Lower weight limit imposed on local bridge

October 10, 2018

CHARLESTON — A new weight restriction is being imposed immediately for the bridge that connects Huntington to Proctorville, Ohio, the West Virginia Department of Transportation announced Monday.

According to a DOT news release, during a recent routine inspection, the West Virginia Division of Highways found irregularities in the structural elements and possible advanced deterioration of some of the cables of the Frank “Gunner” Gatski Memorial Bridge (East Huntington Bridge), prompting the restriction to ensure motorists’ safety.

The span, also referred to as the East End Bridge or 31st Street Bridge, most recently was inspected by the Division of Highways in mid-June, according to Herald-Dispatch archives. The $38 million, 3,787-foot-long, single-tower cable-stayed bridge opened in August 1985.

“Due to the complexity and importance of the bridge, and out of an abundance of caution to the traveling public, I have instructed the WVDOT to reduce the weight limit and conduct further inspections and investigate the entire situation,” said Gov. Jim Justice in the release.

The weight limit has been reduced to 20 tons gross load and will remain in effect until the additional inspection of the structure is completed, according to DOT.

A truck detour with advance signage is being installed to help commercial traffic navigate around the bridge.

“While we understand that this could be an inconvenience, the safety to our citizens is the ultimate priority,” Justice said.

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