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.