Ohio had completed the stretch of highway between I-70 to just before the SR 7 interchange by 1976, but due to budget deficiencies work did not resume in Ohio until 1981. Construction of the bridge linking the two portions of highway was scheduled to be completed by 1981, but construction did not begin until that year. After a 3.3-cent-per-gallon (0.87-cent-per-liter) fuel tax increase, Ohio was able to fund the project again. Bids for construction work on the remainder of the Ohio portion of the freeway were solicited in 1981, with an estimated construction time of 37 months for the stretch between I-70 and the bridge.
The West Virginia portion was under construction by 1976, and work in both states was completed by 1983. The three-level diamond interchange on the eastern banks of the Ohio River was said to be the most complex interchange in West Virginia at the time of construction by the WVDOH spokesman Gary Chernenko. The opening of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, along with another bridge in nearby Moundsville was thought to have reduced the amount of traffic, and thus tolls collected by the nearby Bellaire Bridge by up to 50 per cent in 1987.
Between September 12 and December 22, 1996, about 1,700 ft (518 m) of I-470 in Ohio was closed so ODOT could stabilize and repave the roadway, as the rocks forming the top of an abandoned mine underneath the freeway had become overstressed. The Fort Henry Bridge (which carries I-70), the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Wheeling Suspension Bridge were all closed in January 2005, stopping any traffic from Ohio or Wheeling Island from entering mainland West Virginia for a few days because barges broke loose during heavy flooding along the Ohio River. The Wheeling Tunnel was closed for reconstruction work in 2007, 2008, and 2010, causing motorists who wished to travel through on I-70 to detour. The two detour routes were city streets in downtown Wheeling and the I-470 loop.