WBOY’s cameras were back on the Road Patrol once again in Monongalia County.
Two of the most highly trafficked roads in Morgantown are route 705 and the Mileground, both of which are need in repairs.
The Division of Highways says projects are planned, but won’t come easily.
“It’s gonna be a nightmare project and that’s what I’ve told folks,” said West Virginia Division of Highways District 4 Manager and Engineer Donald Williams about the logistics of both roadways.
The five-lane concrete Route 705 will be difficult for the DOH to repair not just because it’s heavily trafficked.
“What’s happened is that concrete pavement over the 35 year plus has really deteriorated,” Williams explained. “A lot of the joints have failed and we can’t fix concrete very well.”
Williams said plans are in the works for a major overhaul of 705, but it’ll take time.
“We have a consultant right now walking that project, coming up with a set of plans,” he continued. We’re hoping if everything works out this summer around $3 million of fixing 705 properly. It’s just not repairing it. We’re gonna cut out all the bad joints, weed down, replace slabs, fix the curbs through there where the curbs have fallen off.”
The DOH will also have to find the best alternate traffic pattern during the project.
“A lot of traffic, a lot of people use that road everyday and we understand that. We’re going to try and be very smart how we’re doing it,” said Williams.
Another area that has drivers concerned is the Mileground.
Williams said now that the new Easton Hill interchange is complete, it’s time to work on more phases of the larger project.
$40 million of geobonds will fund the Milegound improvements, which includes widening the highway to five lanes.
The DOH is currently in the process of purchasing parcels of land to widen the road and has a plan in place to help areas business who may be affected.
“If we shut a business down we help with negotiations, moving expenses like that,” Williams explained. Then post construction we compensate or we take evaluations of can this business operate after we do this widening? Is there enough parking? Is there enough room to get their trucks in?”
Williams said that both projects will take some time, but there is a possibility both could start in 2018.