Replacement of Lilly Bridge in Summers County, WV, Turns a Page In History

Built in 1950 by Virginia Bridge Company, Lilly Bridge spans Bluestone Lake in Summers County, WV, and is one of only seven remaining cantilever truss bridges in the state. Constructed as part of the Flood Control Act to build the Bluestone Dam, Lily Bridge is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.


In February, Brayman was awarded the contract to replace this 1,164-foot long historic bridge. Carrying WV Route 20 traffic, the unique cantilever truss bridge is supported by its two abutments and 4 piers. The scope of the new bridge replacement project involves constructing a new 5-span, fabricated, structural-steel girder bridge, adjacent to the existing bridge.


This project involves a large Value Engineering design to construct 10’ diameter, drilled shafts for the piers, founded in bedrock at depths exceeding 70 feet. As a result of the heavily silted lake bottom, the new bridge design requires extremely tall and slender substructure units. The piers are single-shaft, single-column designs that are 10’ in diameter and over 140’ in height.


The south abutment of the new bridge will be founded on a spread footing, but the north abutment will be constructed on 30 EA – 135’ long micropiles installed through an existing fill of cobbles and boulders. Finally, the project will include the removal of over 250,000 cubic yards of rock to re-align the existing roadway onto the new bridge.


Work on the new bridge is underway with the installation of a causeway that will allow construction access across the lake. Portions of the Value Engineering design and pricing have already been approved, and work is set to begin on the bridge substructure in earnest. Upon completion of the new structure, the existing bridge will be demolished through controlled demolition methods. The Lilly Bridge replacement project is anticipated to take approximately three years to complete.