Engineer says “Bridge to nowhere” will be open by the fall

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:59 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - A road that will connect John Nash Boulevard to Airport Road in Mercer County is supposed to open later this year according to District 10 Engineer, Ryland Musick. The King Coal Highway which encompasses a bridge sometimes called the “Bridge to nowhere” will open up as early as late summer. The bridge’s actual name is the Christine West Bridge.

Construction on the roadway began in 2007 but stalled over the years. Funding for the $57.5 million project came from the federal government that had a time limit that wasn’t reached, leaving the roadway unfinished.

Musick says the roadway has had it’s complications over the years but it’s back on track now.

“There was a piece on the bridge they had cast and during the constriction process some rebar twisted. So they actually had to go back out and dig all that back out and start over,” said Musick.

Musick says the plans for extending the roadway farther are still being designed. When it comes to the Coalfields Expressway, Musick says they are in full action on the roadway in Welch. But he says the roadway won’t be open for at least a few more years.

The Coalfields Expressway project is intended to provide a multi-lane expressway, with partial control of access, connecting I-64/I-77 at Beckley and US 23 in Slate, Virginia. The roadway is expected to promote economic development opportunities for the region.

In W.Va., the Coalfields Expressway will be about 65 miles long and in VA, the length of the corridor will be about 50 miles. It will link to interstates in Kentucky and Tennessee.