Paving season around the corner

PARKERSBURG – Crews are still working to fix potholes from the harsh winter as a new fiscal year and the summer paving season approach.

Kelly Paving of Parkersburg is expected to wrap up work on a nearly 1,400-foot segment of Seventh Street this morning, after milling the road Thursday night to have less of an impact on traffic, said Jacob Bumgarner, maintenance office engineer for the West Virginia Division of Highways, District 3.

“That money was part of the Pothole Blitz initiated by the governor and the commissioner of highways,” he said.

The blitz was an effort by West Virginia officials to get a jump on pothole repair after one of the coldest winters in recent memory cracked and crumbled pavement on heavily traveled roads.

Projects were delayed to free up about $12 million statewide, more than $1 million in District 3, which includes Wood, Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane and Wirt counties.

“Now we’re headed into the next fiscal year starting July 1,” Bumgarner said. “There are plenty (of potholes) out there still, and they will be addressed as part of our core maintenance plan.”

That plan includes an extensive list of roads to be repaired as money and time allow. Primary roads like U.S. and state routes and high-traffic county roads will be the top priority, Bumgarner said.

Although it runs through Parkersburg, Seventh Street is a state route. The city will be starting its own paving program soon as well, with the project set to be put out for bids Thursday, the third day of the new fiscal year.

The bid package will include paving and milling for more than 33,000 feet of city roads. One million dollars has been allocated for the work, and Mayor Bob Newell said if the bid comes in lower than expected, some additional roads could be added.

Another 4,353 feet of streets that can be paved without being milled first will be handled by city workers.