CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Parkways Authority officials are beginning to review bids on guardrail work that needs to be done along the southernmost portion of Interstate 77.
At last week’s board meeting, Parkways Authority General Manager Greg Barr said after a comprehensive safety analysis of mile marker 28 to mile marker 20, engineers have decided that steel beam guardrails should be put into place.
“You could have put in a concrete median rail, you could have put in cable barrier but cable barrier doesn’t do as good of a job at stopping a tractor trailer,” Barr said.
“Now guardrail won’t completely stop one either but it has been tested to be able to slow down a tractor trailer as cable barrier not so much.”
The safety study was done after numerous wreck on that portion of the interstate with some being fatal.
The Parkways Authority has already taken steps such as lowering the speed limit to 60 miles per hour, installing flashing lights warning drivers of the curve at the bottom of the mountain, enhancing the state police patrol, and hiring a Public Service Commission officer that focuses on truck safety and truck equipment, to try and slow that area down.
The installation of semi-rigid separation steel guardrail will reinforce the existing 40-foot v-shaped median that is used to prevent crossovers on the road.
The guardrail will be both on the north and south bound lanes.
Bids are now being accepted through July 9 with the board scheduled to make a decision to award a contract at its next meeting on July 11.
Barr said once the contract is awarded, work should go quick.
“What we are working towards is give notice to proceed for a contractor by the end of July and that work could be done by September or October.”