BRIDGEPORT -- Local
leaders got their first glimpse of what Harrison County roads
may look like in 2025 late last week.
In a two-hour meeting at
the Benedum Civic Center, planners from URS Corp. of Omaha,
Neb., detailed a 64-page county transportation plan.
The state Division of
Highways will use it as a guide for the next quarter
The plan will be opened
for public comment in December.
"In looking at the No. 1
issue in county ... it has to be the U.S. 50 corridor," said
William Troe, a URS planner. "It's the only east-west
corridor, and it serves a myriad of
The plan breaks the
overall U.S. Route 50 improvement project into segments. They
-- A southern
bypass of U.S. Route 50.
-- U.S. Route 50
exit improvements throughout downtown Clarksburg and
-- Improved access
to the United Hospital Center area in southwestern
improvements to rural intersections between Clarksburg and the
Doddridge County border.
Also in the plan is the
widening of U.S. Route 19 from U.S. Route 50 to the Marion
County border to four lanes and improvements to state Route 20
from Clarksburg to the Barbour County line.
Norman Roush, deputy
commissioner for the state Division of Highways, said the
study is a general guideline.
No specific projects from
it would begin for at least a year and some may never be
He said current projects,
such as the completion of I-279 this fall and the widening of
Meadowbrook Road to four lanes, have first
Roush said the Federal
Highway Administration requires such plans for urban areas.
The state voluntarily includes Harrison, Marion and Monongalia
counties even though they are not populated enough for a
mandated plan. Harrison's most recent plan is from the
Reaction from the
56-member study advisory committee and other community leaders
Beth Taylor, county
commissioner, said better U.S. 19 access to Shinnston and
improved U.S. 50 safety in the Bristol area are her highest
Del. Barbara Ann Warner,
D-Harrison, said her key goals include hospital access and
easing of congestion at I-79/U.S. Route 50. She and Taylor
co-chair a county transportation committee and Warner is House
Transportation Committee chair.
Ken Yost, Salem city
manager, was among the few who openly agreed with Troe that
U.S. Route 50's speed limit should be returned to 55 mph. It
is now 65 mph west of the Clarksburg city
James Corton, who is
developing the Charles Pointe planned community in Bridgeport,
said he would like to work with the state on the exact
location of an I-79 overpass that would cross the 2,000-acre
project to connect to state Route 131.
Corton, manager of Genesis
Partners, has already worked extensively with the Division of
Highways to include road coats and under and overpasses needed
by the development into the I-279 construction
Regional Editor Nora
Edinger can be reached at 626-1447 or by e-mail at