BREAKING NEWS - Corridor H Bridge COLLAPSE!!
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bawalker
October 19, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
I just got word from friends here in Hardy County that the McCauley Bridge has collapsed while under construction earlier today during the installation of girders across the river portion of the bridge.

I have no word yet on how much of the bridge has collapsed, what damage has been done, or if any injuries are reported. I am heading out to investigate and take pictures NOW.

Stay tuned, I will have more info ASAP!

Brad
bawalker
October 19, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
*** UPDATE ***

The good news is that the entire McCauley Bridges have not collapsed... yet. The unofficial word is that appearantly this afternoon crews were hoisting more girders into place over the river when a girder(s) came loose. I do not know if this meant the girders came loose from the crane or came loose from the piers/abutments above. From what I've been told the girders have not completely crashed to the ground, rather they putting enourmous stress on the piers causing crews to fear the piers/abutments could give at any time. SR 55/259 is closed indefinately at that stretch, only open to medical, fire, safety, rescue and police crews.

This is unofficial information since I can not get to the site due to the road closures and they are making sure people are keeping their distance. I will post more as more info becomes available.

You might be wondering... what does this mean to me? Obviously there is damage at that bridge and this could delay completion of the highway for a few months or years. God forbid the entire bridge collapses and that would set construction back another 2 years.

Brad
rmcva
October 20, 2004
Member since 01/28/2004
187 posts
Any idea if the road may be open by Friday afternoon?
bawalker
October 20, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
No word on when the road will be open. State police were parked at the Rt 55/259 junction in Wardensville stopping motorists coming in across North Mountain warning them that the road ahead is closed indefinately. Signs were posted at Rt 259/US Rt 50 in Virginia saying road closed to thru traffic and 18wheelers have been prohibited and notified of using alternate routes of Moorefield -> Old Fields -> August -> Rt 50.

If and most like the road won't be open by Friday, you will need to follow this detour of which traffic is being re-routed:

1.) Drive to Wardensville, go past the 7-11.
2.) Make a LEFT on Trout Run Road. Drive approximately 5 miles. You will go through some sharp turns, narrow passes, and very narrow roads. Max speed is around 35mph.
3.) After 5 miles you will reach Thorn Bottom Road/Mill Gap Road on your right. You can't miss this because there is a sign pointing to Trout Pond.
4.) Proceed on Thorn Bottom Road/Mill Gap Road for 10 miles until you reach SR 259 at Lost River.
5.) Make a RIGHT onto SR 259 and drive approximately 10 miles to Baker. From there you can get back on Corridor H to head to Moorefield.


It may be a pain, but this is the only detour available. Please use EXTREME CAUTION when driving that due to narrow roads, sharp turns, no guardrails, and pedestrians in some points. Also trying to drive faster than 35mph is futule due to the condition of the road, turns, and places of not seeing traffic come in the other direction.

Allow upwards of an extra 45 minutes when traveling to go this route if you have too.
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The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
October 20, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004
3,062 posts
Brad, You are one great DCSKI member. Thanks for the advice and warning. I did not realize that Corridor H was open from Wardensille. Where exactly did the collapse take place? Is it over rt. 55 or over Corridor H? Please advise, and again, Thank you!!!
The Colonel
bawalker
October 20, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
You are very welcome for the information, I feel it's my duty as a Hardy County resident (hopefully I can be an elected official in this county in 3 years) to keep you all informed.

To answer your question, CorridorH from Wardensville to Baker is NOT open. Rather the bridge accident happened at the McCauley Bridges which are still under construction while the highway remains closed. The OLD two-lane route 55/259 is also closed underneath the bridges due to appearant fears the bridges could collapse on cars driving under the construction site.

I plan to get up there when doing customer comptuer work tomorrow and take pictures. I'm waiting to hear back from WV-DOT regarding questions I had so I can write and article for everyone here on DCSki.com
rmcva
October 20, 2004
Member since 01/28/2004
187 posts
Thanks for the update and directions on the detour. It's really appreciated. I was thru there a couple weeks ago and took a few pics of the bridges - I'll try to post them next week sometime.
Norsk
October 20, 2004
Member since 05/13/2003
315 posts
Brad:
How late in the year would the crews normally work on Corr H construction? As it is getting cose to winter, is there some risk that this accident will terminate major construction until spring, setting back the project by a year or more?
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 21, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Brad:

Any idea when that stretch of 55 beyond Wardensville will reopen? 45 extra minutes will rule this route out for most travelers to Snowshoe and Timberline. People will either need to take 50 or go through MD and use 220. I was on 55 two weeks ago and noticed the new bridges going up. Everything looked good and I kind hoped that a new stretch of 4 lane would open before the season, but I guess my hopes have been dashed.
bawalker
October 21, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
I've been meaning to get out a Sept/Oct CorridorH update but have gotten behind on that. Anyway regardless of any construction accident at McCauley Corridor H will not be open for this winter. In fact the Moorefield Examiner was quoted as saying several weeks ago that due to standard construction delays the highway simply won't be open until August `05 at the earliest for the Wardensville->Baker section. In fact, engineers have not even designed the Wardensville interchange yet at the base of Sandy Ridge and are calling for public meetings and opinions over the next several months before building any bridges for that!

