Wednesday, November 15, 2006

November 2006 Minutes

Recorded Attendees: Gary Howell – Mineral County Planning Commission, Lotta Neer – Congressman Alan Mollohan’s Office, Darwin Wolfe – Preston County Commission, Grady Bradfield – Hampshire County, Charles Baker – Hampshire County Planning Commission, Evelyn Baker-Hampshire County Planning Commission, William Wood-WVDOH Charleston, Wayne Spiggle-Mineral County Commission, Ken Musgrave-Mineral County, Dave Beard-Garrett County Commission, Brian Car – WVDOH Charleston, Donald Cookman-Hampshire County Commission, Law Spangler-Hampshire County Planning Commission, Mitch Davis-Hampshire County, John Reisenweber-Congresswoman Shelly Capito’s Office, Marc Bashoor-Mineral County Emergency Management, Steve Slonaker-Hampshire County Commission.

Opening: Lunch took place at the Loy Foundation in Romney, WV. Steve Slonaker welcomed everyone to the meeting, and also took the time to speak highly of Scott Kimble which recently lost his life in a collision on US 50 in Hampshire County.

Introductions: During introductions Outgoing Garrett County Commissioner Dave Beard and Preston County’s Darwin Wolfe were recognized for their service and perfect attendance of the US 50 Association. It was announced that Dennis Glotfelty of Garrett County, and Craig Jennings of Preston County would be taking over for their respective counties. Dave Beard also stated that group was having an impact on safety and improvements along the road. Darwin Wolfe indicated this is shown when the representatives of the congressional delegation are regularly attending the meetings.

Old Business: Taylor County's lack of attendance in an official capacity was brought up. Wayne Spiggle requested that an official letter be sent to the Taylor County Commission. Gary Howell volunteered to construct the letter.

Discussion was held that US 50 was one of the most dangerous roads in West Virginia, and it is believed that it is more dangerous than US 35 which the governor has identified as a priority for safety. Brian Carr and Bill Woods of WVDOH presented numbers of traffic collisions along both US 35 and US 50. Bill Woods indicated that you could interpret the numbers in different ways. While the worst section US 35 in Putnam County had about 100 more traffic collisions between 2003 and 2006 than worst section of US 50 did, US 50 had 2 more deaths in the same time period. It was pointed out with the higher volume of traffic on US 35 (nearly double) statistically per mile driven your odds on having a collision on US 50 are much higher.

Evelyn Baker asked what we needed to do to get Governor Manchin to request the priority projects identified by each county be put on the states 6-year plan. Wayne Spiggle asked Gary Howell to construct a letter to the Governor and the Commissioner of Transportation requesting the small projects list be made a priority.

John Reisenweber of Congresswoman Capito’s Office stated that the meeting between the Hampshire County delegation and the US Secretary of Transportation was productive. US 50 is now on the radar of the US Department of Transportation for needing upgrading.

Marc Bashoor of Mineral County EMS spoke on US 50 being an evacuation route for DC in an emergency and that the road could not handle the traffic. Both Lotta Neer of Congressman Mollohan’s office and John Reisenweber believed that funding could not be secured for road improvements based on the possibility of a mass exodus of the DC area.

Ken Musgrave of Mineral County volunteered to put together a power point presentation for the Secretary of Transportation to push the need for upgrades on US 50. Wayne Spiggle asked Gary Howell to help, and he agreed.

Gary Howell spoke on a phone conversation he had with the WV Secretary of Transportation on the stated policy of building all 4-lane roads only on new alignments. Gary pointed out that by using the existing 2-lane as Virginia does for one side of the road it can save 30% to 35% on construction cost of a 4-lane road. He felt that the state should take a serious look at changing its policy, so that more 4-lane roads can be built with the same amount of funding. Many sections of US 50 could be upgraded in this way to reduce the cost. Bill Woods stated that has been the policy of WVDOH, but that may be changing as they state is currently looking at upgrading sections of US 35 by using the existing road as one side of a 4-lane.

Citizen Concerns: None

January Meeting:

Mineral County will host the next meeting on January 17th at a place to be determined.

Meeting Adjourned at 2:17.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hampshire County Meeting Agenda

November 15th, 2006

Hampshire County Meeting Agenda

Loy Foundation (Old Coke Plant)

426 East Main St

Romney, WV 26757

I. 12:00 Lunch – 1:00

II. Introductions

III. Minutes of Previous Meeting

IV. Correspondence

V. Old Business

a. Danger of the Highway as compared to others in West Virginia – Wayne Spiggle

VI. New Business

a. Doable Priorities for the next West Virginia legislative session – Wayne Spiggle

b. 4-lane using existing road as one side – Gary Howell

c. Increasing through traffic on US 220 multiplexed section – Gary Howell

d. D.C. Evacuation – Dick Fagley

VII. Regional Issues

VIII. Citizens Concerns

IX. Volunteer host site for next meeting

X. Adjourn