State crews ready to dig into local road projects

PARKERSBURG – As the warm weather settles in for the summer, a number of road projects will be getting under way throughout Wood County.

Although many are not to the scale of the past Corridor D project or six-lane upgrades to Interstate 77 that occurred in the past, there are still a number of needed projects going on in the area, said Rusty Roten, District 3 engineer for the West Virginia Division of Highways.

“We don’t have near the number of projects going on that we have had in the past,” he said. “We just don’t have the resources.

“We are trying to optimize the use of the money we do have.”

The majority of projects slated for this summer include landslide repair, small bridge repairs and intersection improvements, Roten said.

Work was recently completed on a $200,000 slide repair on West Virginia 68 near Mockingbird Lane (County Road 9/13). A $200,000 resurfacing project along 2.5 miles of Walker Road was also recently completed. One of the largest projects currently going on has work continuing to expand part of W.Va. 2 to five lanes for 1.65 miles from the I-77 interchange to Valley Mills Road. The $22 million job includes a number of upgrades and replacing the overpass bridge over the interstate. Work crews with Kelly Paving have been back at the site since March following the winter and will work to meet the expected March 2014 completion date.

“That project was started last year and it is continuing,” Roten said. “It is over halfway done.

“We could see traffic on it sometime this fall.”

A $100,000 slide repair is scheduled for a 0.15 mile section of W.Va. 892 just north of W.Va. 68, but the contract has not been awarded yet.

A $600,000 resurfacing project along W.Va. 14, along Division Street in Parkersburg for 7/10ths of a mile between McDonald’s and Camden Avenue, is scheduled to start in July.

A $2 million resurfacing project is scheduled this summer for I-77 from the Buck Run overpass to the Mineral Wells overpass.

A $600,000 resurfacing project is scheduled to start in August on Lee Creek Road, from County Road 17/12 to County Road 15, for 4.5 miles.

A $500,000 small bridge replacement project is scheduled to start in July on Chesterville Road to replace and widen a small bridge in order to better line up the approach with Butcher Bend Road across W.Va. 14. The project is being done to allow larger vehicles, like school buses to be able to better navigate between the two roads.

A $250,000 small bridge replacement is scheduled to start in October for Hoaglen Road, off W.Va. 68.

A $500,000 intersection improvement project is scheduled to start in October along W.Va. 14 at the intersection of Gihon, Rayon and Pike Street. A new right turn lane will be added as well as and a traffic light upgrade.

A number of purchase order work is also scheduled, Roten said.

A $429,000 resurfacing project is scheduled to begin soon on Waverly Road for 5.61 miles.

A $50,000 resurfacing project is slated for July along 1/3-mile of Wayside Farm Road, off of East 7th Street.

Crews will also do some “skip paving” work to local service roads as the the materials become available, Roten said. They will end up fixing the worst part of the roads. These include Middle Ridge Road, Fall Run Road and Adkinson Ridge Road.

In June or July, plans are in place to expand the Park and Ride area at Camden Avenue and I-77. The $100,000 project will add an additional 20-25 parking spaces.

Motorists are reminded to be careful in work zones and to be mindful of workers and equipment that are constantly in motion, said Carrie Bly, spokesperson for the West Virginia Department of Transportation.

“Drivers need to stay alert and pay attention,” she said. “They need to expect the unexpected.”

The distractions people normally deal with can create more problems in a work zone as equipment and personnel can constantly enter and exit the roadway.

“People need to pay attention to what is going on around them in a work zone,” Bly said.

Work zones are well marked and workers are in green reflective vests.

“We want to remind drivers that fines are doubled in work zones,” Bly said.

The majority of accidents that occur in a work zone result in injuries occurring to the driver, Bly said. Many workers who have suffered serious hits and recovered have gone right back to work doing the same kind of work, she added.

“This is their office space,” Bly said. “We want drivers to remember that.”