As we approach the first full week of construction on I-77 northbound, commuters crossing from North Carolina into the Virginia state line have already seen some interesting signage.
Several blinking signs can be seen between the Virginia state line and exit 32, going northbound on Interstate 77. The signs alert drivers to the I-77 road work construction miles ahead. The sign informs commuters of an alternate route at exit 32, onto Interstate 81, towards Roanoke, Virginia. The alternate route eventually connects drivers back to I-77 North, merging them onto 460 west, towards Princeton.
The alternate route bypasses the path drivers would easily take from I-77 northbound to Bluefield, West Virginia.
Anthony Bell is the General Manager for the Quality Inn Comfort Center in Bluefield. His hotel is located right off 460, near the regular I-77 route going North. Anthony is not excited about seeing signs that divert possible tourists from Bluefield.
"They’ll bypass our exit at the hotel which would have an effect on us," Anthony said. " Businesses in Bluefield will have a tremendous effect by this."
Anthony can see both sides of the issue, but wishes there was a better way to approach fixing the highway.
"I understand the point of the construction but I think it was something that was not completely thought out. We needed to think more about expanding the highway and what we can do to eliminate the traffic congestion"