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Relief ahead for traffic trouble at Raleigh County I-77 widening project

BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA)- For months, car crashes and side-swipes have tied up troopers along Raleigh County’s I-77 widening project in Beckley. Troopers say they are responding to multiple accidents a day, and each month, writing hundreds of tickets in the work zone.

But in the next couple of weeks, Parkways Authority General Mgr. Gregg Barr said construction crews will be widening the ramps leading on and off the project from Harper Road, where cars merging have been a huge problem for State Police.

According to Trooper M.E. Underwood, the agency has had to bring in additional troopers from other detachments and stay 24/7 at the work site due to the large amount of accidents.

“The drivers are not stopping, they are running the stop signs, and they’re side-swiping other vehicles.”

Despite the presence of law enforcement, Trooper Underwood said drivers are still speeding through the work zone, where the fines are double.

“They’re flying by and passing the cars where the road shifts. They’re side-swiping people.”

Troopers say a lot of drivers do not seem to realize that the lanes narrow through the zone from 12 to ten feet and drivers are still trying to pass wide loads. Until the project’s completion in the mid-2022, they are asking drivers to use additional caution.

 

Annie Moore

Multimedia Journalist

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