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I-70 Paving Work Approaches Near Pennsylvania State Line

Photo by Scott McCloskey Road resurfacing work is expected to begin on I-70 near the West Virginia Welcome Center in Ohio County by next week if weather permits.

Motorists traveling Interstate 70 near the West Virginia Welcome Center in Ohio County can expect road resurfacing repairs to begin by next week near where the Tunnel Ridge mining company performed longwall mining beneath the area just a few months ago.

According to West Virginia Division of Highways Area Engineer Mike Witherow, the road resurfacing work has been delayed slightly because of the recent wave of rainy weather and the resurfacing work is “weather dependent.”

“We were trying to schedule that to begin this week, but the wet weather really pushed it (back),” Witherow explained, saying both the milling and paving work should begin by next week, weather allowing. “We got our layout done this week, so we’re ready to mill and recreate the profile to meet the speed limit.”

The current posted speed limit is 45 mph throughout the work zone. Witherow said he expects the speed limit to be raised back to 60 mph once the resurfacing work is complete.

I-70 remains narrowed to one lane in both directions near the welcome center. It was in early March when DOH officials reported cracks appearing in some areas of the road surface. Witherow said they were experiencing a lot of the same things they saw in previous coal panel passes through that area.

Witherow said the DOH continues to be in contact with the Tunnel Ridge coal company about mitigation plans to the welcome center in that area.

“They’re still working on a plan,” he said. “We hope to do that in the near future, but are still working on that (mitigation work) process.”

Witherow said the plans are to restore the welcome center structure to its “pre-mining condition.”

The DOH decided to close the pull-off area at the Welcome Center during the winter months as it continues to monitor that area. The welcome center building was closed in mid-April last year as The Hughes Corporation of Sycamore, Pennsylvania, began mitigation work to minimize structural damage to the building during the mining process.

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