LOGAN — The boulevard bridge project in Logan came one step closer to completion on Thursday, June 18, after two new lanes of the bridge finally opened to the public.
Since January 2019, construction crews have been in the process of building a new bridge on the boulevard coming into downtown Logan. The original Reverend Glenn White Jr. Bridge — or the “Hospital Bridge,” as it’s commonly known by local residents — was erected in the 1950s and has been marred by deteriorating road conditions and other issues for a number of years.
Both lanes of the new bridge, which is slightly upstream from the old one, are now open to traffic. The next phase of the project will be demolition of the old structure.
Mayor Serafino Nolletti said the demolition phase is projected to last around two to three months, and the entire project as a whole should be completed by September, making the project more than a year-and-a-half-long endeavor. Once it is finally complete, the city plans to hold a grand-opening ceremony, which members of the West Virginia Municipal League, Gov. Jim Justice, and other officials might attend.
Nolletti described the project as one that is “long overdue” and will ultimately be safer for vehicle traffic. He also noted that the city has benefited from the extra business and occupancy (B&O) tax revenue raked in during construction.
“It’s just good to see it finally happen and be complete,” Nolletti said. “It’s a beautiful structure already, you know, as you can see. It’s very needed. People feel safer now. Traffic should move smoother through there when everything is finally done and opened back up, too.”
Nolletti said the duration of the project has been smooth overall, despite some challenges that were faced — including the collapse of the Sayer building nearby in April 2019 and the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bridge is a state project through the West Virginia Division of Highways. The original cost was estimated to be over $10 million. Final cost figures are not yet available.