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Van Voorhis property owners to sit down with DOH

MORGANTOWN — Concerns expressed by property owners along Van Voorhis Road have prompted a private meeting with representatives of the West Virginia Department of Highways.

The topic will be an upcoming project that will, among other things, widen Van Voorhis Road between Killarney Drive and the intersection with WV 705 to create an additional southbound through lane.

The issue for property owners, like Kevin Trembush, who owns Advantage Health & Wellness at the corner of Van Voorhis and Burroughs Street, is that the widening will impact a number of private property owners.

“Rather than put the lane where they already have right of way, where the bank is, they’re going to come to the other side, take property through eminent domain, and put in another lane,” Trembush said. “You already have a northbound lane that has to jog to the left to avoid the bank property. Now imagine two lanes doing that in tandem heading south.”

According to Dirar Ahmad, project manager for the DOH, the work will also include pedestrian improvements at the intersection with WV 705, including a larger refuge island to shorten the pedestrian crossing.

In addition, Ahmad explained that horizontal alignment will be improved through the Van Voorhis intersection with Wedgewood Drive and a sidewalk is being built along the west side of Van Voorhis from Killarney Drive to Windwood Village. The sidewalk will then continue on the east side of Van Voorhis to a point south of West Run Road.

Asked about the project timeline, representatives of the DOH said that the design is nearly complete and right of way acquisition and utility relocation is ongoing. Once that is complete, the project will be advertised.

Trembush said he fears the changes on Van Voorhis approaching the intersection with WV 705 are in advance of a roundabout or some other intersection design.

When asked if a roundabout-style intersection was coming, Ahmad said “There are no roundabouts in the project.”

According to information available on the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization website,, the project will have a minor or moderate impact on five businesses and eight family residences, including 1372 Van Voorhis, which is considered a “moderate impact” despite the fact that the DOH is calling for a full acquisition of the property.

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