It appears as if it could be some time before the Lee Avenue Bridge reopens to traffic, if it is ever able to be reopened at all.
Within the last few months, after receiving notification from the West Virginia Division of Highways, the City of Weirton decided to close the bridge, which crosses the railroad tracks going through portions of the mill and often has provided a shortcut for those wishing to avoid trains.
Recently, officials announced that despite a number of renovations and upgrades in recent years, it could take at least $1 million to make the needed adjustments this time around. Those adjustments could be anything from another repair job to constructing an entirely new span.
While we can appreciate the convenience of having the bridge available, we also would have to wonder if the desire to have the bridge outweighs the financial commitment it would take.
It may be time to consider the possibility of closing the bridge permanently.
It may also be an opportunity for the state to re-examine whether there is a need for a traffic control device at the intersection of Cove Road and East Street. Without the bridge available, we imagine there has been an increase in the number of vehicles making their way through the intersection, which could increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents.
We urge those involved to consider all options carefully when making a decision on the bridge's future.