MORGANTOWN, W.Va. The Green Bag Road improvement project is moving forward despite some opposition to the roundabouts included in the design.

On WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom responded to a claim that 17 school bus drivers have protested the addition of roundabouts at Mississippi Street and Kingwood Pike.

“Let’s be straight forward; that’s a bunch of crap, and I’m going to put it point blank,” Bloom said. “There were 17 bus drivers that did sign it from Preston and Monongalia County, and we went back and asked them what the problem was and whether they would say anything publicly.”

The project includes increasing the lane width and shoulders and a dedicated center-turn lane leading to Mississippi Street. A curb and gutter are planned on the west side of the road to improve drainage and a sidewalk from Mississippi Street to the Kingwood Pike Intersection. The shoulder on the west side of the road will also be a bike lane between the commercial district and the residential areas.

Bloom said surveyors have been on the site in recent days identifying the right-of-way for appraisal purposes.

“It is moving forward, so for the first time we will have a route so we won’t have to go through Brockway Avenue, downtown, or Walnut Street,” Bloom said. “We’ll be able to offer an alternative.”

The project has been unconsidered for the past decade. The consideration has included substantial study into traffic counts, the roundabout design, and the environmental impact of construction. The project has also been the subject of several public meetings over that 10-year period.

“This has been vetted for over 10 years. There have been three studies and two environmental studies,” Bloom said. “And for people to understand, the safest roadways to get traffic through are roundabouts.”

The project will result in improved traffic flow, improved infrastructure for pedestrians, and some truck traffic out of downtown Morgantown. Efforts are underway to secure a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant to address the steep “S” curve from Green Bag Road to Don Knotts Boulevard, the final obstacle for trucks to use the route.

“The public spoke and voted 85 percent in favor of these projects,” Bloom said. “Let’s work together instead of complaining all the time and stopping progress.”