FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — Dual highway construction projects have slowed traffic in Fairmont for months, which may have some drivers wondering when they’ll get some relief.
West Virginia Department of Transportation Interim District Engineer/Manager Michael Daley appeared on Friday’s edition of on “West Virginia on the DOT,” the Department of Transportation’s podcast, and shared the progress on the US Route 250 and Interstate 79 projects in Marion County.
Daley said that the I-79 widening project, which will take the section of the interstate between exits 133 and 135 from two lanes to three, is still on schedule despite recent wintery weather. The project began in July 2021 and Daley said he expects it to wrap up in October 2024.
“A lot of the road widening has been completed,” Daley said. “We’re in the process now of building bridges, and even through the bad weather—cold weather—our contractors are able to work building, forming, putting rebar in, getting things ready for the concrete. It doesn’t seem like the weather has really been affecting them that much. They’ve done a great job.”
The unpopular split in the construction zone was just removed Thursday into Friday.
He also provided an update on the Route 250 rockfall project between Fairmont and White Hall that has been making it difficult to get to popular Italian restaurant Muriale’s. The goal of the project is to keep rocks from falling onto the road and causing accidents, which Daley said has happened in the past.
The project is “about 75% complete at this point,” according to Daley.
Daley said he believes that section of the road should return to two-lane traffic by the end of the year, but that once that happens, there will still be more work to do on drainage systems near the Tygart Valley River.
Then, in the spring of 2023, Daley said there will be some finishing touches to complete before the project is completely done, which Daley said should be in April 2023.