Stop light by Widmyer back in the works

by Kate Evans

The installation of a new four-way traffic light at Myers Road on U.S. Route 522 near Widmyer Elementary and the Morgan County Schools bus garage will now be able to move forward.

West Virginia Division of Highways officials had hoped to complete the traffic light installation last summer while school was out, but the project was delayed due to a right-of-way issue.

A 900-square-foot parcel of land is needed to make left-hand turn lanes at Myers Road in the northbound and southbound lanes of U.S. Route 522. The land is located on the southeast corner of Myers Road — the Dollar General Store side — where some utilities are located. The state acquired the land through eminent domain court proceedings.

Ken Clohan, West Virginia Division of Highways District 5 Traffic Engineer, said that all right-of-ways have been resolved for the project, but the project had not gone out to bid as of last Friday. Clohan hoped that it could go out to bid within the next month or so.

The bid process involves receiving and reviewing all construction bids first to ensure they fall within a certain percentage of the engineer’s cost estimate, he said. If so, then the contract can be awarded within 30 days.

If a contract can be awarded in the first round of bids and if the weather is conducive, the contractor could begin work within a month or two after a contract is settled, Clohan said. The first work will be widening U.S. 522 for turn lanes.

Clohan said previously that the project also included the widening of Myers Road toward the bus garage for a right turn lane for traffic turning onto U.S. Route 522 by the Head Start building. The right-of-ways had been acquired earlier for two other parcels of land on the northwest and southwest corners that are needed for the turn lanes.

Morgan County Schools   officials already granted a right-of-way request from the West Virginia Division of Highways in 2017 for less than half an acre of ground by the Head Start building on which a traffic light post with a box and some wiring could be installed.

Clohan couldn’t give an estimate for when work for the Myers Road traffic light installation could begin or the timeline for its completion.

He said he’s hopeful that once a contractor is selected, work could possibly start by late this spring or early this summer.