MPO pleased with DOT long term road priorities in Mon. Co.

Highway-Construction-roadsMORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With the state of West Virginia’s roads, it is certain drivers have a priority list of improvements that far exceeds what state officials can reasonably review immediately.

But, according to Bill Austin, Executive Director of the Morgantown Monongalia Metro Planning Organization, the 4 improvement projects under consideration by the state Department of Transportation rank high on the MPO list.

“We did a priority list with about 12 projects on it. These are our top 4 priorities. Especially the West Run and Van Voorhis projects are high priorities of the Chamber of Commerce,” Austin explained.

Austin, with state approval, is publicizing the $48 million proposal from the state.

Spot improvements, right of way work and construction on Beechurst Avenue are estimated to cost $7 million.

The DOT proposed widening West Run Road at a cost of $15,750,000.

The members of the MPO have been closely watching another $15,000, project.

“Greenbag Road has been a fairly high priority since we did the long range plan. It is a road that is substandard lane widths. It has some drainage issues. It’s also a potential thorough fare for truck traffic,” said Austin.

The state also proposes Van Voorhis road widening to cost $10,000,000.

Following public feedback, Austin said the State Transportation Improvement Program would have to approve plans before even any preliminary work to start.

“They will begin work on the engineering and project design for the projects. Ultimately, that is a fairly long process. And, it may involve approval of an environmental study,” Austin said. “So, we’re looking at either 2020 or 2012 for the implementation of these projects.”

The West Virginia Department of Transportation is soliciting public input for including these proposed projects as well as other projects in the greater Morgantown-Monongalia metropolitan area.

An open-house style walk-in meeting is Monday, November 2, 2015, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Mountain Line’s Offices located at 420 Dupont Road in Westover.