WVDOH Informational Public Workship for Route 14 Expansion

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Changes are already underway on Route 14, but upgrades from Mineral Wells to Pettyville have the community talking.

The West Virginia Division of Highways is presenting 4 alternatives to the public and asking for opinions.

This is just another step toward the final product.

"First we recognize the need and the problem and then once we do that we do preliminary studies and make sure that all the environmental aspects are addressed and all environmental concerns, limitations are dealt with, and then the public meeting is part of that," says WVDOH Engineering Review Division Head Dirar Ahmad.

Officials say the upgrade will help with traffic capacity and development growth.

None of these alternatives are set in stone. That's why feedback is so important in shaping the end result.

"We come with an open mind and an open heart. We tell people we care about every opinion because otherwise we wouldn't study it," says Ahmad.

Each alternative has its pros and cons. The cost ranges between $4.5 million and $5.5 million.

But cost isn't the only variable.

"If you take Alternative 4it displaces 9 residents. If you take Alternative 1 it displaces 28 residents. And we take every relocation seriously. Because we are not in the business of uprooting people and communities. It's a reality that someone is going to be relocated," says Ahmad.

A reality some hope to avoid.

"Unfortunately the one that goes through my yard makes a lot of sense, but I personally think the route that just widens Route 14 and takes the curves out would almost be aesthetically the best because that's what we're all used to at this time," says Mineral Wells resident Jim Hickman.

Things are still in the early planning stages.

Ahmad says construction isn't likely to begin until the end of 2014.

If you were unable to attend the meeting you can mail written comments to:

Gregory L. Bailey, P.E., Director, Engineering Division
West Virginia Division of Highways
Capitol Complex Building Five-Room 450
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305-0430

or go to http://go.wv.gov/dotcomment and click on engineering project, Open, and then click on WV 14 Mineral Wells to Pettyville.

Comments are due by Thursday, September 13, 2012.

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