A public meeting held Thursday morning at the Mountain Line Transit Authority building focused on upcoming road projects in Monongalia County.
About 135 road projects will be underway in the next 12 to 18 months. These projects are estimated to cost over $65 million and will be completed over the next two to three years.
Thursday, 16 of the major projects were diagrammed and presented at the meeting. River Road was one of the major concerns.
DOH District 4 Engineer Don Williams said that the construction will be a temporary inconvenience for a permanent good. He suggests that major employers in the area alternate shifts in order to have less traffic on the roadways.
“They have to have patience with us, but if they’re patient, we’ll get to that and that’s why we’ve echoed out to the community, ‘Listen can you help us? Can you alternate shifts? Can you keep that traffic out of there in the p.m. peak? Can you let people stay home one day a week? Telecommute more,” said Williams.
Williams said that the Fall of 2018 into the Summer of 2019 may be the biggest “heartache” of the construction where four projects may be going on at the same time. This includes Monongahela Boulevard, WV 705, the Mileground and the bridge over I-79 at exit 7.
Several groups gathered at the meeting.
“I’ve never seen such energy put together, between, WVU, multiple groups, MPOs, Divison of Highways, Federal Highways, Federal Highway Administration, all these groups coming together and saying let’s make this better and it’s just been a whirlwind so far and we’re really making some leaps and bounds and some differences I think,” said Williams.