Preparations in progress for painting | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo by Scott McCloskey A North Star Painting worker from Youngstown, Ohio, is pictured installing part of the containment system on the Fort Henry Bridge in Wheeling this week as preparations are underway to paint the superstructure in the weeks to come.

WHEELING – The Fort Henry Bridge will lose its two-tone appearance.

North Star Painting Company of Youngstown, Ohio, assembled cables and brackets as part of the enormous “Containment system” on the arch of the bridges. Crews are expected to begin sandblasting and painting the south side of the superstructure once the containment system is completely in place, according to West Virginia Highway Division engineer Mike Witherow.

The work is all part of the I-70 bridge project underway in Ohio County.

After the eastbound lane of I-70 was moved to the west side of the bridge last week, Withrow said crews at North Star were able to begin putting in the brackets and cables that hold the system to. containment in place throughout the sandblasting and painting process. While the west (north) side of the bridge arch was painted a bright royal blue tint last summer, the east (south) side has remained a faded green color.

“We’ve just placed both directions (of I-70) on the west side of the structure across the farm, and we’re now at this point that they can move forward with the containment and start the painting process.” Witherow explained. “So once they have their containment in place and everything is sealed, they will immediately get to work and start cleaning the steel.”

While waiting for the weather conditions, Witherow expects the actual painting to begin over the next few weeks and last for a month or two.

“It’s all time contingent, you must have good conditions for this type of work. “ he said.

The closure of the I-70 East exit ramp from the Fort Henry Bridge to Main Street in downtown Wheeling has been postponed this summer. Witherow said the closure of the Main Street exit ramp is expected to occur sometime after the Labor Day holiday, but is dependent on the completion of other construction activities.

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