I-64 bridge in West Virginia closed for emergency repairs

February 6, 2020 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A major interstate highway bridge in West Virginia was closed Thursday for emergency repairs, officials said.

Eastbound traffic at the Interstate 64 bridge over the Kanawha River near Nitro was rerouted as crews assessed the damage to a failed expansion joint and made plans for repairs, the Department of Transportation said in a news release.

Eastbound traffic at the 44 mile marker was being funneled to U.S. 60 in St. Albans. Officials also warned motorists traveling westbound over the bridge to be alert for traffic slowdowns.

The statement said the eastbound side of the bridge would be closed until at least Friday morning, though officials later said repairs could last longer due to wet weather in the region.

“There’s a lot of unknowns when we start tearing into this,” state highways division engineer Tracy Brown said a news conference Thursday evening.

Brown said the bridge was last inspected in the summer of 2018.

Officials didn’t indicate what exactly caused the expansion joint to fail.