After getting a copy of the Moorefield Examiner today I decided I needed to do a spring Corridor-H update after learning some new information.
First off my planned picture outing this week has been delayed because I think I pulled a muscle in my back. Needless to say it's aching, stiff, and really really sore right now. *curses that bloody wheelhorse lawnmower* So that may come next weekend or soon thereafter. I really want to get some updated pics to show how close to completion the highway really is. Now on with the goodies...
Wardensville to Baker
Most of you all know from driving Rt 55 this winter that the last two major projects going underway is the Lost River Sinks bridges and the McCauley bridges. Outside of those two projects the rest of the highway is fully painted, with signs/guardrails and more up. All landscaping has been completed between these projects and it's a matter now of simply turning traffic loose on the highway. Although there'd be a tad problem with traffic driving off the sides of the incomplete bridges.
First up is the Lost River Sinks bridges. I actually stopped there last weekend and walked upto the bridges. The highway itself goes from paved to dirt about 50 yards shy of the bridge on both sides. The dirt area is what you would expect, a normal construction yard like atmosphere with temporary storage units, materials, and equipment strewn everywhere. I managed to walk upto the bridges themselves and saw that they have the completely roadway surface done. As of last weekend the concrete forms were going in place for the sidewalls of the bridge with steel rebar work just beginning for that as well.
Based on an article in the Moorefield Examiner by Dick Hughes, these bridges are scheduled for completion on June 10. This is not outside the realm of possibility based on what I saw at the bridges. The article also stated that upon the completion of these bridges, the same contracting company will begin work on the Wardensville access ramps at Trout Run Cut-off road. Driving by there near daily I've noticed survey crews out staking off the area with fresh paint and makers. I was intrigued by the wording in this article. A WVDOT representative stated that the "temporary access ramps" would begin immediate construction. That tells me that there will be a bridge to go in there later, but for now modified roads will be made just to allow people onto the highway. No date was given on the completion of this interchange.
As for the McCauley bridge, it's still far behind schedule in my opinion, but the writer of the article stated that WVDOT's contract with C.J. Mahan company is scheduled to be done on August 15 of this summer. After which WVDOT will have the ability to impose fines or start "assest liquidation" processes. This tells me that they are behind or the WVDOT rep wouldn't have mentioned it, at least not indirectly anyway.
Remember August 15 is only 89 days from now. Thats not taking into account the fact that these guys are NOT working on weekends, are appearantly working 10 hour shifts before calling it quits for each day. In affect that puts the days left down to 63 days to finish installing the girders, install forms, rebar and nessecary items for the roadway floor as well as the side retaining walls. Plus all of the landscaping work of completeing the roadway upto the bridges, installing the guardrails, paint, and reflectors. I find that August 15 will be a very very tight deadline to meet. The article states that the road from Wardensville to Baker will be open sometime this fall.
Now some interesting features about the McCauley bridge that I'm sure many of you all didn't know. The article went on to give the following statistics about the bridges:
Project Cost - $25,000,000.00
Length ------- 1,600 Feet
Height -------- 212 Feet above Lost River
Required a 7.9% curvature to navigate the turn.
Compared to Clifford Hollow Bridge outside of Moorefield this bridge is more expensive and longer.
Moorefield to... Moorefield..?
In what I previously had mentioned as construction work beginning on the Moorefield to Foreman section of the highway, I stand corrected. The construction that everyone is witnessing is really just extending the roadway by another mile or two to Route 220 and no further. The same article in the Moorefield Examiner stated that there will be an interchange for CorridorH at Rt 220 just beside Markwood auto sales and McDonalds. There will be a bridge that crosses a newly widened Rt 220 along with 2 other bridges in this short span. The intent here is to get traffic off of the short section of old Rt 55 and out of downtown Moorefield to Rt 220 and having trucks and traffic accessing the highway from there.
The entrance/exit ramps are quite unique. The design will be a modified 'trumpet' ramp area in that eastbound traffic from 220 would access the highway right beside Mcdonalds. From visual appearances this ramp looks to be a good quarter mile or longer before even merging with the highway. Due to the fact that Markwood auto sales is where a normal eastbound exit ramp would be, engineers moved this ramp to make a 180* turn back onto 220. This ramp will touch the eastbound entrance ramp so that the entrance/exit area will be side by side. As for the westbound entrace/exit areas, they are located further north down by the Ponderosa & South Branch Inn areas and will be a mirror image of the eastbound ramps.
The WVDOT representative interviewd for this article stated that the section from East Moorefield to US 220 would be open by November 15. For more information on this article goto: http://www.moorefieldexaminer.com/news.html#news1
For additional information