The August `05 deadline may be overly optimistic and early based on the fact that construction work has been halted at the Wardensville interchange, the Lost River Sinks Bridges are just now getting steel rebar in place. No concrete has been poured and now with possible bridge collapse at McCauley this could threaten to delay opening of that segment for at least 1-2 more years. God forbid the concrete piers crash down because that could even push back delays upwards of 3 years.

As for a timeline of the old 2 lane SR 55/259 opening up in that segment so traffic can go through... I don't know. I'm assuming maybe within a few weeks depending on how bad the damage is at the McCauley bridges. Currently school busses along with standard traffic is being routed in this alternate direction. All 18 wheelers are being told to take 220 North out of Moorefield to then take Rt 50 east to get to Winchester before getting on I-81 because the mountain road is impossible to have an 18 wheel truck on.

I'm working on writing up a full length article on my website (www.modemnet.net) along with tons of pictures regarding recent corridor H updates.

Brad
bawalker
October 21, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
All major construction is complete for dirt moving. 95% of the Wardensville->Baker section is paved with guardrails up. Only the Lost River Sinks Bridges and McCauley Bridges are left to be completed as well as the Wardensville interchange which has not been touched in months. Rather it's sat idly by while appearantly engineers do not have a solid solution on how they want to proceed with building it.


Quote:

Brad:
How late in the year would the crews normally work on Corr H construction? As it is getting cose to winter, is there some risk that this accident will terminate major construction until spring, setting back the project by a year or more?


SeaRide
October 21, 2004
Member since 03/11/2004
237 posts

I saw the road closure notice for McCauley area in the WVDOT road condition website yesterday but it's not there today. what gives?

I am concern about this because I have a cabin up in the foothills near Moorefield. The cabin has been there since 1976 or thereabout. My father just came back from there couple weeks ago. I plan on going to Moorefield again this month and again next month.

Click-->WVDOT Road Condition
snowcone
October 21, 2004
Member since 09/27/2002
589 posts
Just wondering ... noticed that a couple of the entries on this page for CH indicate they have been shut down for the winter .. http://www.wvdot.com/6_motorists/district5/6e5e_dist5workzones.htm .. Agree with Searide that road closure notice no longer evident.

I discussed the collapse news with my partner and it looks like we will probably go back to the route he calls 'up and over' which is 270 North to 68 West at Frederick to Cumberland, 220/219 South to Keyser, Mt. Storm, Parsons and Elkins, 219 to Slaty Fork and Snowshoe.

Waddaya think? ... would it save any time to turn on 50 at New Creek and pick up our normal SS route at 220 South to Moorefield and on?

I know it sounds really OC to be wondering about routes before the 1st flake has barely fallen but its been a long, long summer and I want SNOW!!!
Redman
October 21, 2004
Member since 03/15/2004
106 posts
Thank you for your inquiry concerning the closing of WV 55 at McCauley. The road was temporary close for on October 19th and 20th due to construction problems at the McCauley Bridge project. WV 55 was reopened during the evening hours of October 20th. No additional delays are expected except for short delays as construction proceeds.

If you need additional information, please feel free to contact me.



Randy Epperly

Deputy State Highway Engineer, Development

This is the response I received from WVDOT this morning.
bawalker
October 21, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
I just got word from a teacher at the schools that the schools have been notified that road closures are now gone. As for the status of the bridge... I have no idea at this point.
gatkinso
October 22, 2004
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
Well, I suppose the main thing is that no one was hurt. However, I am a Northern Passage type of guy to CV so this wouldn;t have affected me... but the trip to SS could have been impacted by this.

By the way, BRING ON TORY MOUNTAIN!!
dmh
October 24, 2004
Member since 12/11/2003
127 posts
I drove from Arlington to Canaan today and the work at bridge appears to be continuing with no apparent damage to the piers or the steel beams they were preparing to set. Substantial progress has been made in just the three weeks since my last trip and based on previous winters they will continue to work, albeit with weather delays from time to time.
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