"She was a wonderful lady," Withrow recalled. "She could do anything a man could do."
The Nitro-St. Albans bridge is reopening after a 10-month shutdown to replace its deck. Pedestrians are allowed to walk across the span from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, but the bridge will be officially dedicated at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
"It will be a full-blown ceremony," said Brent Walker, spokesman for the West Virginia Division of Highways. St. Albans Mayor Dick Callaway and Nitro Mayor Dave Casebolt will speak, and color guards and bands from Nitro and St. Albans high schools will be present.
State Highways officials decided to replace the bridge deck on top of the existing piers to save construction costs and the amount of time the bridge was closed to traffic. Pier work started in February 2012, and the bridge was closed for the deck replacement in January.
"The bridge was closed to traffic for just under 10 months, which is pretty remarkable when you think about building a bridge," Walker said.
The project cost about $24 million.
He said the bridge is actually opening a week or so ahead of schedule. Executives with contractor Kokosing Construction, which did the bridge work, took advantage of a $1 million incentive to open the span early.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.