Memorial Bridge to close two weeks for joint work

PARKERSBURG – Memorial Bridge will close for two weeks beginning May 20 to allow workers to make repairs on the structure.

The bridge is scheduled to reopen June 3. Officials say motorists should find alternative routes during the shutdown as the bridge will be inaccessible to traffic.

Mayor Bob Newell said work was done on the bridge for a period of two weeks last summer and “everything went smoothly” then. He said the replacing of the joints is necessary for people driving over the bridge to have a smoother ride. A section of deck on the bridge has to be completely cut out and that’s why it is necessary for work to be done and the bridge to be closed, Newell said.

Repairs will include complete replacement of the west abutment expansion joint and replacement of the west approach slabs and curbs. The project will cost about $120,000.

A painting contract will go to bid later in the summer with minimal disruption to traffic.

Parkersburg police Chief Joe Martin said the closure will not affect roads near the bridge, only the roads directly leading to the bridge and the bridge itself. Martin said traffic between Parkersburg and Belpre will have to go across the Belpre Bridge during that time.

“People should give themselves a bit more time for travel,” he said. “Traffic will be a bit more congested in the downtown area, and we will be monitoring traffic more closely during the high-traffic times.”

Martin said motorists also will have to travel a bit more slowly, as the speed limit for downtown roads is 25 mph.