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DOH Holds Four-Lane Informational Workshop

November 8, 2017
BY LAUREN MATTHEWS - Editor (lmatthews@wetzelchronicle.com) , Wetzel Chronicle

The public now has access to very preliminary plans regarding the WV 2 Proctor to Kent project. The green light was given for the project after West Virginians voted on Oct. 7, in favor of passing the road bond referendum.

West Virginia Division of Highways personnel, along with personnel from CDM Smith - an engineering and construction firm - were present at a Nov. 2 informational workshop public meeting held at New Martinsville School.

Three different alternatives, to improve traffic problems on WV 2, were on display for public observation. The price tag ranges from $60.1 million, for Alternative One, to $89.3 million, for Alternative Three. Alternative Two carries a $77.9 million price tag.

Alternative One runs along the foot of the hillside and allows the existing WV 2 to remain "as a frontage or plant access road, which allows the plant accesses to be consolidated into a single intersection."

Meanwhile, Alternative Two was developed to "maximize the amount of land available for development." According to the WVDOH, this configuration is similar to Alternative One, with adjustments to move the alignment onto the hillside.

Alternative Three was developed to avoid key properties, such as the Bayer Heritage Federal Credit Union, as well as a recently installed gas line serving the Natrium Extraction and Fractionation Processing Plant. This includes a higher alignment on the hillside, to the east of Alternatives One and Two.

Each alternative is expected to require the relocation of PPG Brine Wall Infrastructure. Alternative One has an estimated area of impact of 152.21 acres of land, while Alternative Two could affect 273.34 acres. Alternative Three could affect 221.57 acres of land. Three residences will be displaced by Alternative One, while four would be displaced via Alternatives Two and Three. It is noted that protective measures may be required in regards to the Mason-Dixon Line Monument, as it is in close proximity to roadway disturb limits.

Alternative Three could potentially impact an electrical tower.

None of the options would affect cemeteries. However, it was noted that a retaining wall may be required for Alternative One, during the design and subsurface investigation phase. A wall would also be needed for Alternative One, in regards to the Bayer Heritage Federal Credit Union. Alternative Two would take the credit union, while Alternative Three would not impact the credit union.

Dirar Ahmed, of the WVDOH Engineering Department, is enthusiastic over the plans for the extended four-lane. He said the Kent to Franklin four-lane project is also being reactivated. After presently planned Route 2 four-lane projects are completed, the area will have 10 to 11 miles of four-lane.

"It is a great thing," Ahmed said, citing the need for safer roads. He added that the project would open the area to more industry.

"It is good for everybody and will bring more industry," he said.

Ahmed attributed the fruition of the four-lane extension to the "governor's hard work."

Larry Clegg, of CDM Smith, noted that plans for the four-lane expansion had been studied for years, but up until the passage of the road bond referendum, the matter was very much uncertain.

Ahmed encouraged the public to offer its input as it will factor into the chosen alternative.

Ahmed also noted the importance of the public Nov. 2 meeting, stressing that the WVDOH strives to be a very transparent agency.

Public comment is due by Monday, Dec. 4.

WVDOH is currently developing an environmental assessment NEPA document to identify potential impacts of the project. According to the WVDOH, preliminary engineering studies have been completed and detailed design studies are underway.

According to a tentative project schedule provided by the WVDOH, construction on the WV 2 widening project isn't expected to begin until April 2020.

The WVDOH is accepting public comments, via regular mail, at Mr. RJ Scites, P.E., Director, Engineering Division, West Virginia Department of Transportation, 1334 Smith Street, Charleston, WV 25301.

Project information and comment sheets can also be found at go.wv.gov /dotcomment

 
 
 

 

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