MINERAL WELLS - The new West Virginia 14 bridge at Mineral Wells will open at 2 p.m. today.
The bridge, which eliminates a sharp bend in W.Va. 14 at W.Va. 21, is the last piece in a three-phase construction project near Interstate 77 in Mineral Wells that began in 2001, officials said Wednesday.
The project includes a traffic light at the junction of W.Va. 14 and Turkey Foot Road at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, said Division of Highways spokesman Mike Foley.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
The new bridge on W.Va. 14 in Mineral Wells is scheduled to open today at 2 p.m.
Foley said the first phase of the project was the addition of an overpass at I-77 in Mineral Wells. The second phase was in north Mineral Wells with the addition of four lanes at Pettyville.
The third phase is this bridge in south Mineral Wells on W.Va. 14 toward Elizabeth.
Although the two lanes of the bridge will be open to traffic today, officials said work at the site will continue over the next few weeks.
The new traffic signal on the south end of the bridge at Turkey Foot Road will not be functional until power can be provided, Foley said. Additional signs for traffic control will be at the site along with message boards notifying the public of the new traffic pattern.
The project has cost $9.4 million and was done by Orders Construction.
Wood County Commissioner Blair Couch said from the county's perspective any time travel can be made safe and easier it is a good thing.
"It means a boom to businesses," he said. "So folks that live near us have a safer and better way to travel out of our county."
Couch said eliminating the curve in W.Va. 14 at W.Va. 21 is a way to improve the safety of the roadway.
"It wasn't safe," he said. "It is a highly congested area."
Many people travel to Parkersburg from Mineral Wells and Wirt County for doctor appointments and shopping, he said.
"It could potentially spur development in both areas," Couch said.
Motorists should exercise caution on the bridge and when driving through the south end intersection at Turkey Foot Road, the DOH said.