U.S. 250, W.Va. 2 Work to Begin Within the Week
Long-awaited road work on the U.S. 250-W.Va. 2 expansion project was expected to start in the last weeks of 2017, but a sudden snap of bitter cold put those plans on ice.
However, despite comparatively warm weather this week, the returning cold is supposed to pose no impediment to the work, which U.S. Division of Highways engineer Gus Suwaid said should begin soon.
The expansion project, to take place between Glen Dale and Moundsville, is a multi-phase project which will include the addition of a traffic light, turning lane and access to U.S. 250 from W.Va. 2 northbound, and vice versa, as well as other improvements such as bridge repair.
“To address traffic congestion and adding a turning lane, to streamlining through traffic — in other words, to improve the level of service of that section,” Suwaid said. “When someone wants to make a left turn, they’re not restricting the through traffic behind them, and they can take the auxiliary middle lane, allowing for the free flow of traffic.”
The addition of a traffic light would come at the end of construction, Suwaid added, while the road would be reshaped into a right angle to allow free access to 250 from either direction.
“That intersection is not going to be a sharp angle connection, but will be a right angle with a traffic signal.”
The cold weather — dipping below zero at several points — called a halt to these plans, but Suwaid said preliminary plans had forced a delay for several weeks. The contract for the work was awarded to St. Albans-based Triton Construction.
“We awarded the contract to Triton, but due to the cold weather, nothing could be done at this time,” Suwaid said. “They want to wait until the cold weather dissipates. They did already start mobilizing to start the utility relocation work, and the retaining wall, that whole first stage.”
Suwaid estimated the work would start around the third week of January, at which point traffic stops would be set up for the duration of the project.
“The contract consists of multiple phases,” Suwaid said. “The first phase is restricting the slow lane … and that work consists of utility relocation. There are some water/sewer lines that has to be moved before we can begin widening work.”
The work, Suwaid said, would be on a two-year timeline for completion, with a completion date in late 2019.
During this time, a detour would be available through Moundsville, up Fourth Street and down to First Street, the same route which has been used in the past for prior U.S. 250 work. Moundsville City Council had not discussed the current project recently, but in the past, such detours had drawn concerns over wear and tear from the addition of several hundred to thousand vehicles on city streets over weeks and months of work.
Public Works Director Frank Stocklask said at various times during the project, he could foresee people taking different routes through the city to avoid work on both roads, but until construction started, he couldn’t know specifics as to how it would affect traffic.
Meanwhile, the DOH advises that beginning, Monday and continuing through Feb. 2, Fish Creek/ North Fork Road, Marshall County U.S. 250/11 will be closed. This closure will be in effect daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday t allow crews to repair multiple slips.
An alternate route is U.S. 250 to Reid Ridge, Marshall County W.Va. 96.
Inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances could change the project schedule. Motorists are advised to reduce speed and expect delays.