Thursday, September 18, 2008

Letter to Preston County Commission

September 8th, 2008

Mr. Dave Price
Preston County Commission
Courthouse Annex
106 West Main Street, Suite 202
Kingwood, WV 26537

Dear Mr. Price

This is in reference to our letter, dated July 25, 2008, regarding that the Division of Highways was in the process of performing an analysis at the intersection of CR 24 and US 50; our findings are listed below.

Our District Four Traffic Department indicated that the accident rate for this intersection was very low, much lower than the statewide average. Due to the steep grade on CR 24, it would be very expensive to re-align this intersection to a "T" configuration, and statewide, this project would not likely be a high priority.

On August 22, 2008, our District Four Traffic Engineering Section advised that they provided a stop bar coming out from the WV 24 to attract attention of approaching motorists. They enlarged the existing stop sign and put red insert for nighttime visibility, along with installing "Stop Ahead Signs" on WV 24. They relocated the existing stop sign 24 feet towards US 50, to encourage stopped vehicles to stop at correct location. They extended the double yellow centerline on WV 24 to 55 feet towards US 50. They also installed intersection warning sign on US 50. Our Traffic Engineer will continue to monitor the intersection in the future.

Thank you for writing and sharing your constituent's concern. Should you, or the US 50 Association, need any additional information, please contact our District Four Traffic Engineering Section, Mr. Dean Chipps or Mr. Fouad Shoukry, at Post Office Box 4220, Clarksburg, West Virginia 26302-4220 or by phone at (304) 842-1500 for Mr. Dean Chipps or (304) 204-6501 for Mr. Shoukry.


Paul A. mattox, Jr. P.E.
Secretary of Transportation/Commission of Highways.

Taylor County Sept. 17th, 2008 Minutes


September 17, 2008

Recorded Attendees: Gary Howell – Mineral County, Wayne Spiggle-Mineral County Commission, Arvin Harsh – Preston County, Bill Wood – WVDOH – Charleston, Mona Ridder – MCDA, David Gobel – Taylor County Commission, Marli Jenkins – Taylor Co. Library, Tony Veltri – Taylor County Commission, Paul Elder – Taylor County Chamber of Commerce, Roger Russell WVDOC Charleston, Marc Bashoor – Mineral County OEM, Bob Williams – Taylor County,

Introductions: Taylor County Commissioner Tony Veltri opened the meeting and made the introductions welcoming everyone to the meeting. The meeting was then turned over to Wayne Spiggle who took the time to thank Secretary Gary Howell for taking care of the agenda and minutes.

Correspondence: Arvin Harsh presented the group with a copy of a letter received in response to our request that the intersection of US 50 and WV 24 in Preston County be upgraded for safely. The letter from Paul Mattox stated that the WVDOH District 4 Engineering Section had looked at the intersection. While due to expense, realignment at this time would not be a priority.

The went on to further state they had installed stop bars on WV 24 to alert drivers for the approaching intersection and stop. They relocated the stop sign on WV 24 to improve driver vision by stopping in a better location to observe traffic before pulling on to US 50. The double yellow line on US 50 has been extended to reduce the possibility of vehicles passing while coming into the intersection.

The group asked since the speed limit on US 50 is 55mph through the intersection of WV 24 and it drops to 40 mph just west of the intersection would it be possible to drop the speed limit just east of the WV 24 to reduce speed through the WV 24 intersection. Bill Woods indicated this could be a possibility especially since that is where US 50 enters Aurora State Park.

As the discussion progressed Taylor County Commissioner Dave Gobel asked why someone has to be hurt or killed before the state will spend money in our area. He went on to point out that US 50 has been closed east of Bridgeport for a slide for close to half a year.

Old Business: H.R. 4827 was discussed. While Cate Johnson of Congressman Mollohan’s (WV-1) office and Chris Strovel of Congresswoman Shelley Capito’s (WV-2) office were unable to attend, they did send information stating the bill would probably not move forward in this congressional session. Gary Howell asked that the group request the bill be reintroduced for the next congressional session. This bi-partisan bill will provide Appalachian Development Highway System money for a US 220 north-south corridor between Corridor H (US 48) and Interstate 68. The connection could construct a section of US 50 as a 4-lane where US 50 and US 220 overlap.

Gary Howell presented a draft of the US 50 brochure. The brochure includes a brief history of the highway and US 50 Association. It includes attractions located along the route as well as contact information for both the group and the Visitor Bureaus’ in each county along the route. Also included are photos from 1942 and 2008 of Macomber turn.

