Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Grant County Meeting Minutes



MAY 18, 2005




Grant County Commission President Charles L. Goldizen, Jr. welcomed those in attendance to Grant County. Introductions of representatives and their interests were presented.

Dr. Spiggle reminded the group of the history associated with the formation and subsequent mission of the Rt. 50 association. On a small scale, this organization is cooperating with the “WV Vision Shared” program and the wishes of Governor Joe Manchin to promote regional networks to address issues.


HAMPSHIRE COUNTY- Hampshire County reported a fatal traffic accident on Rt. 50 south of the US 29 intersection. This is an area that has been identified as problematic. Mr. Brian Carr, WVDOH, stated that the accident reporting data used by DOH is based on a three (3) year cycle. This data would not include this most current tragedy due the timing of the report cycle.

Hampshire County reported that there will be an increase of over 400 jobs in the Industrial Park at Capon Bridge. This will increase traffic along that section of Rt. 50.

The representation from Hampshire County introduced the topic of a name for Rt. 50. They would like to see the route named the North Western Turnpike. The facilitator asked that this issue be deferred for discussion as a separate agenda item.

MINERAL COUNTY-A school bus in Mineral County nearly missed a collision on Rt. 50 in Mineral County recently due to heavy fog.

GRANT COUNTY- Grant County has no significant information to report.

GARRETT COUNTY-There have been no recent accidents in Garrett County. Maintenance along Rt. 50 continues with no major projects anticipated for this year,

PRESTON COUNTY- Mr. Arvin Harsh appeared before the association regarding his concerns that overhanging trees pose high accident potentials. He circulated photos showing shadowing, overhanging limbs, and tree at dangerous fall angles. At a prior Association meeting Senator Mike Ross stated that areas of potential tree impact should be reported to the local department of highways for review. B. Carr explained that the local DOH is the correct route for these concerns and that this agency would review the impact removal and or trimming of the trees will have on the overall safety of the road.



FUNDING-The Rt. 50 Association revisited the general funding for State Roads. Unfortunately the needs of Rt. 50 exceed the amount of available. The WVDOH is still very uncertain about the share of Federal dollars that will be received for projects within West Virginia. A list of cost estimates for the identified improvements for Rt 50 had been given to Mr. Carr. He presented the costs determined to date for all projects except the passing lane near the Rt. 29 S intersection. The preliminary estimate, prepared on the suggestions given by the Rt. 50 Association, exceeds 30 million dollars. Mr. Carr explained that the WVDOH is presently compiling a six (6) year plan for improvements and repairs to state roads. This plan will prioritize projects based on several factors including usage and funds available. This is a work in progress and there is no order yet established. He also reminded everyone that Federal funds obtained must be matched by State dollars. This shrinks the pool of funds budgeted for projects as each Federal match is required. Representatives from Hampshire County were given the Rt. 50 improvement estimate to present for Federal funding. Mr. Carr suggested that the association review this list and prioritize the projects in relationship to merit for each county in terms of safety and capacity. Presently Rt. 50 averages a 5-6,000 traffic count with Hampshire County reaching 10-11,000 in some areas.

CURRENT PROJECTS APPROVED-Mr. B. Carr informed those present of two (2) projects that are currently underway along Rt. 50.

(1) Pruntytown Center Turn Lane- Some right-of-way issues are holding up progress but construction is expected to be complete by late summer of early fall.

(2) Taylor County-Construction along the Belgian Hill area has been funded but construction is expected to be delayed until 2008.

DISCUSSION ON NAMING RT 50- The WV Statewide Mapping and Addressing Council is requiring all counties within the state to name roadways. Dr. Spiggle addressed the issue of different areas assigning different names to Rt. 50. Hampshire County has chosen to name the road the North Western Turnpike. The counties of Garrett and Preston have names their portion of the road the George Washington Highway. Grant County has received comment from residents in the Mt. Storm area wanting the name to be George Washington Highway. Discussion occurred regarding the various historical reasons behind each name. The ultimate decision resides with the County Commissioners in each County. Those present agreed that the naming of Rt 50 would be decided on the individual County level.

NEXT MEETING: The next meeting of the Rt. 50 Association will be held on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at the Coca-Cola plant in Romney.