Streamlining appears to be working

News AASHTO Journal July 29, 2004
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Federal and state officials toured an Appalachia bridge project, saying completion of the project is vital toward speeding trav

Federal and state officials toured an Appalachia bridge project, saying completion of the project is vital toward speeding travel through the region and is example of partnerships that streamline construction times and costs.


FHWA Administrator Mary Peters and Appalachian Region Commission Co-Chair Anne Pope toured the Blennerhassett Island Bridge in the Ohio River near Parkersburg, W.V., noting that it will soon provide a four-lane link for U.S. Rte. 50.


"Building the Blennerhassett Island Bridge as quickly as possible is key to rolling more prosperity and opportunity into West Virginia and the region," said Peters. "The Blennerhassett Island Bridge is the final link in a vital highway connecting people throughout Appalachia to their jobs and families."


Early plans called for a suspension bridge spanning Blennerhassett Island at an estimated cost of more than $140 million. But with the FHWA, ARC and West Virginia Department of Transportation working closely together, a less complicated design cut costs by $50 million and shaved a year off the construction time.


The Blennerhassett Island Bridge will complete the last remaining section in the 300-mile Corridor D of the Appalachian Development Highway System. The four-lane divided highway will stretch from Cincinnati to Bridgeport, W.V.


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