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Construction in Martinsburg expected to be complete in two weeks

Alternate route has been devised for Bike Night

August 05, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Construction at the intersection of Queen and King streets in Martinsubrg is on schedule to be completed by Bike Night two weeks from today when hundreds of motorcyclists stream into downtown, officials said Friday.

Even if the intersection isn't reopened to traffic by then, Main Street Martinsburg Executive Director Randy Lewis said an alternative route to bring the bikes into town has been devised for the charitable event, which benefits Hospice of the Panhandle.

Kenneth L. Clohan, area construction engineer for the state Division of Highways, said the project appears to be on schedule.

Concrete is scheduled to be poured on Monday in what will be a rebuilt intersection capped with pavers, Clohan said. The concrete will be reinforced with steel bar, which is in place for the pour, he said.

To expedite the work, contractors worked 24 hours a day for the first two days and also have returned to the project site on Saturdays, Clohan said.

State highway officials initially announced the intersection would be reopened to traffic by Aug. 22, the first day of school for students, but Clohan said he is hopeful the work will be done quicker.

While the reopening of the intersection is important for Bike Night, Lewis said downtown remains "open for business" even with a traffic detour around the town square in place.

Lewis said he is especially appreciative of the city's decision to offer free parking in downtown while the busy intersection remains closed.

Other area road-construction projects include:

Raleigh Street Extension — Work on the third contract awarded for the 1.2-mile road construction project is supposed to start next week, Clohan said.

The project low bidder, Kokosing Construction Co., Inc., was awarded a $9.9 million contract this summer for the work between West Race Street and a yet-to-be-relocated portion of Tavern Road, according to DOH officials.

Contract work on the north-end section of the project near Edwin Miller Boulevard is about 25 percent complete, but a middle section has yet to begin primarily because utilities in the construction area still need to be relocated, Clohan said.

W.Va. 9 — Construction of a new Shenandoah River bridge for the highway in Jefferson County is more than half completed and still is scheduled to be done by the fall of next year, Clohan said.

Steel is beginning to be placed for the bridge-support structure, he said. The road construction east of the bridge to the Virginia line is nearly complete, but remaining work will be done in coordination with the bridge project, he said.

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