DOH announces I-64 work at scene of bad accidents

INSTITUTE, W.Va. — The state Division of Highways has a few things in mind after the latest semi-truck crash on a busy stretch of Interstate 64 in Kanawha County.

A ‘high friction surface treatment project’ will be scheduled for next spring eastbound between Cross Lanes and Institute, DOH spokesman Brent Walker said.

“That’s one of those skid-resistant type of projects,” Walker told MetroNews. “We’re also going to review the need for certain kinds of corrections.”

That could include engineers looking at the outer edge in the turn at the bottom of the hill to see if it needs to be raised slightly, Walker said.

The latest crash came early Tuesday morning when the driver of a semi-truck lost control. The truck skidded on its side causing two of the three lanes to be closed for most of the morning backing up morning rush hour traffic for miles. All lanes were reopened before noon.

There have been about a half-dozen wrecks in the same spot in recent months and the section of guardrail has had to be replaced several times. Ultimately it will take drivers slowing down to make the area safer, Walker said.

“We just really feel that if vehicles would just really slow down as they come around that turn you can negotiate that,” he said. “At the end of the day we are going to ask the traveling public to slow down.”

The DOH does plan to put up a few new warning signs.

The set-up of the road is eastbound motorists have just traveled a long incline between Nitro and Cross Lanes when the interstate goes to a long decline toward Institute with a curve at the bottom just before the Institute exit. The design of the interstate has worked for years but there are now more motorists and they are going faster, Walker said.

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