The group was asked to make notes and get back to Gary Howell on possible changes and improvements to the brochure. Bill Woods of WVDOH presented some brochures to be used for reference. Wayne Spiggle asked Gary Howell to send digital copies of the draft brochure out to the members of the association and if he could have a final draft ready for the November meeting. Howell indicated he would work towards that goal.

New Business:

It was discussed if the state should look at changing WV 279, which is a modern 4-lane highway connecting Interstate 79 to US 50 east of Bridgeport to US 50. This would allow through traffic to use the modern road instead of traveling through downtown Bridgeport.

Bill Woods of WVDOH indicated with US 50 being closed on the east side of Bridgeport that the traffic was already using WV 279 for that purpose and the state was already thinking about the idea of changing WV 279 to US 50.

Wayne Spiggle didn’t think it was appropriate for the US 50 Association to get involved without asking the Bridgeport business community. Marc Bashoor suggested the possibility of changing WV 279 to US 50 and marking the old road as “US 59 Business.” Bill Woods stated that the WVDOH frowned on 2 different routes with the same number.

A short review of how successful the US 50 Association has been with getting its project list moved forward with the WVDOH. Bill Woods stated, the US 50 Association is ahead of other groups in the state. You have a voice in Charleston that we are aware of.

The following US 50 Association projects are moving forward or have been updated through WVDOH.

Romney Bridge replacement work is to start in November of this year. The road closure east of Bridgeport is to be fully repaired by next month. The center turn lane project east of Romney has been terminated and will have to be re-examined. The intersection of County Route 12 and US 50 in Hampshire County will have a turn lane installed. A traffic light will be installed at the WV School for the Deaf and Blind in November of next year. The Belgian Hill project in Taylor County will start in January of 2009. Replacement of the Ellifritz Run Bridge near New Creek in Mineral County is also scheduled to start in January lf 09. Installation of center lane reflectors in high fog areas along US 50 is being completed as paving projects progress.

Mineral County Day projects were discussed to make sure they are in sync with the US 50 Association. One project that both the US 50 Association and Mineral County has been requesting is moving forward.

Bill Woods indicated that extending WV 93 to Keyser is moving forward. Memo’s requesting Federal approval to double sign US 50 as US 50 and WV 93 between the current terminus in Claysville and New Creek have been sent and they expect no problem with approval. WV 972 between US 50 thru New Creek to the Blue Jay Bridge where it connects with US 220 will cease to exist and will become WV 93. The new northern terminus of WV 93 will be at the intersection of US 220 at the Blue Jay Bridge.

Woods stated the state would not extend WV 93 to the Maryland border at Keyser because it would be overlapped with US 220. Gary Howell asked if and when a new US 220 is built would the existing US 220 become WV 93. He said that would be likely, but no decision would be made until the need arose.

Along US 50 at the new school in Taylor County it was stated that sight distance needed to be improved. Dave Gobel stated that the sight distance improvement should have been part of the existing project in that area. It was suggested that a letter be written requesting that be included in the current project as it may be able to be added to the current contract.

Taylor County Commissioner Tony Veltri thanked everybody for attending the meeting.

November Meeting:

Mineral County is next on the schedule to host the November 19th meeting a t a place to be determined.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:57

Tentative Meeting Schedule

19 November 2008 - Mineral County

21 January 2009 – Grant County

18 March 2009 – Garrett County

15 July 2009 – Preston County

16 September 2009 – Taylor County

18 November 2009 – Hampshire County

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Taylor County Sept. 17th, 2008 Agenda

September 17th, 2008

Taylor County Meeting Agenda

Tygart Lake State Park

Tygart Lodge

Rt. 1 Box 260
Grafton, WV 26354

I. 12:00 Lunch

II. 1:00 Introductions

III. Minutes of Previous Meeting

IV. Correspondence

V. Old Business

a. H. R. 4827 Co-Sponsor Update –Cate Johnson, Chris Strovel

b. US 50 brochure – Gary Howell

VI. New Business

a. Changing WV 279 to US 50 in Harrison County

b. Review US 50 Assoc. project request progress

c. Mineral County Day Charleston & US 50 – Gary Howell

d. Taylor County Issues

VII. Regional Issues

VIII. Citizens Concerns

IX. Volunteer host site for next meeting – Mineral County

X. Adjourn

Tentative Meeting Schedule

19 November 2008 - Mineral County

21 January 2009 – Grant County

18 March 2009 – Garrett County

15 July 2009 – Preston County

16 September 2009 – Taylor County

18 November 2009 – Hampshire County