East King Street improvements to begin in Martinsburg

June 28, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • A foreman with Protective Services Inc. Tuesday installs a barricade at East King Street for the $1.3 million town square pedestrian improvement project in Martinsburg. The barricade was set up to give motorists advance notice of the planned closure of East King Street at Queen and West King streets.
Photo by Matthew Umstead

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — East King Street at Martinsburg’s town square is expected to be closed to motorists on Queen and West King streets this week as contractors begin work on planned pedestrian and aesthetic improvements there.

Detour signs directing motorists to East John and Spring streets in order to continue east on King Street beyond the 100 block have been installed and state Division of Highways area construction engineer Kenneth L. Clohan said he expects equipment for the $1.3 million project will be moved in (today).

A barricade was installed at the square on Monday to give motorists advance notice of the impending road closure, according to Clohan and a contractor working on the site.

“It will definitely be closed Thursday,” Clohan said.

The detour could be in place for up to three months, depending on weather conditions, Clohan said.

Additional traffic impacts, including the closure of lanes of Queen Street at the square, will also be put into effect as the project progresses, Clohan said.

The project was expected to be completed by Oct. 31.

Aside from the detour, the square project prompted Main Street Martinsburg to relocate its seasonal Farmers Market to the parking lot of 100 S. Queen St., near First United Bank & Trust. The market’s grand opening is set for (today).

Local farm produce, plants and products will be available on Wednesdays and Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Main Street executive director Randy Lewis announced this week.

The square redesign includes new pedestrian crosswalks, landscaping, green spaces straddling the north and south sides of East King Street and a small amphitheater-like stage for performances.

A fountain, flower beds, a veterans memorial and flags are part of a boulevard-like feature that is expected to divide traffic lanes on East King Street and improve pedestrian safety for the crosswalk there, according to the project design. A turn-lane from East King Street will be eliminated.

A statue of city founder Revolutionary War Maj. Gen. Adam Stephen also is envisioned in the design, but is not part of the contract awarded to Triton Construction out of Nitro, W.Va.  

Main Street, a volunteer-based downtown revitalization group, is partnering with the city on efforts to make the statute a reality, Lewis said.

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