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South Fairmont Arch Bridge demolished for I-79 widening

FAIRMONT — Contractors for the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) used explosives to demolish the northbound span of the South Fairmont West Virginia Arch Bridge on Interstate 79 on Friday.

The demolition is a part of an enormous venture to widen I-79 to 6 lanes from Harrison County virtually to the Pennsylvania state line.

Pennsylvania-based Swank Development was awarded a contract for $72.5 million for the widening venture, which included building of a brand new six-lane bridge rather than the 2 South Fairmont West Virginia Arch Bridges that carry I-79 over the Tygart River close to the White Corridor exit. The southbound span of the previous bridge was demolished in March 2023.

Contractors arrange a rolling roadblock to set off explosives on the opposite span at about 10 a.m. Solely licensed personnel have been allowed inside the explosives loading and dealing with space. Public viewing was not allowed as a result of security issues.

Marion County Route 60, Vinegar Hill Street, was closed all through the week in preparation for demolition of the bridge.

The brand new I-79 bridge over the Tygart river is about half full. Contractors first constructed one quarter of the brand new southbound bridge earlier than demolishing the previous southbound span, then constructed the second quarter.

Now that the previous northbound bridge has been demolished, the northbound half of the brand new bridge could be constructed.

The widening venture is predicted to be full by the summer time of 2025.