Proposed Interstate from Cumberland to Moorefield
May 5, 2007
This just came out in the local Moorefield Examiner news paper yesterday that WV has hired several contractors to perform studies of 5 proposed routes to build a brand new interstate from Cumberland, MD at I-68 to Moorefield at CH or Foreman at CH. Two routes have currently been eliminated. The purpose of those 4 lane limited access interstate would be to alleviate traffic on the 'congested' Rt 220 between Moorefield and Cumberland.
Someone took the paper so I can't quote the article at the moment, but the map showed 3 currently planned routes. The first one following the current 220 through Maryland, across the Potomac outside Keyser, crossing Rt 50 just west of Burlington and following 220 south through Old Fields right into Moorefield where it would intersect / end at CH west of the south branch of the Potomac near Grant county. The 'early estimated' timeline is 2025 for construction.
I personally find that a bit of a joke because I drive that *all* the time when going to Wisp and the only congestion is around downtown Keyser. Rt 50 does have some congestion around Romney and places, but the other stretches I can carry 55mph normally all the time. To me, this is getting even more ridiculous to build massive roads where massive roads simply aren't needed.
Sounds like ARC is up to their usual "build a highway" way of doing things. There will be plenty of public hearings on this matter to come Brad. You'll probably be able to use some of the technical knowledge you've built up with SaveLostRiver to work on this matter a bit.
While I'd agree that the traffic on 220 isn't really that bad right now, you've gotta look at it down the road 20 to 50 years (since the new road probably won't open for atleast 10 to 20 years). Also, you should be aware that PA is working on 4 laning Route 219 down to I-68 at Grantsville. It's already 4 lanes from Somerset to north of Ebensburg (50 miles?) It doesn't have an interstate designation yet, but I bet they will try for one at some point(I-67?). Also, I think its part of the continental 1 project. Anyway, when that happens it will funnel more traffic down to the Cumberland area, also of which will be looking to go south.
Maybe, but I don't see the traffic patterns flowing that way. There isn't anything down our way (not counting CV, TL, etc) to draw the traffic volume found on most interstate highway systems. I know PA is trying to build several interstates including the extension of I-99 north from I-70. Really what it boils down too is that Keyser has physically no room to grow in that valley it's in, everything further down through New Creek, Junction, and Burlington. These are all sleepy little towns that really aren't growing too much. I could see if an interstate came south off of 68 and came down to the Potomac, allowing the paper company at Westernport to export paper easier, but I simply don't see the economics involved of the costs it would require to build the interstate across the various rolling mountains in mineral county to make it to CH at Moorefield. Even the locals I've mentioned this too have found the idea ludacris. One person did mention it well that if WV had built CH and other highways back in the 70s... industry would have came westward and settled in WV. However that time has passed with big industry and retail simply bypassing WV all together and building an interstate to hopefully get some to come in in 50 years... doesn't make sense.