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W.Va. 9 widening project continues

November 30, 1999|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. ? Though paving on the four-lane W.Va. 9 widening project has been shut down for the winter season, the contractor awarded the first section of road construction in Berkeley County is preparing to begin work, Division of Highways Area Engineer William "Bill" Shanklin said Friday.

Nearly half of the paving work has been completed on three sections of road in Jefferson County, but highway officials have blocked off the area for the winter to keep unauthorized vehicles out because it is not safe for them to be there, Shanklin said.

In November, Charleston, W.Va.-based Ahern & Associates Inc. was awarded a $15.6 million contract to build the first section of the highway in Berkeley County, between the Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg and Opequon Creek, a state Department of Transportation spokesman said.

The contractor currently is performing survey work and setting up field offices. The section is expected to be completed in 2009, officials have said.

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Shanklin confirmed that the second, adjoining section to be built between the creek and near the entrance to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the community of Baker Heights has been advertised.

Bids for that work will be opened in Charleston on Jan. 30, and a third and final section to connect to the Jefferson County work is expected to be advertised after that, Shanklin said. Each of the three projects includes the paving work.

Aside from the paving, Shanklin said favorable weather conditions have allowed contractors to continue cleanup and peripheral work on portions of the highway in Jefferson County, including fencing, white lines and pavement markings for the Currie Road project.

As of Dec. 15, the paving work by Hilliard, Ohio-based Hi-Way Paving Inc. for the three Jefferson County sections of the highway was 47 percent completed, Shanklin said. That work involves the paving of 4.6 miles of the road, striping, and installation of guardrails and signage.

State highway officials have projected the entire four-lane route from Martinsburg to Jefferson County's boundary with Virginia to cost more than $300 million.

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