KVRTA Suspends Service Across Nitro-St. Albans Bridge Due to Weight Restrictions
For Immediate Release August 13, 2007 — KRT Contact: Dennis Dawson (304) 343-3840
Charleston, WV — The Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority (KVRTA) has suspended service across the Nitro - St. Albans Bridge (Richard “Dick” Henderson Bridge) effective immediately, after recent discussions with the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways (“WVDOH”)
The recent tragedy in Minnesota and resultant publicity concerning the Nitro – St. Albans bridge prompted KVRTA officials to review the issue. Those buses that slightly exceeded the posted 28,000 pound gross vehicle weight (“GVW”) limit were immediately pulled from the Nitro route, which crosses the bridge to link the Nitro and St. Albans routes at the KVRTA St. Albans Station. Further review by the KVRTA has indicated that, while the lighter buses more recently used are rated within the bridge’s posted weight limit, a large number of passengers could result in an actual weight in excess of the bridge’s posted limit.
KVRTA then contacted the WVDOH to discuss the issue, and determine how to proceed. “We sought and received a clarification from the WVDOH as to the exact nature of their weight limits, and how they are interpreted for buses such as ours, the rated and actual weights of which can differ given the number of passengers who are actually being served. At this time this is the best course of action available to the Authority,” said Dennis Dawson, KVRTA General Manager. “Obviously, the safety of our passengers and employees is of the utmost concern. We regret having to take this action, which will be an inconvenience to our passengers who transfer at the St. Albans Station,” Dawson added.
KVRTA staff is currently exploring service options. In the meantime, bus riders may have to walk across the bridge to transfer from the Nitro Division to the St. Albans Division, or ride to the downtown Charleston Transit Mall and transfer there.