522 bypass design changes subject of Feb. 28 meeting

by Trish Rudder & Kate Shunney

A public informational workshop meeting and project update by the West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) on the proposed U.S. 522 Berkeley Springs Bypass and the Fairview Connector will be held on Thursday, February 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Berkeley Springs High School.

The meeting is a follow up to the previous workshop public meeting on April 19, 2018.

That meeting generated more than 300 public comments on the bypass design, many of them calling for a redesign of the south end of the bypass and another look at the limited access points.

DOH official Sondra Mullins said those comments have been incorporated into the design of the four-lane bypass around Berkeley Springs and a Fairview Connector road between U.S. 522 and the area near War Memorial Hospital.

“They’ve done some design changes and we have a preferred alternative for the Fairview Connector and on the bypass,” said Mullins, who heads up the historical services unit of the Division of Highways.

No formal presentation will be made at the DOH meeting, but the public will be afforded the opportunity to ask questions and give written comments on the project throughout the meeting.

Mullins said there is not a final design ready for the proposed bypass.

A handout with project details will be available at the meeting and on the WVDOH website, according to the public meeting notice printed in this week’s issue. Mullins said the handout will be posted online in another week or so. At press time, there was no new design information on the project web page.

Anyone who sent in comments about the previous bypass design will get a flyer about the meeting and design changes in the mail, Mulins said.

According to DOH project engineer Dirar Admad, the project’s environmental impact assessment was to be updated by the end of 2018 or early 2019, he had said at the April 2018 meeting.

Mullins said public comments are an important part of the DOH design process.

Written comments regarding the updated project can be sent on or before April 1, to Mr. R.J. Scites, P.E., Director, Engineering Div., WVDOH, 1334 Smith St., Charleston, WV 2530l.

Project information and an opportunity to comment can be found at http://go.wv.gov/dotcomment.

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