"That's the whole issue, trying to sync up two fairly significant, major projects like the development and the interchange to get to it,'' Luck said.
On Wednesday, after a meeting of all the minds, it seems quite likely the interchange can be done at roughly the same time as the ballpark. Roughly, but not exactly.
"I think it will be built faster than any interchange in history,'' Luck said. "I'm no expert on interchanges, but it seems like this one is going to move ahead very quickly.''
It's not likely to be done in perfect order, though. If all goes to plan, the ballpark will open in March of 2015. The interchange won't take traffic until December of that year.
But at least it's finally on track. The Morgantown Metropolitan Planning Organization and the DOH held a public meeting Wednesday at the Coliseum to answer questions. They had charts and graphs and handouts and everything. If the DOH has all of that, well, it seems that any question that an interchange would be built can soon be laid to rest.
According to Perry Keller, the unit leader for the DOH's statewide and urban planning, the first step is an environmental impact study that could be completed by December. By next spring, real planning can begin and then construction.
"And then we hope to be able to finish sometime in 2015,'' Keller said. "But that's very aggressive.''
Of course, there's no better time to be aggressive. With a strike-while-the-iron-is-hot mentality, the area to be developed is already booming with new businesses and a residential complex. The Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district that will pay for the projects was approved by the legislature in special session this spring, and the WVU baseball team that will call the new park home is coming off of a season in which enthusiasm for the program was unprecedented.
Now, if they can just take care of those bats at mine shafts.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.