A 140-foot bridge now takes the place of a low water crossing at Seneca Rocks that was washed out by flooding and damaged by truck traffic. The project is paid for with funding from Governor Jim Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity program.
“This low water crossing provided the only emergency access into Seneca Rocks for vehicles, and has been closed since it was damaged by a log truck in 2019,” said state bridge engineer Tracy Brown, P.E. “Because of the nature of the project, it would have been very difficult to find funding for the new bridge without Gov. Justice’s Roads to Prosperity program.”
Justice awarded a $1.5 million construction project to Wolf Creek Contracting in March 2022 to replace the low water crossing with a steel truss bridge. The bridge is now in place and contractors are set to complete the bridge approaches and deck.
The low water crossing carried Roy Gap Road over the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River at the base of Seneca Rocks, near the United States Forest Service Seneca Rocks Discovery Center.
A log truck damaged the pipes that carry water through the existing structure, causing water to run over the top. The West Virginia Division of Highways was forced to close the low water crossing in 2019, cutting off an access point for emergency vehicles into Seneca Rocks and homes in the area.
The new steel truss bridge is far enough above the water to eliminate problems with flooding. The new bridge and abutments include stamped and stained concrete and painted steel to blend in with the environment.
The project is expected to be complete by mid-summer.