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W.Va. 9 widening project closer to fruition

April 26, 2001

W.Va. 9 widening project closer to fruition



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The widening of W.Va. 9 from two lanes to four lanes is about to begin, West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise said Wednesday.

Next month, the state Division of Highways is expected to award a contract to clear land between Cattail Run and U.S. 340 for the highway, Wise said in a statement released late Wednesday.

Work could begin as early as June, Wise said.

Bill Case, spokesman for Wise, said he could not provide more details.

Fred VanKirk, the secretary of the West Virginia Department of Transportation, considers this to be just the beginning of the construction, Case said.

The highway department plans to widen W.Va. 9 to four lanes from the Virginia line to Martinsburg. The first phase will be a segment between the Virginia line and Charles Town, which will be built north of the existing W.Va. 9 and will begin at the Charles Town Bypass near Belvedere Heights.

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From the bypass heading east, the road parallels Cattail Run until it reaches the Shenandoah River. At the river, a bridge approximately 180 feet to 200 feet high will be built to carry the highway across the Shenandoah, highway officials said.

The road will proceed up Blue Ridge Mountain and hook into existing W.Va. 9 at the top of the mountain, according to plans.

Construction of the first phase is expected to take between two and three years, said David Clevenger, head of the consulting and review section of the highway department's engineering division.

Highway officials were initially planning to widen W.Va. 9 to Berkeley Springs, but design work on the segment from Martinsburg to Berkeley Springs was halted to save money for other highway projects in the state.

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