WATCH: Portion of Fairmont bridge implodes as part of I-79 widening project

Courtesy: WVDOT
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 4:46 PM EDT

FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - It was a major milestone for the I-79 widening project in Marion County on Wednesday when a bridge spanning the Tygart River near the White Hall exit imploded.

The southbound portion of the South Fairmont West Virginia Arch Bridges in Marion County was demolished as part of the massive I-79 widening project from Harrison County to the Pennsylvania state line.

The bridges span the Tygart River near the White Hall exit. The southbound bridge was built in 1960, and northbound bridge was built in 1966.

The section of interstate in Marion County from the South Fairmont to the Pleasant Valley exits, where the South Fairmont West Virginia Arch Bridges sit, is being widened to three lanes in each direction at a cost of $72.5 million by Pennsylvania-based Swank Construction.

County Route 60, Vinegar Hill Road, was closed until 4 p.m. Wednesday for work crews to remove the existing bridge.

The explosives charges were not detonated until the area was clear of all traffic and personnel.

I-79 Fairmont bridge implosion
I-79 Fairmont bridge implosion

A subcontractor in charge of the blast went door to door to notify residents of the implosion, and the contractor for the project had two boats on the river to stop boat traffic.

The video above shows the bridge’s implosion.