Justice lauds agreement to repair Chaplin Hill Road

MORGANTOWN — In one of two Wednesday afternoon stops in Monongalia County, Governor Jim Justice lauded an agreement between the state and Monongalia County that will bring at least $700,000 in upgrades and repairs to Chaplin Hill Road.

Justice offered remarks during a brief gathering at Mylan Park’s Ruby Community Center.

The agreement constitutes the second year of a pilot program between the county and the state through which the county puts up money to leverage additional funds from the West Virginia Department of Transportation.

Last year, the commission put up $150,000 to leverage $800,000 from the state for work on the upper section of River Road.

In this case, the county is putting up $200,000 and, according to Commission President Tom Bloom, the state will put in between $500,000 and $600,000 for ditching work, resurfacing and slip repairs. That work is already underway.

Chaplin Hill Road is heavily traveled, as it runs past the Gateway, Chaplin Hill Business Park and Mylan Park.

Mylan Park is increasingly becoming a focal point as amenities like the recently opened track complex and soon-to-open (October) aquatic center come online. Along with numerous other entities and sports and community facilities, the park also contains Mylan Park Elementary and the school district’s bus garage.

According to Bloom, the road saw more than a million vehicles last year based to DOH numbers.

Justice pointed to the rapid growth in and around Monongalia County, explaining that the fastest way to slow it down is with inadequate infrastructure.

“If we don’t watch out, with all the goodness that’s happening, we’ll get in our own way. In this situation, we’re in our own way … You have this incredible aquatic center and you’ve got all this great stuff going on at Mylan [Park] and the potential to bring in thousands of people and competitions in the Big 12. All kinds of everything could happen here,” Justice said. “ … and you can’t even get here. That’s getting in our own way. That’s all there is to it.”

Justice also touched on local uproar over road conditions.

“We know we’re behind. We know that, in all fairness. They know, right here in Mon County. We know we’re behind here, but we’ll catch up,” Justice said, adding, with apologies, “We’ve got to get our ass in gear. That’s all there is to it, and we’re in gear. We’re going to catch up.”

A new four-lane road that will run through the ongoing WestRidge development to Mylan Park is planned, but still two to three years away according to Bloom.