Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Preston County Meeting

U. S. Route 50 Association

Minutes for September 21, 2005 Meeting

Melanie’s Family Restaurant

Aurora, West Virginia 26705


Wayne Spiggle


Facilitator / Mineral

Dave Sypolt


Michael Bland


David Stemple


Delores Stemple


Mona Ridder



Arvin Harsh


Preston / Eglon

Dave Moe



L. Darwin Wolfe

265-1658 or 265-1659

Preston Commissioner

Evelyn Baker



Gary Howell



Brian Carr


WVDOH – Charleston

Vicki Cole


Preston Commissioner

William Wood


WVDOH – Charleston

Terri L. Funk


Preston Assessor & COC

Dave Price


Preston Commissioner

Peggy Jamison



Robert Amtower


WVDOH – District Five


Meeting was called to order by Dr. Wayne Spiggle at 1:00 PM and self introductions were made around the room.


Minutes from the July 20, 2005 meeting were reviewed and approved as written.

Comments on “Building of U. S. Route 50:

Presented by Arvin Harsh, a brief discussion about how U. S. Route 50 was built with manual labor and horses. Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone made visits to see about logging and industrialization of the areas along where U. S. Route 50 now resides.

Regional Review:

Hampshire County, reported by Evelyn Baker, said Senator Byrd has been helpful. A letter from Senator Byrd’s office was read to the group. A study and report dated August 4, 2005 from WVDOH Planning and Research Division which reviews and analyses safety along the US Route 50 will be forwarded. The 6 year plan is updated every quarter and is next published to cover January 2006 through December 2011. The six year plan is published on the Internet at:

To successfully promote US Route 50 improvements, we must have Governor Manchin on board with our agenda. Some funding has been extended for homeland security which may be a source for transportation improvements also. The Federal Highway Bill passed but the State must match funds.

There were two fatal car accidents near Capon and one new fatality in Hampshire.

Mineral County, reported by Robert Amtown, there have been several accidents at U. S. Route 50 and U. S. Route 220 at top of Knobley Mountain. It has been recommended that an all way stop be installed there to force drivers to stop and look. Public is generally against that plan. The Director of Transportation has personally viewed the intersection. Possible help by installing a rumble strip.

Grant County is dealing with the Corp of Engineers on road improvements.

Garrett County, reported by Peggy Jamison, was focusing on improvements with the intersections of U. S. Route 50 with Routes 219 and 560.

Preston County, reported by L. Darwin Wolfe, expects minimal improvements on U. S. Route 50. We have some areas needing guide (guard) rail installation and improvements. The bank East of the intersection at Fellowsville School needs scraped back to improve site distance; also, Route 24 and U. S. Route 50 intersection at Aurora should be converted into a “T” intersection. The Commission has primarily been working with the Preston County Chamber of Commerce to improve WV Route 7.

Taylor County has not been represented at the last few meetings.

Old Business:

Bill Wood and Brian Carr reported that with State matching funds for Federal Highway Dollars, there will be $3 million in U. S. Route 50 improvements this year alone. The cost are approximately $50 – 60 k per mile to re-surface and $275 – 400 k per mile for upgrade to Federal standards. A question was asked about clear zones beside highways and who is responsible if a tree falls on a highway.

On North – South Corridor to connect Corridor H with Interstate 68, Dave Moe cited an “upper management delay.” Bill Wood reported that in 2003 funding became available and very little else was done. In 2004 mapping was updated, a memo of understanding between the administration and environmental, and a short list was compiled by late fall. Some environmental issues were settled in January 2005 and a Tier 1 study was begun. Expected to have a scope settled in next two months.

Dave Moe stated that it is not beneficial to jump ahead quickly without exhausting the environmental studies and carefully planning with regard to environmental impacts.

New Business:

An attempt will be made to get involvement from Taylor County; an effort should be made to make new contacts and attempt to get input from their County Officials.

We discussed having the meetings every two months and decided to continue on that schedule.

It was decided to continue dialogue with US Senator Byrd’s office and work to get Governor Manchin on board with the economic stimulus of improving U. S. Route 50. Tourism through motorcycle and bicycle sponsored events will bring dollars into the area and place a focus on the importance of U. S. Route 50. We have o be careful that our efforts do not preclude the ability to improve U. S. Route 50 for future industry and commerce.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:18 PM. We will attempt to get a meeting set up for Taylor County with the help of their officials on the third Wednesday of November. Dinner at 12:00 and meeting at 1:00 PM