va. 2) between 31st Street in Huntington and Main Street in Guyandotte will be closed to vehicular traffic as members of the Huntington Stormwater Utility erect the floodwall gates on either end of the 3rd Avenue Bridge as part of a training exercise required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA every three years.
As part of the exercise, employees not only install the floodwall gate wall but they also take an inventory of the parts to make sure they are all working properly, and make repairs as necessary.
Brian Bracey, executive director for the Huntington Water Quality Board, which is the umbrella agency for the Huntington Sanitary Board, Huntington Stormwater Utility and Huntington Floodwall Division, said the closure could extend into the weekend as the floodwall gate on the Guyandotte side is in need of several repairs.
He added that the floodwall on the Huntington side of 3rd Avenue has never been erected since it was built in 1941 so it is unknown what type of repairs it will need.
While the exercise and repairs are taking place, drivers will not be able to enter or exit
Huntington or Guyandotte at this location, meaning that there will be no direct access from Guyandotte into Huntington during this time.
Drivers on W.Va. 2 desiring to travel to Huntington may use W.Va. 193 to Interstate 64 westbound and then enter the city by one of the I-64 Huntington exits.
Residents who live in and around Guyandotte seeking to travel to Huntington should take Riverside Drive through Altizer and turn right on Washington Boulevard followed by a right on U.S. 60.
Motorists traveling north down 31st Street will be able to turn left onto 3rd Avenue.
Truck drivers are especially advised to avoid this area. All drivers are advised to expect delays and to use alternate routes during this time.
While repairs are being made to the floodwall, Bracey said police officers will be placed at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 31st Street to stop traffic in the event that there is an emergency in Guyandotte and an ambulance has to go the wrong way down 5th Avenue.
Bracey said the exercises are part of the Stormwater Utility’s amplified effort to exercise 14 floodwall gates before the end of the year.
The floodwall gates on either side of the 5th Avenue Bridge into Guyandotte were exercised two weeks ago, meaning the Stormwater Utility still has 12 more to go, including the ones on 3rd Avenue.
Bracey said the recent high-water events in Cabell County and in the state have further spurred their effort to inspect the mechanisms meant to protect the people of Huntington in the event of a flood.
The next floodwall gate scheduled for closure is also located in Guyandotte on the East End of W.Va. 2 just before 40th Street. Bracey said this exercise will take place Aug. 15.
The floodwall gate near Camden Park on Waverly Road is scheduled for a closure Aug. 29.