ODOT officials in Belmont County took Congressman Bill Johnson on a ride-along, looking at the intersection of Routes 331 and 40 and I-70.
“We have the promise of an ethane cracker plant right here in Belmont County,” said Johnson. “One of the reasons they chose Belmont County was because of our transportation network–our highways, the river, our rail system.”
Congressman Johnson said this area’s infrastructure is “In bad need of repair.”
They looked at the Route 331, Route 40 and Interstate 70 interchange.
ODOT’s District 11 deputy director explained it is to clear congestion on all three roads.
“What we’re doing is providing better access to Belmont Technical College, kind of a back way in, and getting all that traffic away from the interchange itself,” said Roxanne Kane, District 11 deputy director.
Drivers complained that it’s been confusing, with access roads completely changed, and no signs to explain the new route.
“And I know it’s been tough, but we’re trying to do the best we can but I guess what I’d like to say is hang in there and in another six weeks, things will be better than it was before we started,” she said.
“Anything that I can do to stay better informed about the needs and the concerns and then go take that information back to Washington when we’re putting together infrastructure funding bills and the like, that’s very very important,” said Congressman Johnson.
“That’s pretty special when a Congressman takes time out to check on what our needs are and what we’ve got accomplished and what we have left to remain,” said Schafer.
The interchange is expected to be completed by the end of August.