I attended the Department of Highway District Seven meeting last week. District Seven includes Barbour, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Upshur, and Webster counties I found it interesting that in six counties there are 2,220 miles of paved road, 1,252 miles of stone-based roads, 710 bridges, and 748 drainage structures.
The District Seven Engineer, Brian Cooper, shared their core maintenance plan which includes ditching, mowing, patching, and stabilization. In 2022, 802 miles were ditched, 5,800 miles mowed, 2,220 miles patched, and 2,505 miles were graded or stabilized. Goals for the 2023 plan show an increase in miles to be ditched to 1,065 miles and mowed to 6,230 miles. Patch and stabilization stayed the same.
Resurfacing projects in Braxton County included 3.01 miles on Route 5 between Glenville and Burnsville Road, 6.10 miles on I-79 from Big Otter to Frametown, and 4.25 between Burnsville and Weston on I-79. Total resurfacing is 13.76 miles at a cost of $34,400,000.
Other miscellaneous construction projects in Braxton County include pile wall construction on Exchange Road, Chapel Road, and Scotts Fork Road, bridge repair in Flatwoods and Burnsville on I-79, and two bridge replacements in Gassaway (in progress) and Burnsville. Flatwoods, Gassaway, and Coon Knob will see intersection light upgrades. Total cost for miscellaneous projects is $25,600,000.
Gilmer County resurfacing projects include 5.34 miles from Normantown to Glenville Road and 0.40 mile from Burnsville to Weston Road Bridge. Total resurfacing miles is 5.74 at a cost of $1,500,000.
Other miscellaneous projects in Gilmer County include the Stumptown-Linn guardrail, pile wall construction on Steer Run Road, Sliding Run Road, and Glenville-Weston Road. Bridge replacement is scheduled on the Revere Deck Girder and Route Fork of Ellis Road. Miscellaneous construction projects total $3,550,000.
Cooper also stressed work zone safety. From the Department Highways website here are a few safety tips for drivers to keep in mind:
- Obey the posted speed limit.
- Stay alert.
- Put down your phone. It’s the law!
- Don’t tailgate. Follow other vehicles at a safe distance.
To all the men and women working on our highways, thank you. Expect the unexpected. Workers, vehicles, and/or equipment may enter your lane without warning. Be patient. It takes only a few extra seconds more to travel at the 10-15 mph reduced speed through work zones.
This week, I look forward to seeing the 8th graders celebrate their completion of middle school. A special congratulations to Frametown Elementary School for winning the West Virginia Fit + Active Schools Fitness Face-Off for the second year in a row! Coach Lauri Spencer and her team are an example of what hard work, determination, and consistency can do! Well done, Tigers!
As this school year comes to an end, I hope a love of learning extends to summer break activities. A new school year and new experiences will be here this fall, and I encourage everyone to be enthusiastic about learning and new opportunities for our students as they progress to a new grade in school.
I also encourage everyone to get out his summer and support all our children in summer sports activities. One of the best things about being in a small community is the support of the people from attendance to games to adults that volunteer to make a difference in the lives of our children! I would like to see that support extend to all others, regardless of age in our communities. Let’s be excited for each other and our accomplishments.
I would like to extend my congratulations to all the graduates from Braxton and Gilmer counties. Go out and make your mark on the world. Whether you are attending college, trade school, entering the workforce, serving in the military, or working in the home, you are valued, and your will have a significant impact on our communities, our state, our county, and the world.
In thinking about promoting the best of District 63, I would like to hear from you. Please email or text your thoughts about the places and events that the rest of the state and beyond need to know about! We are the best ambassadors for central West Virginia, and we can change our state and world for the better.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
I look forward to hearing from people in the district and hope to see you out and about enjoying all the great things our area has to offer. I can be contacted at lori.dittman@ wvhouse.gov or 304-701-8600.