POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The Mason County Commission recently met hearing updates on the Route 35 project, expanding the stretch of roadway from two to four lanes throughout Mason County and into Putnam County.
The commissioners in attendance were President Rick Handley, Sam Nibert, and Tracy Doolittle along with County Administrator John Gerlach.
Cliff Farley, from the West Virginia Department of Highways (WV DOH), and Jennifer Belcher, the project engineer from Bizzack Construction, shared updates on the Route 35 project.
Belcher reported they are currently on pay estimate 39, the cost to date being $191,100,000. The proposed project completion date (not including the paving) has been extended to Dec. 13 of this year, the original date was Oct. 31, 2018. The reasons behind the extension is because of the original design at the Buffalo intersection was planned to be a four-way stop, it has been changed to a four lane conventional diamond shape with single span bridges and they were granted a time extension to finish as much of that as possible. Obtaining certain permits from different entities for portions of the project also set the project back such as with permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP). Belcher commented a notice to proceed was held up on the paving project portion because of permitting issues, moving from one contractor to another. However, they are in the final stages of getting that squared away.
Further reports include, 16.6 millions yards of dirt out of 16.8 million yards of dirt has been moved; the final grade has been cut from the north end down to County Route 78; they are in the process of finishing up the final grade from there (County Route 78) south to the beginning of the project which is less than a week away from being finished; bridges at County Route 78, County Route 29, and County Route 40 are complete, work is still being done on the bridge on Plantation Road; an access point was completed at County Route 22 and an intersection has been completed at County Route 29 over County Route 17.
The DOH bid out the paving project in February to West Virginia Paving. The projected completion date from West Virginia paving is Oct. 16, 2020. When Kanawha Stone finishes their work, then West Virginia Paving will begin their work.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.