CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Division of Highways is spending a half million dollars to give motorists better traction on the most heavily traveled highway in the state. Work begins Wednesday night on and around the Eugene A. Carter Bridge on Interstate 64 in Charleston.

“We are actually applying a high-friction surface treatment to the roadway,” DOH spokesperson Carrie Bly said. “So that’s going to improve traction for drivers and actually give you more control over your vehicle.”

A Michigan-based company has been hired to do the work. It will all take place at night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. in hopes of avoiding the busiest travel times. The project completion date is July 31. Bly said motorists need to be aware of lane, exit and on ramp closures for the six-week period.

A California company finished a concrete resurfacing of the elevated interstate through Charleston just last year but Bly said that didn’t include treating the new surface like the new project will do.

“It (new surface) helps with traction a little bit but that’s not what its purpose was,” she said. “The reason states do this and why we’re doing it is because it will give you more traction and help with hydroplaning when roads are slick and things like that,” Bly said.

The harsh winter was tough on the new surface and DOH crews will take the time to fill some westbound I-64 potholes near the Carter bridge during the project.

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  • john

    Slippery road surface? What about all the other roads in the state that are in much needed pothole and broken pavement repairs? Any road surface is slick during rain and snow or ice events. If the drivers in that area would use some common sense and slow down to meet the road conditions of that time, regular pavement would be sufficient.
    It never ceases to amaze me on some of the decisions on how best to spend taxpayers money, especially on our state roads, when money is short. I'm glad to hear that the contract went to some out of state company, now thats really helping our state economy. You mean with all the contractors that we have that are always looking for work, we could not find one in West Virginia to do this project? Was any of them contacted, I seriously doubt it!

    • Danny

      All the work is posted and available to anyone to bid on the work. State law requires low bidder to be awarded the work. In-state contractors SHOULD have an advantage by having local labor and local equipment. This may be a specialized material or application that the in-state contractors have not done or are comfortable with. The contract had 5 bidders (4 out-of-state and 1 in-state). The low bid was in-state contractor was $568k and the low in-state bid was $652k. Is it worth paying an in-state contractor an additional $84k for the same product???? Please check the facts or know something about the bidding process before make generalized statements.

      • John

        Its still a half million dollars that should have been spent on repairing the pot holes and broken pavement, which is sorely needed all over the state. Priorities and common sense should be used when funding this type project. Since you are so familiar with the bids, you must have been one of them who made this decision.

        • Danny

          I work in the highway industrury, but not the DOH. I didnt have any part of the the decision to do this project or to fix the potholes. I was addressing your comment that the work was somehow awarded to an out-of-state contractor without in-state contractors even being notified. You are clearly wrong in that point. The priorities of what work is to be done will always be debatable.

      • Danny

        Low overall bid was $568k and the low in-state bid was $652k.

  • jfk

    THEY JUST RE-SURFACED THIS SECTION OF HIGHWAY (yes I am screaming) it lasted about two weeks before is started to fall apart hopefully "we" got a refund but I doubt it. Wonder of its the same company that just did the work and instead of "us" getting our money back "we" give them another $500,000 to fix their screw up?!

  • Voter

    No doubt Jason...and let's hire an out of state company to do the work too.

  • Jason412

    What a great way to spend the very limited money we have for roads. While drivers in the rest of the state are dodging 2 foot deep pot holes on every road they drive, it's good to know in this small area cars will have better traction.