By DAVE PAYNE SR.
8/6/05 - PARKERSBURG -
Motorists can expect plenty of changes in Parkersburg next week as a new 3.5-mile section of Corridor D begins a gradual opening.
The segment between Fifth Street in Parkersburg and the intersection of West Virginia 892, W.Va. 95 and W.Va. 68 will open in phases. The first phase is scheduled for Monday when workers activate traffic signals at the intersection of W.Va. 68, Gov. Joe Manchin said Friday.
"I am pleased that we are making significant strides in our efforts to complete this major transportation artery," Manchin said. "The Corridor D project wil provide safer travel for motorists through the Parkersburg area and play a vital role in the continued economic development of the Mid-Ohio Valley region."
Susie Watkins, communications director for the
- A 3.5-mile section of Corridor D will begin opening next week, officials said.
- Motorists should notice changes each day as the new sections and lanes are gradually opened.
- The opening section of road includes five separate projects, including 10 bridges.
State Department of Transportation, said the opening section of road includes five separate projects, including 10 bridges.
"This all goes into the big picture," Parkersburg Mayor Jimmy Colombo said, "which means we've been on the receiving end of a lot of good state money and federal money to make our area better," Colombo said.
George Shinsky, District 3 construction engineer for the Division of Highways, said motorists should notice some changes each day. There have been delays in getting electricity to the lights at the overpass of W.Va. 68 and W.Va 892 which connects Lubeck with Washington, but power was installed Thursday, he said. That bridge is expected to be opened Monday morning, he said.
The temporary traffic light at Marrtown Road will be removed and motorists will need to use the nearby interchanges, he said.
Shinsky said the westbound lanes should be open by midweek and the eastbound section should be open by the following week.
"It will take several days and maybe into the next week when we will have a six-lane road," he said.
The next project W.Va. 892 to DuPont Washington Works, which is expected to be paved and completed next year, Shinsky said.
"That leaves only the bridge after then," he said.
The opening of the additional section will further affect traffic patterns in and around Parkersburg, Parkersburg Mayor Jimmy Colombo said.
Southbound traffic on Fourth Street, which is going to the Route 50 and Fifth Street Interchange, has increased, he said.
"Just think, if you live in east Parkersburg and work at Dupont, what that will do for you. You can just zoom and goo out that way. The whole face of our city is changing," Colombo said.
The new section of road will make southern Wood County more accessible, but those driving to Ohio still need to drive through Parkersburg, he said.
"We are getting one stop closer to 2007 or 2008 when the bridge will be open. This is going to be a new experience for us, hopefully this will help traffic toward the plants and open up the southern end of the country. I commend the DOH for how diligent they work and improve all the areas that surround Corridor D with all the things they have to do to make it work," he said.
The new road is going to create a new panorama, a new cityscape of Parkersburg, for drivers on the the new road, Colombo said.
"I'm looking forward to that, too," Colombo.
When completed, the four-lane stretch of U.S. 50 known as Corridor D is expected to connect Interstate 79 near Bridgeport with Interstate 275 near Cincinatti. It is part of the Appalachian Corridor system covering counties in 12 states from Mississippi to New York.
Work on the first stretch of Corridor D was completed in Doddridge County in 1967
Posted with permission from The Parkersburg News & Sentinel