The bridge is safe, but deteriorating, he said.
"(The bridge) has served its purpose," Richardson said. "It's 79-years-old."
To Thomas, a member of the Partnership, the bridge closure is bittersweet. She's sad to see the historic structure go, but glad that the new bridge will be safer.
When the bridge is closed, there will still be ways to get from St. Albans to Nitro -- a 9.5-mile detour to the Nitro exit of Interstate 64, or a 12-mile detour to the bridge between Dunbar and Spring Hill.
"It's going to take a few extra minutes," Thomas said. "(But) we're going to have something new and exciting and safe, which is the main thing."
Local insurance agent Jamie Moffatt mostly works from his St. Albans home. With clients in Nitro, he crosses the bridge at least once a day, he said.
He's not worried about the closure though, he said.
"I'm just going to take it in stride," Moffatt said. "I look at it (like) it's going to be a betterment. I'm just going to have to leave a few minutes early to go to work."
Angela Kerr, the owner of a candles and gift basket business, said the closure will mean higher gasoline costs for deliveries, but she's not too worried. The local restaurants may suffer though, she said.
A member of the Partnership who helped organize Saturday's event, Kerr said people initially scoffed at the idea of hosting a bridge closure party.
"(They said) 'What are we going to do, have a crying party?'" she said. "I said no, we're going to celebrate the bridge. They'd be crying if that bridge fell, I'll tell you that."
Thomas said St. Alban's many great businesses would keep people visiting the town, despite the inconvenience.
The Partnership will host monthly events during the closure in efforts to draw people to the city as well, she said.
"We just want people to make sure they come on over here," Thomas said.
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.