Roadwork completion pushed back

BUCKHANNON — Construction work on Route 20 in Buckhannon was originally slated to be completed in April, but due to a harsh winter the expected date of completion was changed to early June. Now, it’s mid-July and the construction work is still causing delays for commuters.

The roadwork, which is being done in front of McDonald’s on South Kanawha Street, began in February and is designed to expand the roadway. Crews are constructing a turning lane, which will make it easier for travelers turning onto College Avenue.

In a previous Inter-Mountain article published in April, Keith Loar, West Virginia Division of Highways area supervisor, advised that by contract the construction was intended to be completed on April 20; however, the weather stalled workers.

In May, the construction crew had to take a week off for the West Virginia Strawberry Festival as the parade route travels through the construction path.

During a phone interview with The Inter-Mountain Tuesday afternoon, Loar said he now anticipates the roadwork project to be completed by mid-August. He added he never expected the construction to stretch out this far into the year.

However, Loar said the weather is to blame again for the hitch in the construction as the heavy rains, storms and flooding have been “a major setback” for the project.

Moving forward with the project, the storm sewer needs to be finished, he said.

“And we have to finish making the tie-ends for the clean water. I guess you would call it commercial and residential tie-ends that still need to be taken care of,” Loar added.

Loar also said the sidewalks still need to be done as well as paving the road.

“And of course the new traffic lights,” he said.

As the road work continues, drivers are advised to use alternative routes to avoid construction and delays.

Though the ongoing construction have been causing headaches for drivers, Loar previously said the expansion project will be beneficial for the community.