Too see a map of the alternative routes go to: http://www.transportation.wv.gov/highways/programplanning/comment/jeffersonroad/Documents/conceptualAlternatives.pdf
CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- When considering the seven different alternatives proposed to ease congestion on Jefferson Road, South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said creating an overpass is "vital."
The state Division of Highways released preliminary projections for the Jefferson Road improvements last month during a public meeting held at the South Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau.
About 80 people attended the first meeting hosted by the DOH on March 12, Timothy Sedosky, environmental planning manager with the DOH, said at the South Charleston Economic Development Authority's monthly meeting Tuesday.
Sedosky said hearing feedback from the public about the seven alternatives, some of which add bridges and others that create new intersections, is important.
Public comments can be submitted online at www.transportation.wv.gov or by mailing the DOH's director of program planning and administration division.
Written comments are due by April 15.
"We want to hear what they think. This is what we came up with, but what would you like to see?" Sedosky said. "We believe all of these alternatives are constructible ... [but] alternatives may not stay exactly the same. Certainly, things can change. That's why we encourage people to come to the meetings."
Sedosky said the DOH hasn't set a definite date for the next public meeting scheduled for the fall. At the next meeting, people will learn about updates and changes engineers have configured in the meantime, he said.
One modification officials have recognized since the first meeting includes the location of the West Virginia State Police headquarters.
The seven alternatives range in cost from $44 million to $66 million, which is much higher than the initial $25 million plan.
If officials chose the seventh alternative, it would cost an extra $12 million -- nearly $70 million total for that alternative -- to relocate the State Police headquarters, which would be necessary under that option, Sedosky said.
Mullens said South Charleston residents are "concerned, but reasonable" about all of the alterations to a main road in their town.
While a number of people have said that they don't want to be "uprooted" from their homes (some alternatives require a significant number of houses to be torn down), they understand it is time for Jefferson Road development, he said.
The DOH conducted studies on traffic flow and found that drivers could spend six to 20 minutes traveling on the road that connects MacCorkle Avenue to Corridor G.