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The 8th Street Bridge near Ritter Park in Huntington is seen in this file photo.

HUNTINGTON — Starting next Tuesday, June 15, the 8th Street Bridge near Ritter Park will be closed to traffic.

While it’s closed, a project will be completed to demolish and replace the old structure, according to a news release from the West Virginia Division of Highways. Traffic should avoid the area and follow detour signs, the release said.

Rob Pennington, a maintenance engineer with WVDOH District 2, said the 8th Street bridge will likely be closed through the end of this year. The contract for this project includes work on the 5th Street Bridge, but the work on the travel lanes at that bridge won’t begin until 8th Street is completed, Pennington said.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation announced the $3.7 million project to replace both bridges in 2017. Earlier this year, the Southside Preservation and Enhancement Alliance Inc. approved final designs for the 5th and 8th Street Bridges. The new designs differ from the original proposals in that they reflect the historic appearance of the bridges, which date back to the 1920s.

Pennington said the only project delay that he was aware of was an issue with relocating utilities last year.

“Since that’s occurred, we’re getting back on schedule. Actually looking to try to accelerate the contract to get it done in August of 2022,” Pennington said.

McKenna Horsley is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @Mckennahorsley.

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