Funding from the $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity program will replace a low water crossing at Seneca Rocks with a 140-foot steel truss bridge.
“This low water crossing provides the only emergency access into Seneca Rocks for vehicles, and has been closed since it was damaged by a log truck in 2019,” said Tracy Brown, P.E., state bridge. “Because of the nature of the project, it would be very difficult to find funding for the new bridge without the Roads to Prosperity program.”
The low water crossing carries 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 will be raised far enough above the water to eliminate problems with flooding. The new bridge and abutments will include stamped and stained concrete and painted steel to blend in with the environment.
The project is expected to cost about $1.7 million and is scheduled to go to bid in March.