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Raleigh Street extension contract expected next summer in Martinsburg

December 14, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. -- The first phase of work on the Raleigh Street "extension," a long-anticipated north-south connector route in Martinsburg, is not expected to be awarded to a contractor until late next summer, a state transportation official said Friday.

Design plans for the project's first phase, between Tavern Road and Edwin Miller Boulevard, are expected to be completed later this month, but right-of-way acquisition has yet to begin, according to West Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson Karen Zamow.

"No ground can be broken until right-of-way process has been completed and that process isn't expected to begin until early to midsummer 2010," Zamow said in an e-mail responding to questions about the project's status.

In March, city officials were notified by the Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization that construction on the estimated $37.5 million project was to begin this fall. But Zamow said the DOT encountered some difficulty in obtaining core borings for design of the roadway foundation because of some railroad issues.

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"In addition, there have been difficulties in developing right-of-way acquisition plans due to the continuous development of the area," Zamow said.

The CSX Transportation and Winchester & Western Railroad rail lines intersect in the area of the second phase of the project between West Race Street and Tavern Road.   

Design of the second phase isn't expected to be done until the latter part of January and the second portion has not been fully funded, Zamow said.

In February, Zamow said the state is expecting to hear a response from federal officials about a pending Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) stimulus grant application for the second phase.

Relocation of Little League ball fields at Oatesdale Park for the second phase is expected to begin in July, City Manager Mark Baldwin told City Council members in a project update report this month.

In other ongoing infrastructure projects, Baldwin reported:

  • John Street sidewalk/lighting: Project was completed and Baldwin plans to ask the DOH to use the remaining funds -- $80,349 -- for additional work within the project area.

  • Center City Stormwater: A site plan application for project to mitigate storm-related flooding in residential areas off South Raleigh Street was approved last week by the Berkeley County Commission, but still must be reviewed by the Martinsburg Planning Commission. Design work was about 75 percent complete.

  • Town Square Pedestrian Plaza: The DOT is expected to oversee all design, bid, construction and other work for the project after a federal stimulus grant was awarded.

  • Gateway and Wayfinding Signage System: Final design plans were submitted to the DOT for review in October; estimated project bid date by winter/spring 2010.

  • East Burke Street bridge: DOT notified city that state funds are available for maintenance and renovation of the bridge, but the state is obligated to fund 20 percent of the final cost.

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