The Times West Virginian

June 10, 2014

Drivers detouring to avoid White Hall construction

Light may be moved to keep traffic on 250

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

WHITE HALL — Construction on the new sidewalk in White Hall along Route 250 has forced a new traffic pattern while crews are on scene.

During Monday’s meeting, a citizen of White Hall who lives on Whispering Pines Drive, which is off of Ruby Drive, asked council if there was anything they could do to stop cars from using Ruby Drive as a way around the construction. When crews are working on putting a new sidewalk in from Mike’s Electric to the State Farm Insurance building, one lane is blocked off and a temporary traffic light is put up.

“We have a problem with people coming down Ruby Drive to miss the construction,” the resident told council.

The sidewalk being built is Phase 1 of White Hall’s sidewalk project, which includes three phases.

To stop cars from using Ruby Drive as a way to bypass the construction, the resident suggested to council that the traffic lights and signs to stop are moved back from Ruby Drive.

“Some people drive sensibly, I’m not here to tell you they all fly by, but other times they (drive fast) up that road,” he said.

White Hall Police Chief Geno Guerreri told the resident that he would contact the construction company working on the sidewalk and ask if moving the traffic lights farther down Route 250 would be possible. Guerreri said he has received complaints that vehicles have run the red light from the temporary traffic signals.

Guerreri said traffic has been backed up at times when the signal is up. Drivers leaving a few extra minutes earlier than usually could help them in getting to destinations on time if they need to travel through that area.

Mayor Guy Ward said construction of the sidewalk project phase began on June 2. He said crews are working 10-hour shifts on completing the sidewalk and are working only Monday through Thursday until the 60-day deadline.

“I think they should be done ahead of the deadline,” Ward said.

When crews are working on the sidewalk, one lane is blocked and a traffic signal is put up. When crews are not working, traffic can use both lanes on Route 250.

Phase 2 of the sidewalk project is in motion. Ward said he has to hear back from the West Virginia Department of Transportation before the town can move on with the phase.

Phase 2 will continue from the end of Phase 1 and travel along Route 250 toward Wal-Mart. Ward said they are still unsure how far it will go but knows that there will be a sidewalk.

Construction on Phase 2 of the sidewalk project is expected to be next year. Ward said traffic patterns may not be an issue when Phase 2 of the project is being constructed.

With Phase 1 of the project, crews are working against a hillside and are forced to use the road for equipment. During Phase 2 that may not happen.

“For Phase 2 it may not be as bad,” Ward said.

The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, June 23, at the town municipal building.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.