Rt. 2 road project workshop, public comments due by Oct. 17

Local

HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)- West Virginia Route-2 road improvements in New Cumberland have been in the works for years.

On Tuesday night, a public workshop was held by the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) to update residents on project status, answer questions, and take ideas and concerns.

As part of compliance with environmental (National Environmental Policy Act) and historic (National Historic Preservation Act) policies, WVDOH presented the environmental assessment for Route 2 improvements to the public.

Besides a no-build-solution, there are five alternatives to correct the traffic problem. As such, all of the alternatives have their own associated concerns. Overall, the main objective is to improve the flow of truck traffic, which is hindered by many obstacles at this time. When Governor Jim Justice promoted the Road to Prosperity Bond, this project was part of the program. Since the bond passed, taxes have already been raised, meaning this project should be a return on the taxpayers’ investment. The governor was invited to the workshop, but did not attend.

Each alternative seems to cover the necessary objectives, but not without disturbing some part of the community. A decision on which alternative has not yet been made.

According to West Virginia Delegate Pat McGeehan, this road project previously was to be funded by the state. According to McGeehan, now a combination of state and federal subsidies will be used. This could potentially mean the project may fall within strict federal standards. More investigation is needed on this as voters were promised funding would come from approved state bonds. Further updates are necessary on this matter.

The thirty-day comment period on the project began today. Project blueprints and where to comment can be found on the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s website.

The public comment period ends on October 17, 2019. The date for final environmental clearance is tentatively scheduled for December 31, 2019.

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