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Dunbar Bridge Closing For Inspections

Reported: Mar. 25, 2014 1:08 AM EDT
Updated: Mar. 25, 2014 8:36 AM EDT
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DUNBAR, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) - The bridge connecting Dunbar to South Charleston will be shut down every night this week, from 10pm until 6am the following morning. The old toll bridge is in need of some major repairs and they’ll be inspecting it, which means folks need to find new ways to get around.

The bridge is closed to all car and truck traffic, but we were surprised by the number of walkers we found, going back and forth. Thankfully, we’re told, the bridge will not be closed for them.

The old Dunbar toll bridge is a main artery for thousands of drivers daily, with plenty of foot traffic too!

"How often do you walk that bridge?,” we asked James DeVaughn, who lives in Dunbar. “Monday through Friday, monthly," he said.

The United States Steel Badge bolted to the side of the bridge shows a 1953 date, so the 61-year-old structure is long-overdue for a serious once-over. It's what's below his feet, DeVaughn said, is a little unsettling.

"What do you see when you're walking across?,” we asked. “You look down, toward where on the road is, you can actually see the metal bars, see 'em through the concrete!," he said.

The bridge is being inspected during overnight hours all week, so look for alternate routes.

"If it was closed to walkers, that would really hurt you,” we said. “Oh yes,” said DeVaughn. “I would have to go down here to 16th Street, in Dunbar there and catch the next bus to St. Albans."

"What's your alternate route?,” we asked Trudy Johnson. “Well, I would probably have to take the freeway, going toward South Charleston,” said Johnson. “That's the only way I'd be able to get there."

She lives close to the Kroger there, but admits she does not drive much at night.

"It's alright with me,” she said about the bridge closing at night. “I don't know about those people who work midnights though!,” she said.

Or like Lisa Scarberry, who made three trips over the bridge, Monday alone!

"I came over to do a little grocery shopping, and pick-up a few things that I needed, because this is the closest route to the store," said Scarberry.

Her car is being fixed, so walking is her only option..

"If I take an alternate route, I would have to catch a bus all the way to Charleston, to the transit mall, then go all the way around, which would take about an hour and a half to do all that, when it takes me 15 minutes to walk this way," said Scarberry. "If you don't get back before ten, you could be in trouble,” we said. “Yes,” she laughed. “If I don't get back before ten, I guess I'm stranded here!"

Again, the Dunbar Bridge will be closed every night this week, from 10pm-6am, through Friday morning.



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