The Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge is a two-lane, three-span through-truss that carries WV 41 over the New River. The Parker through truss was constructed in 1931.2 3
In September 2011,4 the bridge weight limit was reduced from 15 tons to 3 tons after a broken structural member was discovered.2 3 In addition, a nine-foot vertical clearance was imposed. Official inspections began to held every three months, with various West Virginia Division of Highway (DOH) employees viewing the crack for any movement every few days.
In March 2012, the DOH announced that their preferred option would be to rebuild the bridge on top of the existing piers, which would be cheaper and quicker than building a new bridge at a new location.4 The new bridge would open in the third quarter of 2013, but would require closing the existing New River span for six to eight months beginning in March 2013. On April 30, the DOH announced that it will construct a replacement span downstream from the existing span, avoiding the need for a 57-mile detour.1 Construction on the bridge, which would include two-lanes with an eight-foot pedestrian and bike path could take three years, although no start date has been set. The estimated cost is $10.5 million.5
- Designation: WV 41
- Bridge type: Parker through truss
- Total Length: 734 feet
- Vertical Clearance: 9 feet
- Walker, Brent H. DOH Reaches Decision on Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge Project. Charleston: West Virginia Division of Highways, 30 Apr. 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2012. Article.
- Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge. West Virginia Division of Highways. YouTube, 7 Feb. 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2012. Video.
- Moore, C. V. “Structural issues plague Prince bridge.” Register-Herald [Beckley] 22 Jan. 2012: n. pag. Web. 26 Oct. 2012. Article.
- Moore, C. V.”New option on Prince Bridge presented.” Register-Herald [Beckley] 10 Mar. 2012: n. pag. Web. 26 Oct. 2012. Article.
- Moore, C. V. “Residents hear two alternatives for replacing bridge at Prince.” Register-Herald [Beckley] 17 Feb. 2012: n. pag. Web. 26 Oct. 2012. Article.