WV VOAD is currently taking on one of its biggest bridge projects on record. Big Blue is a bridge project that has been in the works since 2017. The original Big Blue bridge was damaged in the historic 2016 flood that happened 5 years ago. This bridge sits just outside the town of Clendenin along US-119 and since then the bridge has been slowly deteriorating. WV VOAD’s job is to build a new bridge for the community that will be safe, cost-effective, and first and foremost sustainable for any disaster that may strike.
The new Big Blue bridge will be 310 feet in length and will be placed upstream from the existing structure. This bridge will support 14 families on the other side of the bridge and the new bridge will be able to withstand any emergency dispatch vehicles. Such as fire trucks, ambulances, and things of that nature in case of any emergencies. No family should have to worry about first responders not being able to make it to their homes because of an unstable bridge.
The Big Blue bridge consists of 5 piers and 2 abutments. Piers are structures located at the ends of bridge spans as points between abutments. A piers function is to resist all transverse and horizontal forces currently active on the bridge. An abutment is a structure that connects the deck of the bridge to the foundation at the end of a bridge span. It supports vertical and horizontal weight. Recently concrete was poured on Big Sandy Avenue ( which is the side that will be supporting the 14 homeowners and families) to complete the last two piers and the final abutment. This means all 5 piers and both abutments for the bridge have been successfully poured.
Soon there will be a final concrete testing done to ensure that all the concrete meets a minimum rating of 4,000 PSI. Once the cure time is met for the concrete we will be up out of the ground and waiting on steel to arrive. We are anxiously awaiting for the completion of Big Blue and we’re very excited to see these 14 families have a safe crossing for their children, friends, and loved ones. For updates and information on our current projects head to our Facebook page at WV VOAD. If you wish to be involved or donate please go to www.wvvoad.org/donate.