Road Patrol: Buckhannon Route 20


Route 20 in Buckhannon is the main road running north and south through Upshur County. But in the middle of the city, construction work is causing some delays and traffic backups that’s snarling travel through the area.  The reason?  The addition of a turning lane onto College Avenue, designed to make an already difficult turn easier. But before that can be done, workers will need to move existing lines out from under the middle of the road.

“What we’re doing now is we’re going to widen the road so that would put these structures under the new road. We’re trying to get them our to the outside edges,” said DOH Area Supervisor Keith Loar.

The main challenge to getting the work done hasn’t been time spent or cost of resources, but mother nature. The rainy weather over the past few months has made work on the road impossible some days, forcing contractors to cover the road with gravel. But even that often isn’t enough.

“Contractors in there are addressing the area in the mornings and in the evenings before they leave, but with the water we have standing there and coming out into the roadways it’s making travel hazardous,” said Loar.

The area is subject to a lot of standing water anyway, which only makes contractors’ work more difficult.  But Loar said that if drivers follow the reduced speed limits posted there, they will not only keep themselves and workers safer, but also help finish the work sooner.

“We’d ask the travelling public to keep in mind that the area is under construction.  The speed limit has been reduced in that area, which believe it or not actually helps the condition of the road with slower traffic. The faster traffic goes through there, the more it’s going to throw the rock and stone we have there,” Loar said.

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