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Project to widen Meadowbrook Road scheduled to begin shortly

by Shawn Gainer

STAFF WRITER

CHARLESTON -- Construction will begin soon to widen Meadowbrook Road to four lanes, Delegate Barbara Warner said Wednesday.

Construction on the first phase is scheduled to begin in March, though the state Division of Highways may start even sooner if unseasonably mild weather continues, said Warner, D-Harrison, who chairs the House Roads and Transportation Committee.

The first phase will cover the section of Meadowbrook Road from the Meadowbrook Mall to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Center. The entire upgrade is planned to cover 4.5 miles from the Intersection of I-79 at the Meadowbrook interchange to the intersection with U.S. Route 19 near the Meadowbrook Post Office.

"The environmental impact study has been completed," Warner said. "The DOH is working on property acquisition and it looks like there will only be a couple of houses they'll have to take. I've talked to people at the DOH and they think there's a good chance they'll be able to start earlier than March because weather forecasters aren't expecting us to have a normal winter."

The first phase is expected to be completed in 18 months. According to a statement released by DOH Commissioner Sam Beverage, the project, which has an estimated cost of $30 million, is necessary because current traffic counts and projections for future traffic indicate Meadowbrook Road will be too heavily traveled to remain safe with only two lanes.

Also, the DOH will soon begin a comprehensive transportation plan for the needs of Harrison County over the next 20 years, Warner said.

Already, an extensive number of highways projects are planned in Harrison County, including a four-lane bypass from U.S. 50 near Benedum Airport to the FBI interchange with I-79, the expansion of I-79 to six lanes between the Bridgeport and Saltwell interchanges and an extension of Lodgeville Road from the intersection with U.S. 50 to a tie-in with W.Va. 24 near 84 Lumber in Bridgeport.

Warner said the projects are necessary to accommodate traffic that will be generated by economic expansion centered on Benedum Airport and the FBI Center.

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