The sooner the Bridgeport Bypass is finished, the better. When completed, the 2.76 mile connection between U.S. 50 and I-79 east of Bridgeport will be good for Harrison County, Taylor County and the rest of North Central West Virginia.
So far, the bypass is in the fast lane. It took only two years to get the project under way. That compares to the usual six to eight years of prep work for road projects of similar size, says state Department of Transportation Secretary Sam Beverage. And construction of the bypass is on schedule, so far, with completion slated for July 2001, according to Beverage.
For Taylor County, the bypass promises economic development. Beverage calls the bypass the first stretch of a four-lane highway to Grafton. And anyone who has driven anywhere in West Virginia knows that four-lane highways bring economic development with them. Everything from stores to car dealerships to factories spring up alongside four-lane highways. It should be no different in Taylor County.
For Harrison County, the bypass will improve access to the already thriving Benedum Airport aerospace complex. The bypass will also help to reduce traffic congestion on Bridgeport Hill and on the stretch of I-79 between the FBI exit and the Anmoore exit.
For North Central West Virginia, the bypass will help to create a transportation system that can attract larger companies, bigger investments and more jobs.
The Bridgeport Bypass is a bargain, too -- as far as road projects go. The state will spend $21.8 million in bond revenue for construction of the bypass. That's less than $8 million a mile, compared to some four-lane projects in the state that cost up to $30 million a mile, according to Beverage.
With so many benefits to be gained, we look forward to completion of the Bridgeport Bypass. We're sure North Central West Virginia residents do, also.