Editorials, Opinion

Wriston must clarify interchange comment

Speaking of Tom Bloom — we’re joining him in calling on Department of Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston to clarify comments he made about the Harmony Grove interchange and the $70 million bridge meant to connect the Morgantown Industrial Park to the interstate until the interchange can be completed.

Back in early December, Wriston said, “I would bet you a dollar against a doughnut that the minute we start that other bridge project, the federal agencies may take a harder look at the interchange.”

Is he indicating that federal agencies will pick up the pace on the interchange once the bridge project has begun? Or is he suggesting that federal agencies will   decide a bridge means the interchange isn’t needed at all?          

So we, too, are calling on the transportation secretary to clarify his statements. These are two very large, very expensive projects that will seriously impact our community — for better or worse. The bridge in particular is a sticky issue, since it’s meant as a stop-gap measure but comes in at twice the cost.

If Wriston believes the bridge will jeopardize the interchange’s chance of getting federal approval, he needs to come right out and say so. And if that’s not what he meant, then he needs to set the record straight.