MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — The dream of many for better traffic in Monongalia County is now one step closer to reality.
On Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice announced that a $70 million bridge is planned to be built near Morgantown to connect U.S. 119 and Interstate 68 to the Morgantown Industrial Park.
According to a release from the Governor’s office, the new bridge is estimated to alleviate additional traffic congestion in the area by diverting large trucks away from River Road and the Westover area.
The project comes as a response to the announced expansion of Mountaintop Beverage, which looks to bring jobs and production to the Morgantown area and thus, more traffic.
“You know, the way we look at it is between the bridge going out to 68 and Harmony Grove out to 79 eventually, it really gives the community the best of both worlds. All the jobs in the industrial park and all the development that will come supporting this industrial park with truck access, without all those tractor-trailers rolling through local communities,” Mountaintop Beverage CEO Jeffery Sokal said.
The release said that the construction of the bridge is part of the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s (WVDOTs) “proactive measures to mitigate the challenges associated with increased traffic in the Morgantown area” and that it will deliver relief in the meantime while officials decide whether or not to construct a new interchange on I-79.
Construction is set to begin in the spring of 2024. The bridge project currently has three potential routes in Monongalia County which can be seen on the map below.