Common sense solutions for Route 2

To the Editor,

The realignment of West Virginia Route 2 through New Cumberland, in the opinion of anyone that understands all of the problems, and is not just concerned with eliminating the 90-degree turns, is a “no-brainer.”

Eliminating the turns is not the only issue!

Having spent over 40 years in the trucking business, I was, in the late 70s while stationed in Las Vegas, on a panel with NVDOT representing the company for the states of Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Here are some facts I dealt with.

Before the 1980s, trailers were allowed to be 96 inches wide, now they can be 102 inches wide. That is 17 feet with trucks passing. Add four more feet for mirrors, and the trailers need 21 feet to pass side by side.

Currently, Ridge Avenue is 22 feet wide (20 feet on Station Hill.) To make Ridge Avenue legal for trucks, sidewalks along Station Hill and Ridge Avenue would be eliminated. Picture how attractive that would be to prospective residents!

The Ridge hillside has been failing and continues to fail. Just a few months ago, WVDOH had to make an emergency repair at Chelsea and Ridge to shore up the eroded area before any vehicles, let alone a school bus, toppled over it. Allowing 80,000 pound trailers along this failing hillside road makes no sense.

As reported, from WVDOH’s viewpoint, Plan 4 is the cheapest at $6.5 million. This plan is only to the Station Hill. Cheapest now, but not in the long run with the above mentioned problems still in play. I believe it would take many more millions to acquire the sidewalks, move utility poles, cut down trees, etc.

Many areas of state Route 2 in Hancock County are in the flood plain; Follansbee, Wellsburg, Weirton, the Cowl Farm backwaters. Are the figures inflated because of this?

Bob McNeil

New Cumberland

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