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Road Work Ramps Up

Orange barrels another sure sign of spring

March 19, 2012
By J.W. JOHNSON JR. Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Familiar orange barrels will again pepper a stretch of W.Va. 2 in Marshall County, though once they are removed this fall it will signal the end of three major projects.

According to West Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Brent Walker, unseasonably warm weather has allowed for work on the 12th Street bridge in Moundsville and the section of W.Va. 2 known as The Narrows to begin already. A third project, which will see a 1.2-mile stretch of W.Va 2 and Lafayette Avenue repaved, will begin in the coming weeks, Walker said.

Crews began rigging the 12th Street bridge and doing site work earlier this month, Walker said. Over the next four months, the bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction to allow for the bridge to be sandblasted and washed. Three coats of light blue paint will be applied. While the structure is rigged for painting, crews will also work to clean the deck of the span and make minor repairs, Walker said.

Article Photos

Photo by Scott McCloskey
A rockslide is seen along W.Va. 2. Department of Transportation officials say the recent warm weather allow give them an early start on projects this year.

That project will coincide with continuing work on W.Va. 2 and Lafayette Avenue, which Walker said will begin within the next two weeks. Last summer, crews worked to improve the structural integrity of the road by cutting out sections and replacing them with new asphalt and steel supports.

Rather than replacing the entire stretch of roadway, crews targeted areas of the road that had obvious stress issues, large cracks and potholes. Additionally, curbs were replaced and new storm sewers were installed to allow for better drainage.

Walker said crews will pick up where they left off, closing traffic in one lane in each direction and putting a blacktop overlay on the stretch. He said if work completed last year has held up and not caused any more delays, the project will be completed in October.

North of Moundsville, The Narrows project is scheduled to finally be completed in August, Walker said, adding the project is 60 percent finished.

The $6.25 million project aims to address problems that have affected the road for more than a decade by reinforcing the hillside beneath the southbound lanes. The right southbound lane has been closed for more than two years due to safety concerns. Larger barrier walls will be put in place, as well as additional lighting.

To ensure the road does not continue to slip, crews are driving pilings 10 feet into the rock below the roadway, Walker said. In all, 36 pillars will be put in place.

While the project is being completed, temporary lighting poles have been installed using both solar panels and wind power. Walker said after some minor adjustments over the winter, the lights are all in working order to provide temporary safety on that stretch of road. He said like many Marshall County residents, the department is glad to be in the final stages of the project.

"It has been a long time coming, and it has been a pretty big job, but we're almost there" he said.

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