CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An evening rush-hour bottleneck on Corridor G (U.S. 119) could be fixed, possibly by next week, as contractors get ready to pave an extension of the dedicated left-hand turn lane at the intersection of Oakwood Road.
The problem is that the original turn lane couldn't always accommodate all the drivers heading south from MacCorkle Avenue and Interstate 64 who wanted to turn left onto Oakwood. When that happened, they blocked through traffic, said West Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Brent Walker.
"We're making some improvements with the extension of the left-hand turn lane there, making it longer, allowing people . . . to get into the queue earlier and allowing through traffic to get through," Walker said.
The extension is slightly more than a fifth of a mile, more than 1,000 feet long, he said.
"It probably doubles, I'd say triples, the length of the current turn lane there. I think it will be a big help," Walker said. "It's so backed up there."
West Virginia Paving won the $350,000 contract to build the extension, Walker said. Work started about a month ago and is scheduled to end next week.
"We're also modifying the traffic signal," Walker said, but he had no details.
The turn-lane extension is an apparent result of studies and public meetings, dating back to 2007 and earlier, concerning possible improvements to Corridor G and I-64.
A proposal to create a dedicated right-turn lane for northbound Corridor G traffic at Oakwood remains on the drawing board, Walker said.
"We've taken a look at that," he said. "It makes a lot of sense, too, but we don't see it as necessary as the project going south."
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.