POINT PLEASANT — The biannual inspection of the Bartow Jones Bridge should wrap up by Friday, according to the West Virginia Division of Highways.
The required, routine safety inspection of bridges for defects is traced back to the Silver Bridge Disaster. As a precaution and matter of public safety, the Bartow Jones Bridge, along with many others in the state and across the country, are inspected on a regular basis.
Brent Walker with DOH said the Bartow Jones Bridge’s inspection began Monday and should wrap up in three to four days. He did not anticipate any major traffic delays during this process. Various lane closures of the structure facilitate inspection access though no delays are expected. Motorists are asked to reduce their speed through the work zone, and follow the direction of all traffic control devices.
According to statistics published semiannually by WVDOH Maintenance Division, nearly 3,000 bridges (45 percent) are 20 to 50 feet in length, with 1,513 (nearly 23 percent) from 51 to 100 feet long. Longer and longer structures are fewer and fewer in number, with those from 501 to 1000 feet in length totaling 147, those from 1,001 to 2000 feet totaling 74, those from 2,001 to 3000 feet only 17 and those whose length is greater than 3000 feet just four.
Only 50 of West Virginia’s bridges were built before 1900 and only 354 in the following two decades. The majority, nearly 3,990 (60 percent) were built between 1960 and 1999. Of nearly 50 types of bridges listed, the greatest number are steel stringer (2,411) and pre-cast concrete box beam (1,532), with only 82 constructed of timber.
The inspection schedule can change due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances.
Some information for this article found at www.transportation.wv.gov.