After being closed on Dec. 11, the Jennings Randolph Bridge that connects Chester, West Virginia, and East Liverpool, Ohio is being prepped to reopen by the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT).
Contractors Modjeski & Masters are designing plans for permanent repairs to the structure.
A federally mandated inspection discovered cracking in two welds on the steel bridge structure, leading to the closure. WVDOH decided to close the bridge to come up with a repair plan.
The two cracks were fixed using dogbone repairs performed by WVDOH bridge repair crews from Central Forces. A dogbone repair requires two holes to be drilled parallel to one another below and above the crack, then the holes are connected with a horizontal cut through the steel. The horizontal cut stops the crack from getting any bigger.
Modjeski & Masters conducted additional inspections on the bridge to look for additional defects.
Crews from Central Forces cut access holes into the steel bridge beams to allow contractors inside to inspect the welds from the inside out. WVDOH bridge engineers have been in constant communication with inspectors and contractors to determine the the best and fastest way to repair the bridge and reopen it to traffic.
Modjeski & Masters completed their final inspection, completing the specialized testing, on Friday, December 22, 2023.
Modjeski & Masters identified 18 additional internal defects on welds on the bridge. Seven of those will be arrested with dogbone repairs, while the other 11 will be repaired by drilling out the bad portions of the welds.
The WVDOH has called in contractors Triton Construction Inc. to complete repairs on the bridge. Triton is currently gathering materials and equipment to start the job.
Once those permanent repairs are made the bridge will reopen to traffic.