Road Patrol: Work begins for $2 million plan to transform Morgantown intersection

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UPDATE (APRIL 20, 2020 5:20 p.m.):

Morgantown, W.Va. – Roadwork has begun and as expected, there was traffic around the intersection on Monday afternoon because of road closures. However, the traffic was not too overwhelming and the road was mostly free-flowing during the day.

Crews were out sectioning off lanes, digging and closing off work areas.

There has not been a change to the initial completion date of mid-July. Motorists are being told to plan ahead if they need to use the intersection because the roadwork will be going on for a considerable period of time.

ORIGINAL (APRIL 2, 2020 6:18 p.m.):

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia Division of Highways has announced a multi-faceted, multi-million-dollar road construction project that will impact thousands of commuters.

The project will turn the intersection of WV 7 (also known as Earl Core Rd.) and Greenbag Rd. into a “T” shape rather than what is there now. The $1,797,851.31 contract will also include a complete overhaul of the drainage system of the road and upgrade “Access 1” the connector road between WV 7 and Sabraton Ave (a.k.a the road between Hardees and Woodburn Shanks BBQ).

The job has been contracted to Mountaineer Contractors, Inc. of Kingwood who are still waiting to receive their permit to begin the heavy lifting. Jason Nelson the WVDOH District 4 construction manager, said in the contractors have not been standing idly by in the meantime.

“Right now the project has started, there’s traffic control set up,” Nelson said. “They’ve done a few minor things that they can do.”

Nelson continued.

“The last we talked to the contractor, that was going to happen or was supposed to happen in the next week or so is when they were anticipating getting that document back,” Nelson said.

According to a WVDOH press release, the project will be done in multiple phases:

  • In the first phase, Greenbag Road will be closed from the intersection with WV 7 to the rail trail behind the Dollar Tree. At the same time, WV 7 will be shifted slightly so work can be performed on WV 7 East. However, two lanes of WV 7 will be open at all times.
  • In the second phase, Greenbag Road will be re-opened. WV 7 will be slightly shifted again, so work can begin on WV 7 West. Two lanes of WV 7 will once again be open during this phase. From there, additional work on Access 1 will begin. The final configuration of Access 1 will be right in/right-out only from WV 7 and no access from Sabraton Avenue.

The project was initially slated to be complete by mid-July but with COVID-19 looming about and shutting down a large portion of the state that could change. However, Nelson said they have spoken to the contractors and don’t see it impacting their immediate timeline.

“I’m sure it’s going to impact it in some way but at least at this point in time they’re not and we’re not planning on seeing any kind of major delays because of it,” Nelson said. “As of right now, according to the governor’s latest order at least, this type of work is considered essential work so they have no limitations on their work progress at this point.”

As far as fixing the road’s drainage problems goes, Nelson said, they are installing a completely new drain system and replacing everything with new reinforced concrete.

Mountaineer Contractors, Inc. will be installing a free drainage system that will flow water from the road into the surrounding storm sewers and other drainages.

Nelson said a WVDOH study shows that on average 15,590 vehicles use the road per day meaning a lot of people will be impacted by the roadwork. However, he said people should keep in mind that there will not be a complete road closure and traffic will still be allowed to flow through the intersection.

“The configuration is going to change over time but we’re still going to be able to clear the traffic through there,” Nelson said. “But there will be times when there are delays and lanes get shifted and everything and just ask that the traveling public be aware of that and we have guys out there working and just keep their safety in mind.”

Nelson continued and said all the work that will be done will be inconvenient but will be for the best.

“Once this is over with we’ll have an intersection that flows and functions a lot more efficiently than what’s there right now.”

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