The Charles “Chuck” Yeager Bridges, two unique steel through arches, carry the West Virginia Turnpike and Interstates 64 and 77 over the Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginia. The first bridge was completed by the American Bridge Company in 1954 and named after Yeager, a brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force and the first aviator to fly faster than sound.
Studies were undertaken to upgrade the Turnpike in the early 1970s, and work to upgrade the highway to four lanes had commenced because of escalating traffic counts and congestion, and because of a high number of accidents. The update was also needed because of the proposal to route Interstate 77 over the Turnpike. In May 1971, the West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) approved plans for the construction of a parallel Yeager Bridge, which was completed in 1983.
Long a drab green color that was fading and wearing thin, work began in the summer of 2021 to repaint the Yeager Bridges in a distinctive blue and gold paint scheme, the state’s official colors.