The West Virginia Department of Transportation, in the US state of Virginia, has awarded Swank Construction a contract to upgrade over two dozen bridges along the Wheeling corridor of Interstate 70 (I-70).

The announcement was made during a public event at Heritage Port Park in Wheeling by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.

Under the contract, which is valued at $214.65m, the company will carry out rehabilitation work on 25 bridges along the section of I-70.

Governor Justice said: “At the end of the day, there’s no way in the world I could be any happier; our state’s moving. I can’t say this enough times; we’re on it.”

The objective of the project is to improve safety on the bridges in the area while also providing access for pedestrians across them.

Swank Construction will further replace the Fulton Bridge in the east of the Wheeling Tunnel.

Justice added: “Our bridges got in this shape over decades of neglect, decades of being 50th. In all honesty, that’s the problem; when you don’t have any money, you can’t fix anything.”

Work on the project is scheduled to kick off later this year. Most of the first phase of work is set to take place underneath the structures.

The upgrade is not expected to cause traffic disruption. However, motorists are likely to experience multiple construction zones and possible lane changes in the area once works begin next year.

The Fulton Bridge, which is located just east of the Wheeling Tunnel, will also be replaced as part of the project.

Replacing the Fulton Bridge will, however, lead to the closure of the I-70 in that area, due to which travellers will be asked to use I-470 as the primary detour.

The entire I-70 Bridge project is expected to take at least three years to complete.