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Austin: Visitors lights seemingly coming to Chaplin Hill Street at Exit 155

MORGANTOWN — Whereas a redesigned I-79 Exit 155 remains to be seemingly years away, it seems as if there are modifications coming to the troublesome interchange. 

Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Group Government Director Invoice Austin mentioned Thursday motorists will seemingly see site visitors indicators going up alongside Chaplin Hill Street early subsequent yr.

Austin defined this was one of many points he raised throughout a current assembly in Charleston to debate the state’s transportation security plan. 

“They’re prepared to maneuver ahead with the set up of a sign at Exit 155 the place we’ve been requesting it,” Austin informed members of the MPO Coverage Board.  

Austin stopped in need of saying the lights had been a certainty however mentioned he’s assured the state is dedicated to the venture.  

“I do know they’re engaged on it. I can’t say 100% sure however the site visitors engineering of us had been very optimistic,” he mentioned. “There’s a superb likelihood it is going to be put in, however it would in all probability be 4 months earlier than it may be put in.” 

In June, Megan O’Reilly, director of exterior relations with WestRidge, mentioned the primary section of the bigger Exit 155 venture — elevating and increasing the bridges over Chaplin Hill Street — is tentatively anticipated to start subsequent summer season. 

In different transportation information, the coverage board permitted the addition of three tasks tied to the brand new Morgantown Industrial Park entry street and bridge to its Transportation Enchancment Program, or TIP. 

Initiatives should be included within the TIP to be eligible for federal {dollars}. 

The primary, for engineering, will make the most of $3.72 million in federal funds ($4.65 million whole) within the present fiscal yr. 

The second, for proper of means acquisition, will make the most of $6.4 million in federal funds ($8 million whole) within the present fiscal yr. 

The third, for fiscal yr 2024, will use $57.6 million in federal {dollars} ($72 million whole) to assemble the street and bridge. 

Whereas the physique finally permitted all three, it was prompt, and even really helpful by the MPO’s Residents Advisory Committee, it not put the development section on the fiscally constrained TIP till there’s something in writing from the state confirming the placement of the venture. 

Monongalia County Fee President Tom Bloom mentioned he didn’t consider such precaution was crucial. 

“The placement has been chosen. Once you met with the general public earlier than, there have been three alternate options, however the governor made it very clear which various goes ahead, which is the third one,” Bloom mentioned. 

In August, the coverage board chosen the state’s Various 3 because the bridge location. That choice improves the economic park’s present Rail Avenue, crosses the river on a multi-span bridge, and joins U.S. 119 (Don Knotts Boulevard) close to Scott Avenue. 

Lastly, the coverage board permitted $400,000 in discretionary Floor Transportation Block Grant {dollars} to assist assemble a sidewalk alongside Fairmont Street from Savannah Avenue to Dents Run Boulevard. The town of Westover will present a $100,000 match. 

The board additionally conditionally permitted $400,000 in STBG funds for engineering on a pedestrian bridge over Don Knotts Boulevard connecting White Park to the riverfront in addition to $128,000 to place speedy flashing beacon crosswalks at three street crossings alongside the Deckers Creek Rail-Path. 

The funding for the pedestrian bridge engineering in addition to the path crossings is contingent upon suggestions from the West Virginia Division of Highways.