Martinsburg square to close during safety-improvement project

July 25, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Motorists will be detoured around Martinsburg’s town square for about three weeks beginning Thursday as work continues on pedestrian safety improvements there.

Depending on weather conditions for construction, the closure of the intersection of King and Queen streets will remain in effect around the clock until Aug. 22, the state Division of Highways announced Monday.

Motorists traveling on W.Va. 9 in downtown Martinsburg will be advised to follow a detour onto Wilson, Raleigh and Race streets.

U.S. 11 traffic is being advised to follow a detour onto Raleigh and Race streets.

Access to businesses will be maintained for “local traffic” while the detours are in effect, and city officials said they anticipate the intersection construction will be done before the annual Bike Night event on Aug. 20.

Because of the intersection closure, city officials said all public parking in downtown will be free, except in spaces with green-topped meters. Permit parking at Caperton Train Station also will remain in effect.

The intersection closure is necessary to allow contractors to install brick pavers in the square as part of the improvement project, officials said.

The City Council on Thursday is expected to review plaque designs and the process for procuring a sculpture of Revolutionary War Major Gen. Adam Stephen, the city’s founder.

Two proposed supplemental agreements between the city and the state Department of Transportation about the $1.3 million square project are also due to be reviewed.

Officials have projected the entire project will be completed at the end of October. The square redesign includes new landscaping, green space in the 100 block of east King Street and a small amphitheater-like stage for performances.

A boulevard-like feature planned for the middle of East King Street is expected to divide traffic lanes and improve pedestrian safety for the crosswalk there.

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