SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Division of Highways Chief Engineer Joe Pack says they’re getting closer to a long-awaited $47 million South Charleston roadway project to finally come to fruition.

Pack came on 580 Live Wednesday morning to give an update on the ongoing Jefferson Road project which is reconfiguring the road between U.S. Route 119 and U.S. Route 60– from Corridor G to MacCorkle Avenue in South Charleston.

Once complete, the project is expected to include a new bridge over the Trace Fork gorge as well as a roundabout to continue to ease traffic congestion in the area.

Joe Pack

Pack said the project is part of about a 20 year old vision out of Governor Jim Justice’s Road to Prosperity program that began around 2017 addressing longtime projects in the area that had gone untouched for years due to the the inability to construct them– until now.

He said it may have taken a while, but the Jefferson Road project is really coming along.

“At this point we are seeing that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel on that project and it’s one of several of our larger projects that fit under that program that we’re seeing come to a completion soon,” Pack said.

Pack said later this summer the DOH will transition traffic onto the new bridge once it’s complete so they can begin construction on the roundabout.

Pack said the new roundabout is expected to change traffic conditions to be more consistent in the area and reduce accidents.

He said when they’re transitioning traffic from the new bridge onto Jefferson Road construction has to be continued on the hillside, but when that’s complete, the intersection there will be more functional and provide a more fluid movement of traffic.

Pack said these transitions are leading up to the last final pieces of the construction before it’s all complete.

“It will be transitioning traffic existing surfaces onto new surfaces so we can do other expansion,” he said. “That’s going to happen over the next 10 to 12 months before complete, but everyone should be able to look around when they’re driving through the area to see you know the fruits of a lot of hard work being done.”

In October of 2023 Governor Jim Justice met with DOH officials to cut the ribbon on the new $11 million RHL Boulevard project that was completed in that area. It provided a new access road and 420-foot bridge also spanning the Trace Fork canyon leading over to the Trace Fork Shopping Center in Corridor G.

That project was in conjunction with the overall Jefferson Road project.

Pack said the RHL Boulevard has already proven to be such a relief to traffic congestion, but it’s only a small piece of the pie compared to what the whole project will offer once it’s all complete.

“It will be such a more fluid flow of traffic and a situation where you won’t just have to come to constant stops due to traffic congestion,” he said.

Pack said they have completed each portion of the project in phases so that people could continue to utilize the roadways in that area, a system they will continue to do even in the last major portion of construction.

He said they will continue to rely on making traffic shifts throughout the rest of the process to maintain the flow.

“It’s very carefully staged and laid out so that disruptions to the normal flow of traffic is minimized, however we can’t eliminate it simply because we’re doing a significant amount of work,” he said.

Pack said a lot of the changes drivers will be seeing will occurr in late summer, early fall with the overall final completion of the project being set for late spring/ early summer of 2025.

Leave a Reply