Route 50 Association Meeting
Dr. Spiggle gave a brief overview of the formation of the Route 50 Association.
o Grant and Mineral County Commissions had safety concerns of Route 50 in those counties.
o After a meeting to discuss these concerns in those two counties an idea was conceived to form a group to speak on common grounds for safety and modernization of Route 50
o Route 50 is one of only a few of east-to-west roads in the country
o Route 50 is a national road
o Idea to build around county commissions from
o All counties along Route 50 have expressed interest in this goal
o To organize, meetings will take place in counties along Route 50
o Identify improvement groups to be involved—Chambers of Commerce, Development Authorities, etc.
o As a result of previous meetings, two documents were defined—a strategic plan and guidelines for the group
o Two issues that came to the forefront were a need to do a memo of understanding and money to make the process work
o Last meeting was held in Garrett County, Maryland in January
A review of the minutes from the January meeting, Mr. Bill Wood of the WVDOH stated that the first concern of the DOH is safety; 4-laning is more for function not for number of travelers; outlined that section from Grafton to
Dr. Spiggle outlined the agenda for the day’s meeting:
o Get to know one another better
o Hear from county commissions of their concepts of what should be done within their counties—both short- and long-term
o Acknowledge advantages and assets of Route 50 of being a scenic by-way
o Acknowledge transportation issues including north and south as well
o 3.8 miles from 279 by-pass to AFG Industries
o 279 by-pass to Grafton city limits—approximately 13 miles
Doug McKinney stood and gave his views on the need for improvements to Route 50. Mr. McKinney stated that he was glad to see local people getting involved instead of the state making the decision for them.
Mr. Wood of WVDOH responded that he was aware of the Taylor County Comprehensive Plan, transportation section, for Route 50 but had not seen the plan to date but knew it had been given to the state. He stated that the DOH has recognized and are addressing needs from other lists but they are working toward some of the proposed projects. He also stated that some bridges are underway.
Darvin Wolfe of
o Hairpin Curve (big s curve) removed
o Truck lanes on
o Certain curves need to be straightened
o Intersection of Route 50 and 92 North has a beaver problem (according to DOH, 17 beavers have been removed)
Roger Newman, president of the Preston County Chamber of Commerce stated that he feels that growth between
Mr. Wood responded that DOH recognizes that both
Garrett County Commissioner, Dave Beard, stated that his county has 9.25 miles of Route 50 and there are no particular accident sections or safety concerns, which Fred Crowser (?), of MDDOH reiterated. Ms. Clatterbuck checked into Route 50 being a scenic by-way.
Janice Larew, Mineral County Commission, stated that Route 50 in her county is not as bad as reported by other counties. There is an area of concern and that is New Creek through
o More guardrails
o Improvements to road shoulders
o One area needs sight distance
o Turning lanes in some areas
o Logging business need to get to some companies
o No fatalities in their county
o 111 accidents due to road conditions
Route 50 to
Greg Bradfield of
Bill Wood, of WVDOH commented that DOH recently studied Hampshire and
The county’s response was that they felt car traffic is heavier than truck traffic and is more of a problem.
Grant County Economic Development Director, Elwood _________ presented comments and areas of concern:
o Route 50 in
o 4-5 miles to Corridor H
o public water all along Route 50
o People from the Valley,
o Not sure if there will be a lot of traffic once Corridor H is completed
o 83 accidents and 7 fatalities from
o Birms are fairly good
o Need reflectors in the middle of the road (hard to see road in the fog)
o Improved signage for what is ahead
o 2 bridges need to be replaced
o Bottom of grades need to have turn-off lanes
A statement was made that Route 50 is considered a scenic by-way and that there is a lot of blight along the highway that needs to be addressed.
Mr. Wood of WVDOH commented that state made commitments to the county due to Corridor H and that a study was done with
Dr. Spiggle commented that at the last meeting of the association no transportation committee was formed on transportation needs and wants each county to prioritize needs for their respective county.
Deb Clatterbuck made some additional comments regarding scenic by-ways and the promotion of Route 50 as such:
o Route 50 national yard sale
o Route 50 from
o Benefits of a scenic by-way designation: get federal dollars with only a 20% match; All-American road status
Questions and concerns raised regarding Route 50 as a scenic by-way:
o Should Route 50 be named the same all the way through?
o Officially in
o If designated as a scenic by-way, can upgrades still be done? (response from DOH—yes)
o Route 50 in
o Mick Swick from
Dr. Spiggle noted that an issue was still on the table—is the name
Dave Sypolt from
Buck True and David Mole talked about transportation initiatives and issues:
o Appalachian North/South Corridor project—lobbied for this connector to PA turnpike and Somerset to Corridor H in WV; right now using I-68, MD 53, and WV 220 to get to Corridor H
o Route 219 is a separate Appalachian Corridor project—completion by 2010 for 4-lane divided interstate from Grantsville, MD to
o WV & MD--$2 million to begin planning activities but cannot agree on a MOU between them (preliminary engineering on environmental impact statement); they have been working on this since 1996
Buck True made the following comments:
o Stated that he started on roads 5 years ago
o Felt that no one cared about roads
o He said that it took one year to develop a plan to take to
o He feels that Route 250 needs upgraded due to limited business to buy basic needs.
o There are plans for a
o Feels that this area can be a revolution for industrial development
o Feels that this area is being neglected in regards to roads
o Feels that interstate must improve for counties—can’t commercialize without interstates
o Feels that state should grant rural to counties
o All of these would improve conditions in each of the counties
DOH representatives, Bill Wood, Marvin Murphy, and Tom Freeman talked about the state road program.
o Not how much you ask for but what you can do with what you get
o 4-lane between Belington and Route 250
o Suggested that counties meet with DOH representatives as they are easy to work with
o Choose the worse areas and DOH will assist
o They are waiting on a finalized report from Norm Roush to get something done
Dr. Spiggle thanked and congratulated Mr. True on his efforts. He stated that a regional co-op would fit in the state’s plan “A Vision Shared”.
Dr. Spiggle also thanked all attendees for coming to the meeting.
The next meeting for the Route 50 Association will be in