Brooke County to measure Follansbee traffic counts

WELLSBURG – The Brooke County Commission discussed concerns about traffic at the north end of Follansbee at Tuesday’s meeting.

County Commissioner Norma Tarr said the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission has agreed to conduct a traffic count this summer at the intersection of Archer Hill Road and state Route 2.

She said staff with BHJ also will meet with local officials in March to discuss the matter further.

The counts could determine whether the traffic volume there merits the addition of a traffic signal or other measures determined by the state Division of Highways.

Tarr noted residents of Highland Hills and Archer Heights, which both sit atop Archer Hill Road, have complained for many years of having difficulty entering the busy section of four-lane highway.

County Commissioner Jim Andreozzi said complaints have recurred more recently because the section of Route 2 has been reduced from two lanes to one.

The section has been reduced to one lane to ease the flow of large trucks onto the highway from the north entrance to the Mountain State Carbon plant.

Several years ago Veterans Drive was established to divert a majority of truck traffic to industries on the west side of Follansbee.

But in recent months, trucks traveling to and from Koppers have been diverted through Mountain State Carbon because a bridge leading to Koppers and owned by the company needs repair.

The bridge’s condition has led to its weight limit being lowered so large trucks may not use it.

Andreozzi said many drivers turning onto Route 2 from Archer Hill Road aren’t aware they don’t have two lanes to enter, resulting in their nearly being hit by through traffic.

Also on Tuesday, the commission:

Held a public hearing on the use of federal Department of Housing funds issued to the Northern Panhandle HOME Consortium.

The funds currently are used for the First-Time Home Buyers program administered by C.H.A.N.G.E. Inc.

The program has helped many individuals and families to obtain homes in Brooke and Hancock counties by providing down payment and closing cost assistance up to $10,000, with the loan forgiven if the homebuyer has lived there five years.

First-time homebuyers must fall into certain income levels and meet other conditions. For information, call (304) 797-7733.

Heard from Ruby Greathouse, curator of the Brooke County Museum and Cultural Center, who said the upper windows on the front side of the building have been replaced.

Greathouse said many have commented favorably about the windows’ appearance, and they also have helped to retain heat on the second floor.

During last year’s Wellsburg Applefest the pane fell out of one window and onto the awning below, and volunteers with the museum discovered many of the windows were in poor condition.

The $17,000 cost to replace the windows has been offset with $4,000 from the county’s economic development authority and $2,000 from the Northern Panhandle Resource, Conservation and Development Council.

Appointed Jon Rogers of Follansbee to the county’s economic development authority.

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