MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Monongalia County Commission has expressed their appreciation to the governor for his support of the Harmony Grove interchange off I-79 to support the Morgantown Industrial Park.
Commissioner Sean Sikora noted four years ago there was a slide that closed River Road and ignited conversations about improved access to that portion of the county. That slide was the catalyst to begin conversations between commissioners and Enroute Properties to explore the viability of an additional interchange.
“I think it was May 6, 2018 that we had our first discussion for that,” Sikora said. “That’s almost four years to the day of the governor’s announcement and we’re happy.”
The interchange will improve access to that portion of the county and also safety. Heavy trucks bound for the industrial park will use Westover streets less and truck traffic around two schools in the area is expected to be reduced.
“It’s going to give us safety and access to the school and that entire end of the county and we look forward to pushing this thing forward,” Commissioner Jeff Arnett said.
Commissioner Tom Bloom is glad some of the tedious administrative work is done and now people can begin to see and expect real progress.
“The governor is the key final component in moving this forward,” Bloom said. “So, we’re very appreciative of the governor for doing that.”
Once federal officials approve the project, project design and right-of-way acquisition would be some of the next steps before construction would begin.
“Sometimes these things don’t move as fast as people would like, but they are moving,” Sikora said.
The project is valued at about $40 million.