Bluefield, WV’s Grant St. Bridge potentially opening soon
The city hopes to hold a celebration to celebrate this opening.
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) -The reopening of the Grant Street Bridge in Bluefield, West Virginia has been long-awaited. However, Bluefield residents may not have to wait much longer.
The Grant Street Bridge was always used to provide easy access to the downtown area from the East End and North Side, historically African-American neighborhoods. However, the 312-ft. bridge was closed in 2019 after being deemed unsafe by the WV Department of Highways. After negotiating with Norfolk Southern, which technically owned the bridge, the city and members of that community worked to find funding to replace it. Through a deal announced in October 2020 by Gov. Jim Justice, more than $10 million was earmarked for replacement. Construction on the bridge first began in 2021, but now the City of Bluefield, West Virginia, is preparing to open the bridge once again to the public. They are working with Norfolk Southern with the final touches to the bridge, including installing a safety fence on each side at the walkways. However, they are still waiting on the delivery of the fences and approval from Norfolk Southern who own the tracks the bridge crosses. To celebrate the reopening, the City of Bluefield is preparing a “bridge day” of their own with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and possibly a visit from West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.
“I think the community is interested in a celebration of the bridge prior to it opening,” Mayor Ron Martin said.
After four years and millions of dollars set aside for the repair, the city leaders are looking forward to the day when access to Northside and East End will be restored.
“When we get (Norfolk Southern’s approval) locked down, there will be a big announcement for what the Mayor alluded to,” Marson said. “It will be a historical day in our city.”
“I’m very excited to see that. Not only as a former employee of the city, but just as... someone that lives in the area, and I know that people on the north side and east end are excited for that. It’s a beautiful structure, and I think it’s going to greatly enhance it. I think you’re actually going to see some growth over on that side... residential and business growth over on that side once that’s completed. So, yeah, very excited to see that accomplished,” said Kerry Stauffer, Civil Design Leader for E. L. Robinson Engineering.
There is not yet an official day for the grand opening, but Stauffer says the city may choose to install a temporary safety fence to make it sooner rather than later.
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