MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Work on Green Bag Road from Luckey Lane to Mississippi Street is at least two years away, and residents in the area continue to express concerns about moving forward.

During the regular meeting of the Monongalia County Commission, resident Shawn Commodore said not enough research has been done on roundabouts or engagement with businesses and residents along the route.

In addition to the impact on businesses, Commodore cited the Monongalia County Technical Education Center (MTEC), the South Middle School, and White Park near the intersection of Green Bag Road and Mississippi Street. School buses and parents bringing children and picking them up from school, as well as softball, baseball, and hockey, would be disrupted during construction.

Commodore said even after the project is complete, the roundabout design will be less efficient and cause more traffic delays than the current layout.

“I believe more research needs to be done, and we also need to consult with the communities and groups in that area, which this project will affect,” Commodore said. “At South Middle School, how do parents feel about the road change?”

During comments from elected officials, Commissioner Tom Bloom said the project has been the focus of six years of investigation that has included at least two environmental studies.

“The federal government did the studies and came up with the roundabouts,” Bloom said. “If you look at the other recommendations, they would have taken a lot more land and cost a lot more money.”

Commodore questioned if enough input had been received from the Mon Valley Green Space Coalition and other White Park advocacy groups.

“Environmentally, my concern is if, since this is going to be a fix for the new truck route, what if a truck carrying hazardous materials overturns and contaminates the watershed that was just restored in that area?” Commodore asked.

The project does come with a federal requirement to not only include community gardens in Phase I, but to fund them. A committee is being assembled to distribute funds for community gardens in the Morgantown area.

Commodore asked commissioners to reconsider the roundabout design, even questioning if trucks would use the new pavement because of the design.

“Morgantown is a small, close-knit town; that’s why it’s nice here,” Commodore said. “I personally don’t need these roundabouts as they will ugly up the area during construction and probably so after completion.”