First on WSAZ: Plans Announced to Widen Two Lane Stretch of Route 35

MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Peace of mind is coming for drivers in Putnam and Mason Counties.

The 14.6 mile, two lane stretch of Route 35 has been a problem area for accidents. Plans to widen that stretch stalled when funding ran out.

But as WSAZ first reported on Tuesday construction on the first phase of the project is set to begin this Spring.

The existing two lane stretch of Route 35 will remain two lanes. Four new lanes will be built in a different location.

Brent Walker with the West Virginia Department of Highway tells that he has helped plan out a three phase project to widen the road.

“What we’ve done is broken down that 14.6 mile section into 3 contracts,” Walker says. “We've split the two grade and drain projects, which is essentially building the roadbed to two fairly even contracts.”

He says once those the work on those two contracts is completed, the final contract will be to pave the entire stretch, but first they need to find someone to do the work.

“We will advertise and award the bid in the fall,” Walker says. “With any luck we'll be able to get started in the spring.”

Once the construction starts, he says he expects the $2m project to take at least four years.

Mason County Commissioner Rick Handley says people will not mind to wait, as long as the construction is happening.

“Were willing to wait for that, we just know they they’re going to be going ahead on this project and it gives our residents a much safer mind when it comes to traveling that road, when its built into the four lane,” says Handley. “I’ve got a grin from ear to ear knowing that it’s on its way.

The construction is expected to be funded by the Public Private Partnership project under Senate Bill 190.

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