WEIRTON - Although thousands of dollars in renovations and upgrades have been put into it over the past several years, Weirton city officials announced it will take more than $1 million to either repair or rebuild the Lee Avenue Bridge.
Mayor George Kondik said state inspectors informed the city in April that the bridge would have to be closed down and remain closed until further notice. He said there was corrosion and other damage to the structure which factored into the West Virginia Department of Highways' decision.
Kondik said the city is waiting for the written report on what the anticipated costs to repair or replace the bridge will be. He said right now, costs are estimated to be between $1.2 million and $1.5 million.
CLOSED — The Lee Avenue bridge was closed in April and will remain closed until further notice as a result of safety concerns. City officials expect to get a report from a state engineer before making a decision of how to move forward with either a repair or rebuild of the bridge that has an estimated cost of $1.2 million to $1.5 million. -- Angelina Dickson
"We will not jeopardize anyone's safety and the bridge will remain closed off to traffic," said Kondik.
Kondik said the engineer's report is expected in approximately four weeks.
The WVDOH also is currently conducting a study to determine whether a traffic light should be installed at the intersection of Cove Road and East Street. Kondik said there have been increased traffic flows in the area since the close of the Lee Avenue Bridge and police officers have been stationed at the intersection around 5 p.m. to assist with directing traffic. He said there is twice as much traffic now as in years past.
Police Chief Bruce Marshall said his department has a plan in place to address increased traffic during football games as the city expects not to have the bridge open by then.
He said those exiting the games on Red Rider Road will be directed south on 11th Street and those exiting from the upper lot will be directed to Heights Street and then north to Pennsylvania Avenue.
"We'll have officers in place at each intersection to direct traffic," he said. "It's new. It'll be confusing for the first few games but after a while people will get used to where they need to go."
(Dickson can be contacted at email@example.com)