Raleigh County road bond project delayed due to few contractor b - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Raleigh County road bond project delayed due to few contractor bids

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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) A road bond project designed to widen Interstate-77 between Route 19 and Interstate-64 is off to a delayed start. The project, which was supposed to start in July, is designed to double the amount of lanes between the two major Raleigh County arteries. 

According to a spokesperson for the Division of Highways (DOH), Brent Walker, only one company bid on the project in the Spring and that company fell outside their guidelines to complete the project.

To encourage more companies to consider bids, Walker said engineers are going back to the drawing board to make a few adjustments before they re-open bidding in a couple of weeks. One of those adjustments includes extending the completion time on the project from 30 to 36 months and allowing the winning bidder more leeway in construction materials. 

Re-opening the bidding process may delay the start date of the project by a couple months, Walker explained, but it will not necessarily delay the completion date.

Meanwhile, nearby business owners on Harper Road are gearing up for the start of construction in the Fall. Kevin Traube owns the Outside-In Climbing Gym, the Chocolate Moose, and Mountain State Miniature Golf. He hopes the project will relieve some of the congestion on the road that feeds into the interstate.

"When it's done, it will be tremendous because it will make it that much easier to get to our area." 

While the interstate is under construction, Walker said crews will work hard to keep two lanes of traffic open in both directions, but cautioned the lanes may occasionally be reduced to one. 

State Police Sgt. M.A. Elswick urges drivers to slow down during that time and merge as soon as possible as speeding in construction zone can result in a doubled fine for drivers. "A lot of people I see will go up to the cones and whip over at the last minute. Please get over prior to the closure."

The 80-million dollar widening project will also include lighting and draining improvements along Interstate-77. 

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