I-70 bridges project set for completion this October

A road work sign below the I-70 bridge.

I-70 construction, a $215 million Interstate 70 Bridges project, is scheduled to end in October 2021. Swank Construction met the set deadlines and has equipped local and interstate travelers with safe bridges. This reopening has been anticipated by many West Liberty University students, staff, faculty and citizens in the Wheeling area.

This construction of 26 bridges from the Ohio state line to Milepost 7 began in 2019. The construction was divided into three sections: the Ohio state line to the West side of the tunnel, the East side of the tunnel to Elm Grove and the I-470 interchange to Mile Post 7/Middle Creek Road. The final phase of construction will start on September 27 and end on September 30. Work will persist from 8-4 p.m. in the evening each day. The exit lane will be narrowed on I-70 West-bound to Route 2 South Exit 1B.

The main detour is Interstate 470 and the local Fulton to downtown detour is US-40 National Road. If you are coming from the West Virginia side to West Liberty, you can bypass I-70 completely by taking the truck route. In order to get to West Liberty on 40, you must pass the signs for I-70 and take a left turn followed by a right leading to Fulton street. You have four left-hand turns to make in this detour.

Interstate 70 eastbound reopening means traffic will no longer be a problem for Oglebay Park and their annual Oglebayfest and Winter Festival of Lights event. In addition, commuters will no longer have to factor traffic into their morning schedule.

Kailey Carpino, a commuter student at West Liberty, said, “I’m really glad that they’re finally finishing construction on I-70. The construction has been really inconvenient for me, especially since it takes me a lot longer to drive to class. Once the construction is completed, my commute to campus will also be safer. Right now I take a lot of back roads to avoid traffic, and they flood easily and don’t have streetlights. Once the construction is done, my commute to campus will be faster and safer.”

Ryan Wilson, a nursing major at West Liberty, explained that he can’t wait for the construction to end because it will make it much easier to travel to and from his clinicals in the nursing program.

For construction updates and more information, visit City of Wheeling, WV – I-70 Construction Information (wheelingwv.gov) or visit www.i70forward.com.