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Public comments on possible plans for Route 2

WTOV


Excitement is building in Marshall and Wetzel counties for multiple reasons--The potential of the ethane cracker plant just across the river in Ohio and the recent passing of Governor Justice's bond issue.

Thursday night the Department of Highways gave the public a look at what they have planned for the future.

The possibility of Route 2 being widened to four lanes is growing. That's what was discussed Thursday afternoon at a public meeting held by the West Virginia Department of Highways.

The public had the chance to look at three possible plans, and comment on which they liked and didn't like.

"Our mission is to provide safe, economic roads. Reaching out to the public and engaging them, we believe in an engaged public," said Dirar Ahmad of the West Virginia Department of Highways.

The path is approximately 6 miles long, from Proctor to Kent. The cost of each proposed project ranges from 60 to 90 million dollars.

Each deviates the road east, toward the hillside, to avoid the river and industrial plants.

The idea of widening Route 2 is not a new one, but with the passing of Governor Justice's road bond referendum, the idea has now become much more real.

"The bond issue made it possible to start taking some of that money now and start some of these projects, rather than waiting several years down the road to do that."

Don Shenefiel is a former PPG employee. He saw firsthand the need for a better transportation system through Marshall and Wetzel counties.

"Our ability to move our product, our ability to move raw materials, our ability to move our people out of plants and work sites is critical," said Shenefiel.

The Department of Highways will look over each comment as they move ahead with the project.

No end date has been set, but it could be done within the next three years.

“They will do the final design, acquire the right of way and then we give them a schedule, and hopefully within the next three years or so local citizens and the travelling public will be driving on a very nice, efficient, safe highway," says Ahmad.

If you missed this meeting, the public has 30 days to submit comments.

You can send those comments by mail to:

Mr. RJ Scites, P.E., Director, Engineering Division, Division of Highways

1334 Smith Street

Charleston, WV 25301

Or online at: http://transportation.wv.gov/comments/Pages/default.aspx

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