Government, Latest News, Monongalia County

Bloom: DOH has identified funds to address intersection at W.Va. 73 and U.S. 119

MORGANTOWN — Monongalia County Commission President Tom Bloom indicated Wednesday the state has earmarked some $1.4 million in Highways Safety Improvement Program dollars to address the intersection of W.Va. 73 and Don Knotts Boulevard (U.S. 119).

The intersection has been a sore spot for both the county and the city of Morgantown, both of which began asking for the attention of the West Virginia Division of Highways more than 20 years ago, according to The Dominion Post archive.

The oddly configured crossroads combines confusion and speed. It’s been identified as one of the area’s most-dangerous crossroads numerous times over the years.

“It appears now there is a solution at the end of the tunnel. We’ve been working on this for 21 years and I’m very excited to bring this to the MMPO,” Bloom said Wednesday, referring to the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Bloom said he’s awaiting a letter from the DOH and wants to reach out to both the MMPO and the city before disclosing any additional details. He said there are also conversations to be had about securing around $250,000 for an engineering study ahead of the project.

“I believe, finally, we’re going to have a new opening coming into the city of Morgantown resolving some of the issues; not all of the issues, but I believe it’s a real improvement,” he said. “I want to thank the state DOH for coming forward and helping and working with us.”

The Dominion Post reached out to the DOH for additional details but did not receive a response in time for this report.

In other county news, the commission approved matching funds of up to $300,000 for the SteppingStones playground project in Mylan Park.

SteppingStones is a nonprofit organization that provides year-round recreation for children and adults with disabilities.

In July, the organization came before the commission to announce it was launching a $2 million project to build a fully inclusive, completely accessible, multi-generational playground in the heart of SteppingStones’ Mylan Park home — just beyond Miracle Field’s left-field fence.

This playground project was on the verge of launching in 2019, shortly before COVID put everything on hold.

The county dollars will be distributed over the next four years.

Also on Wednesday, a workshop on Amendments 2 and 4 presented by the Monongalia County Assessor’s Office and the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy was announced.

The event will be from 10 a.m.-noon Monday at the Courtyard Marriott in the University Town Centre.

Lastly, the commission approved the use of the courthouse square on Nov. 11 for a Veterans Day ceremony and learned that this year’s Veterans Day parade will be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 10.

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