DOH provides update on projects in Monongalia and Preston Counties

CLARKSBURG — District 4 Engineer Don Williams updated local officials on some projects in their counties recently.

Monongalia County

“Monongalia County is split into two areas: the eastern and the western end,” Williams said, but the western end is not being ignored.

He also said the DOH is looking at putting a salt shed along 705, which he said could “revolutionize”  response in that area. It is also working with WVU on the Stansbury Hall project.

The Green Bag Road project is still in the works, redoing the intersection at Sabraton. And the DOH is looking at a satellite office in Mon County to oversee upcoming projects there.

A demonstration project is under consideration for Patteson Drive, “to incorporate the brightest things we can to help with pedestrians.”

Work on a solution to the slide on River Road is progressing, working with the county commission.

“You guys came to the table with money to help us, and we’re willing to work with you,” Williams said.

Part of the problem in Mon County, State Highway Engineer Aaron Gillispie said, is that development occurred without any changes in the road system at the same time. So, in some instances, you have what are basically farm roads carrying heavy loads of traffic now.

State Transportation Secretary Tom Smith said he was appreciative of the leadership Mon County has shown in being part of the solution.

Preston County

The Kingwood sidewalk and paving project is another example of a local entity contributing, Williams noted. In this case it was the City of Kingwood. And because there is federal money in the project, the sidewalks must be made handicapped accessible before paving.

Because federal funds will also be  used to pave W.Va. 7 in Terra Alta, sidewalks there must be done first, in 2019, Williams said. That will be followed with a 1.5-mile paving project costing  $300,000, probably in 2020. Routine maintenance will be done until then, he said.

Williams also responded to questions sent by  Del. Buck Jennings, R-Preston, about specific roads.

DOH has done some skip paving to W.Va. 92 from its intersection with U.S. 50. Next year 3.99 miles of the road will be paved at a cost of $800,000.

Skip paving is planned from the top of Laurel Mountain to Cool Springs. There’s no paving scheduled there for 2019, but “heavy maintenance” will be done.

Paving on W.Va. 72 from Rowlesburg to the intersection with W.Va. 7  was also among Jennings’ questions. Williams said a 5.15-mile section will be paved in 2019, from the caves to Rowlesburg,  a $1 million project. FEMA funding is being sought to repair a slide on the road along the river.

W.Va. 26 north to the Pennsylvania line, “is in bad shape, there’s no question,” said Williams. Skip paving will be done this year, he said.

Repairing a slide on another section of W.Va. 72, south of Rowlesburg, involves some “complex legal issues,” Williams said, because the slide did not originate on state property. It is being maintained for now.

The CSX underpass at Tunnelton isn’t owned by the state, either, Williams said. Residents there are petitioning to have a bridge built over it. “We’re trying to get CSX to the table. And I’m willing to sit at the table too and say what can we do within our legal realms?”

Williams said a second speed study was done on W.Va. 7, near the Kingwood Walmart, and the speed limit will be lowered to 45 mph there, if the county commission still wants that. However, that will not change the line of sight on the Peddicord property.

Robbie Peddicord’s engineers have submitted a right in, right out plan for his proposed hotel and restaurant across W.Va. 7 from Walmart.

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