WESTON, W.Va. – Leaders with the West Virginia Department of Transportation announced that a new exit ramp has opened at I-79 Exit 99 in Weston, marking a significant milestone in the ‘Roads to Prosperity’ project.
A release from the WVDOT stated that on Monday, November 9, construction crews officially opened the ramp to traffic on I-79 southbound. The release stated that two new signals are now in use at Route 33. One is located at the bottom of the new southbound exit ramp, and the other is located at the bottom of the northbound exit ramp.
“This is yet another of the many significant improvements West Virginia motorists are seeing on their highways thanks to Governor Jim Justice and the extraordinary vision he had to create the Roads To Prosperity program,” said WVDOT Deputy Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E. “We have crews out in all 55 counties, working on major infrastructure projects and fixing our secondary roads, and this work is going to open the door for all kinds of new opportunities for people to live and work and commute in West Virginia like never before.”
The release stated that the northbound travel lane has been changed from the fast lane to the slow lane. According to the release, this is now on the new portion of the northbound bridge. The old half of the northbound bridge is scheduled for demolition this winter, with reconstruction beginning Spring 2021, WVDOT officials said.
“The driving public is seeing a lot of changes already, and we’re really excited about the improvements being made,” said Eric Lough, P.E., District 7 Construction Engineer.
The release stated that construction of the Ramp A bridge is approximately 75 percent complete, and the bridge is expected to to be completed by April 2021.
Additionally, officials said the grade work for Mudlick Road is complete. Base and asphalt placement are scheduled to begin in the summer of 2021. The existing tunnel will be abandoned in the fall of 2021.
The release stated that the Exit 99 interchange rebuild is a General Obligation Bond project that provides for relocating, rebuilding, and making additional safety improvements to the southbound interchange (on and off ramps).
According to the release, the project started in September 2018, when Gov. Jim Justice and the WVDOT announced the award of the contract to rebuild the southbound interchange of Exit 99. Vecellio & Grogan, Inc. of Beckley were awarded the bid for $24,103,865.78.
Officials said the project is expected to be completed November 2021.