MORGANTOWN — Safer and more efficient: those are the hopes for Monongalia County Commission President Tom Bloom as another round of major road work gets underway in the Morgantown area.
Some of the work is already underway — including widening on Mon Boulevard, lighting projects on Patteson Drive, and resurfacing to parts of River Road.
One of the most significant projects in recent memory will begin in the winter. Concrete repair on WV 705 will extend from University Avenue (CR 55) to Stewartstown Road (CR 67), with work consisting of multiple deteriorated concrete joint and slab repairs, curb and gutter repairs, and ADA ramp replacements.
That project is also expected to overlap with a major upgrade on the Mileground — from three lanes to five lanes.
“There will end up being five lanes and the middle lane you’ll be able to turn either way left,” Bloom said on WAJR’s Morgantown AM.
A new lighting system is being installed on Patteson Drive as well.
“This will connect through several restaurants, churches. Many of the West Virginia University academic and sports venues will benefit,” Bloom said. Unfortunately, we had two individuals die over there. We don’t need any more of that. Hopefully, this will help resolve that issue.”
Leah Berhanu, a Monongalia County native and WVU student, died in an auto-pedestrian crash on Patteson Drive in February. Michelle Gelada, a 20-year-old from New York, is charged in that accident.
But Bloom is hopeful that these infrastructure projects is one that the region will be able to celebrate upon completion — just with a little patience.
“Now it’s got to be fix the roads and be patient,” Bloom said. “When we’re done, this program, people are going to be amazed what we actually offer and what’s going to happen.”
The WV 705 and Mileground projects — arguably the most ambitious of the ongoing work — won’t finish until Summer 2019 and Fall 2020 respectively.
Bloom is recommending use of the Drive Safe Mobile App, working in conjunction with WV 511, for commuters in the region.
“You will get a text showing and explaining to you what’s going on,” he said. “Really, it’s more for information and clarification so people caught in traffic and maybe this could help them before they start out.”
You can read about the projects, included how traffic will be controlled, by clicking here.