Paving

Forget the impressive roadwork completed around Hope Christian Church and the paving of U.S. 50 west through the bulk of Augusta.

You ain’t seen nothing yet from the Division of Highways this summer.

Between the Roads to Prosperity program adopted last year and Gov. Jim Justice’s push this year on West Virginia’s secondary roads, the Division of Highways has a lot more road paving on the immediate horizon.

At the end of May DOH’s District 5, which includes Hampshire County, finished a purchase order that will repave Ford Hill Road south to the Hampshire-Hardy county line below Rio.

Other plans include:

• Route 28 from Romney to the train station;

• Adding a truck lane to westbound U.S. 50 climbing Shaffenaker Mountain just west of Capon Bridge;

• “A few miles” of U.S. 50 from Hanging Rock east to the 3-lane climbing Cooper Mountain;

• The last mile and a half of South Branch River Road to the Hardy County line.

“It should all be completed by the end of October,” said Lee Thorne, District 5’s chief engineer.

Gov. Justice has pushed the Legislature to funnel more money into roads as excesses have piled up in the budget for the year that ends June 30.

Thorne said DOH expects more to come its way for the new fiscal year.

“We’ll probably get some more word here after July 1 and how that can be applied,” he said.

The secondary-roads initiative has included work beyond paving, like clearing ditches and cutting brush.

Box culverts were placed on J.R. Rannells Road between Points and Slanesville to repair damage from the 2018 flooding. DOH says some repaving will occur there too.

Some other cleanup work from the 2018 floods is going on. DOH anticipates placing pilings along 4 stretches of road that gave way last year – 2 on Capon River Road, and 1 each on Okonoko and Croston River roads. o

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