Wednesday, December 28, 2022

I-64+I-77 1954+1983 Chuck Yeager Bridge over Kanawha River in Charleston, WV

Both: (Historic Bridges; B&T3D Satellite)
1983 NB: (Bridge Hunter), WB for I-64 and the West Virginia Turnpike
1954 SB: (Bridge Hunter) EB for I-64 and the West Virginia Turnpike, rehabilitated in 1986

I-64 crosses the Kanawha River four times in the Charleston area of West Virginia. Going upstream:

I chose the SB+EB side to get a better view of the older bridge.
Street View, Aug 2022

Boston Public Library Flickr, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
File name: 06_10_022416
Title: The Yeager Bridge on the West Virginia Turnpike
Created/Published: Pub. by The A. W. Smith News Agency, Charleston, W. Va. Tichnor Quality Views, Reg. U. S. Pat. Off. Made Only by Tichnor Bros., Inc., Boston, Mass.
Date issued: 1930 - 1945 (approximate)
Physical description: 1 print (postcard) : linen texture, color ; 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.
Genre: Postcards
Subject: Bridges
Notes: Title from item.
Collection: The Tichnor Brothers Collection
Location: Boston Public Library, Print Department
Rights: No known restrictions
[The BridgeHunter-SB link is broken, but I was able to find a valid link.]

1 of 4 photos posted by Bridges & Tunnels
The Charles “Chuck” Yeager Bridges, two unique steel through arches, carry the West Virginia Turnpike and Interstates 64 and 77 over the Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginia. The first bridge was completed by the American Bridge Company in 1954 and named after Yeager, a brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force and the first aviator to fly faster than sound.
Studies were undertaken to upgrade the Turnpike in the early 1970s, and work to upgrade the highway to four lanes had commenced because of escalating traffic counts and congestion, and because of a high number of accidents. The update was also needed because of the proposal to route Interstate 77 over the Turnpike. In May 1971, the West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) approved plans for the construction of a parallel Yeager Bridge, which was completed in 1983.
Long a drab green color that was fading and wearing thin, work began in the summer of 2021 to repaint the Yeager Bridges in a distinctive blue and gold paint scheme, the state’s official colors.
➤ Check out more photos and a history of the Charles “Chuck” Yeager Bridges at

"On February 9, 1961, an employee of the Amherst Barge Company noticed a broken bridge beam on the north end of the Yeager Bridge. Turnpike traffic was regulated to alternating one-way traffic as a precautionary measure. On February 21, the American Bridge Company cut away a four-foot section of the defective 60-foot beam so that it could be sent to the U.S. Steel laboratories for extensive examinations with X-Rays and other methods to determine whether the metal was defective just at the break or whether the whole beam needed replacing. A 500-ton hydraulic jack was installed to hold up the cut beams. A steel splice to correct the break, which was caused by a defective steel casting, was installed in late March." [B&T]

Photo by Royce and Bobette Haley in Jun 2016 via BridgeHunter-SB, 

A contract has been let for $16.267,273.80 to paint the bridge by Jun 2023. According to B&T, blue and gold are the state's official colors.

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