‘Tis the season for road construction, and motorists in the Eastern Panhandle likely will encounter more than a few state highway improvement projects as summer arrives, including some already well under way, according to state transportation officials.
Work continues on building a new four-lane route for W.Va. 9 from Charles Town, W.Va., to the Virginia line as well as the Raleigh Street Extension project in Martinsburg, while other smaller projects are also on tap, officials said.
- A 1.69-mile resurfacing project on W.Va. 115 in Ranson, W.Va., in Jefferson County, probably will begin next week, said District 5 Resurfacing Coordinator Jeff S. Willis. The $361,848 paving project also includes the construction of a turning lane in the vicinity of the railroad crossing and shoulder paving, but still is expected to be completed by June 30, Willis said.
- In Berkeley County, a little more than a half-mile of Eagle School Road beginning at U.S. 11 also is slated to be paved this year at a cost of $185,982. Both projects were awarded to Jefferson Asphalt Products Co. in Charles Town, but the latter project’s deadline is Oct. 14.
- In Morgan County, a 2.24-mile section of W.Va. 9 and a 1.06 mile of U.S. 522 are to be paved this year, Willis said.
Clohan said heavy rainfall last month hampered construction of the new route’s bridge over the Shenandoah River, but that part of the project still is due to be completed in 2012.
However, the paving project for the new segment from the U.S. 340 intersection to the Virginia line has yet to be advertised, Clohan said.
The widening of the Interstate 81 bridge at the Marlowe/Falling Waters exit to six lanes will continue to affect the largest number of motorists each day this summer, but Clohan said he didn’t anticipate construction conditions there to worsen.
The project has forced highway officials to narrow traveling lanes to 11 feet in the construction zone and motorists are being advised not to change lanes and reduce speed. The project is not expected to be completed until October 2012, according to Clohan.
On Wednesday, four bids were opened for the third segment of the Raleigh Street extension project with the lowest bid, $9.9 million, submitted by Kokosing Construction Co. Inc., according to bid results posted on the DOT’s website.
The first segment of the Raleigh Street extension on the northern end is about 15 percent complete and utilities still must be relocated in the second project area, which just got under way, Clohan said.
Other projects on tap in the Eastern Panhandle this year include construction of a new traffic signal and turning improvements at the intersection of Charles Town Road (old W.Va. 9) and W.Va. 480 in Jefferson County, a new turn lane and traffic signal at Bedington Crossroads on U.S. 11 and replacement of Fishers Ford Bridge on W.Va. 9 in Morgan County.
Traffic signals at Hatchery Road on U.S. 11 and at the northbound offramp for exit 12 of Interstate 81 on Apple Harvest Drive also are planned, Clohan said.