I-64 contraflow lane causes confusion during morning commute

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Drivers in Charleston experienced some traffic delays heading into the city Monday morning due to road work on the Eugene A. Carter Memorial Bridge along Interstate 64.

The contraflow lane opened near the Oakwood exit Sunday night, which affected the morning commute.

The state Division of Highways said “contraflow” means traffic will be heading the opposite direction of the surrounding lanes on the bridge. One eastbound lane will transfer over to westbound traffic during road construction.

Carrie Bly, a spokesperson for the DOH, said they saw exactly what they anticipated during the first morning rush hour. There was congestion during the new traffic flow test.

She said drivers continued to stay in the far left lane and zipped by, expecting to make it through the rest of the traffic.

“They saw they had to get into the contraflow lane and then they were trying to merge over at the last minute,” said Bly.

Bly advised drivers to stay in the two right lanes. She said drivers who are heading north should merge into the contraflow lane.

“If you accidentally get into the contraflow lane, it’s not that big of a deal. Just keep going and you can get off the Westmoreland exit and follow the detour routes,” she said.

Bly said they placed white posts at the end of the lane, but have been knocked down by drivers trying to pass through the area.

“Some people are getting out of that lane where those posts have been knocked down and are actually crossing three lanes of traffic to get over to go south,” said Bly, “That’s why we put those barriers there to keep people from doing that.”

She said this remains a concern heading into Monday night’s commute.

The east bound right lane will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday this week from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Crews will be setting up a portable concrete barrier wall around the work zone.

Construction is expected to continue through October.