GRANT COUNTY, W.Va. (WBOY) — The bridge that takes visitors to the main entrance of Dolly Sods Wilderness is on track to be removed and replaced with a temporary bridge soon.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service announced in a press release that A.L.L. Construction in Grant County was awarded an $800,000 contract to remove the existing bridge, which was immediately closed in late July after the Forest Service noticed a safety concern during a routine inspection.
In addition to the Dolly Sods entrance, the Forest Service said the bridge is a key connection between Randolph, Tucker and Grant counties.
Parking is available on the east side of the bridge at the Red Creek Trailhead, but it is expected to be
congested this fall, according to the Forest Service. Visitors are also asked to respect the private property that is adjacent to the trailhead and consider other access points to the Dolly Sods Wilderness.
The Forest Service said the bridge replacement project is expected to begin on Sept. 8 and be completed by Nov. 1, weather permitting.
In the release, District Ranger Jon Morgan said the Forest Service is “very optimistic that the project will be complete before winter arrives.”
In the meantime, the Forest Service suggests that visitors contact the Petersburg office at 304-257-4488 for travel suggestions and alternate trails.
The project will use funding from the Great American Outdoors Act, according to the USDA.
The West Virginia Department of Transportation announced in a press release Wednesday that it has agreed to build a permanent bridge downstream of the existing span once the temporary bridge is constructed.