Video may show debris falling from WV bridge

PARKERSBURG – The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is looking into what can be seen falling or being dropped from the Memorial Bridge in a video posted on Facebook.

The bridge was closed from Aug. 4-13 while Teays River Construction of Cross Lanes repaired an expansion joint and did other maintenance work in a $182,000 project. A video posted Aug. 13 by a Belpre resident on his Facebook page shows objects or material falling from a scaffolding hanging below the bridge and into the river.

The video has been shared more than 300 times, with many commenters demanding an investigation.

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell on Monday said the DNR has been notified of the situation.

“They have jurisdiction on the rivers, on the waterways,” he said.

A woman who answered the phone at the local DNR office said the officer working the case was not in Monday. A call to the state office seeking information about laws regarding dumping material into rivers was not returned by deadline.

Newell said the work being done did not consist of painting, so what’s in the video is likely “debris from cutting that joint out,” primarily concrete and perhaps steel.

“The stuff that went in the river is the same stuff everybody puts along the river” to stabilize river banks, he said.

However, no material was supposed to go in the water and the city takes protection of waterways seriously, the mayor added.