NITRO, W.Va. — A major construction project to widen part of Interstate 64 in Kanawha and Putnam Counties to six lanes is forthcoming, but first the Department of Highways wants to hear from residents.

The DOH has a public information meeting scheduled for Monday at Rock Branch Elementary School in Nitro from 4-7 p.m.

The section of I-64 in question is an east-west stretch from Charleston to Teays Valley that has outgrown its four lanes.

“It does seem to be a particular area of congestion, if you’re headed west (on I-64) from the Nitro on-ramp to Crooked Creek,” said Brent Walker, a spokesperson with the DOH.

The 3.79-mile stretch often bottlenecks traffic at the I-64 St. Albans bridge. Walker said that area is in desperate need of widening to six lanes.

“We’ve certainly see the traffic flow increase and the need to do (the project),” he said. “Now it’s on the drawing board and we just want to be able to share that with folks.”

The community is invited to attend the public information meeting where engineers and DOH officials will answer questions and discuss the importance of widening the highway.

Walker said the big obstacle has been the St. Albans bridge, which crosses the Kanawha River at Nitro. It will be a major project to build a new bridge or add on to the existing structure to create the required number of lanes.

But the DOH has the project on its schedule, and Walker said it’s going to happen.

“Our engineers and right-of-way folks and everybody else involved in that project have been hard at work for awhile,” he said.

There will be no formal presentation at the meeting. People are free to come and go during the three-hour session. Walker stressed the DOH is interested in what the public has to say about the project.

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  • Larry

    I heard Mr. Walker tell a beastiality joke on the radio this past Saturday.

  • Lapdog

    Stop talkin' and start buildin'!

  • ShinnstonGuy

    If six lanes were needed 15 years ago, then you might as well go ahead and build eight now. It worked wonders in the Bridgeport-Clarksburg area.

    Another place that desperately needs more lanes is the area from Westover to Star City. One day there is going to be a deadly collision because the locals get on the highway going 55 while those heading to the Burgh are going over 70. Pow!

    • Guardian

      Actually, six lanes are needed from Star City (exit 155) all the way to Weston (exit 99). The traffic volume is tremendous through this whole 56 mile corridor.

      Same thing is needed from the Kentucky border all the way to Charleston on I-64.

      And for the Mason County folks - agreed. US35 should have been four lanes 25 years ago, but finally completing the remaining 14 to 15 miles needs to be top priority.

      • pc

        Yes, a few years ago I believe the plan was to have I-64 widened from KY border to Charleston by 2025 or thereabouts. State just started widening about 3-4 miles in most congested segment of road in Huntington, but they'll have to go some to widen whole road to Charleston in next 15-20 years. Really will be interesting to see what the road study group comes up with later this year. State really needs large infusion of Fed $$$ for roads plus additional state $$$ - - -remember all the large road bonds issued during Arch Moore and Jay's administrations- - -they should be about paid off by now. Some solutions are really needed as road system statewide is deteriorating rapidly!!

      • MrJ

        Thanks, Guardian. Star City is a nightmare as is I-79 to Weston. Unfortunately Mason County representation in the Legislature is weak and political capital here is even weaker. The completion of Rt. 35 probably won't happen in my lifetime.

        Good thing we teach the Three Rs in Mason County: Readin', Writin', and the Road to Columbus.

  • MrJ

    Here's a suggestion: change the timing of the traffic lights at the end of all I-64 St. Albans exits during peak hours, then spread $$$$$s around the state to complete other projects such as Rt. 35 in Mason County and others that are needed throughout the state.

    Millions were spent "updating" Rt. 35 but until it's finished and the bottlenecks are removed a 20-hour shutdown is a 20-hour shutdown, whether on old or new pavement. Once again all we have done is rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic and christen it "progress".

    Attention state political hacks and bureaucrats: there's more to West Virginia than Kanawha and Putnam counties.

    Mason County and others deserve a chance to grow along with the rest of the state. Just ask the 10%+ unemployed. Why not spend $$$$$s more evenly and bring every county along rather than just pockets?

    But I already know the answer. Sorry I took up space to arrive at such an obvious conclusion.

  • About Time

    It has been congested thru there for years! Even more now that the Nitro/St. Albans bridge is closed and more people have to travel that way to get to school, work, daycare, stores, whatever the case may be!!

  • Guardian

    Don't cry too much until you've driven that 3.79 mile stretch a few times in morning or evening rush. This project was needed 15 years ago - the need is even greater now.

  • Habib Haddad

    the roads and money go where the influence is, jb.

  • jb

    Gee it must be nice to debate about 4 or 6 lanes. We can't even get 2 lanes down south!