Traffic weathers bridge efforts

PARKERSBURG – While the closing of Memorial Bridge made for a longer commute for some motorists Monday morning, officials said it had little impact on area drivers overall.

Parkersburg police Chief Joe Martin said while traffic was a bit heavier on some downtown streets Monday morning, there were no issues.

“Everything is smooth sailing,” he said. “We’ve seen no obvious problems. Everything has been moving just fine.”

Martin said there was no increase in accidents, such as fender-benders, or citations Monday. In some areas traffic would back up at times, but only for a few minutes.

Martin said some city construction, such as work on sidewalks along Juliana Street, likely has contributed to slower traffic or traffic backing up.

“I don’t know if it’s all the bridge or a combination of the bridge and construction” when traffic would back up, he said, but those times never lasted long.

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

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.