Traffic Alert | Construction to begin Monday on MacCorkle Ave.

Large potholes and patches cover MacCorkle Avenue in the Kanawha City area of Charleston.
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 6:02 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A major construction project is set to begin Monday in the Kanawha City area of Charleston, and the West Virginia Department of Highways (DOH) is warning drivers to expect big changes and delays.

The project will last for two years and completely reconstruct MacCorkle Avenue between CAMC Memorial Hospital and the Chuck Yeager Memorial Bridge, DOH officials said. Crews will work block-by-block to completely replace the roadway, sidewalks, medians, street lights and traffic lights.

No new lanes will be added, but the project will replace the pothole covered road surface that drivers have been complaining about for years. We first reported about the issue in 2020 when elected officials called for the road to be quickly repaired. Then in 2021, a local grocery store called out road conditions with a sign that said “what a state embarrassment.”

“You have to get in the left lane because it rattles your teeth,” resident Mary Perdue-Jones said. “The roads are just pitiful. I think it effects businesses in the area, too.”

“Oh it’s terrible. It’s almost like a quilt,” Dixieland Carpet Outlet owner Julie Schleider said. “It’s just patchwork, and it has been for quite some time. Through the winter after the snows and the rains, you get the big potholes that you have to worry about your car getting torn up. For the past several years it has been really, really bad.”

Schleider said the entire area will be relieved to see the heavy equipment arrive and the road work begin, and she believes a little bit more traffic is worth having the bumps removed.

W.Va. Division of Highways planning to repave MacCorkle Avenue

The project aims to reduce traffic delays and impacts on businesses by doing most of the construction work at night between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. beginning Monday night. There will be narrow lanes and work zone speed limits in place during the day, but at least one lane in each direction will be open at all times.

“We of course don’t want to discourage anyone from still using MacCorkle Avenue, but we want everyone to be aware of what they are going to encounter when they get here,” DOH State Highway Engineer Joe Pack said.

“There are going to be problems,” Pack said. “We are not going to tell you it’s going to be all candy and whistles. There are going to be times when it’s going to be a struggle and we are not avoiding that, but to be able to get the product we want at the end, that’s what it takes.”

Phase one of the construction will start at 33rd Street and work its way to 40th Street during the next two years. The other phases will then repair the road through the rest of Kanawha City.

The DOH has created a website with information about the project that will be updated as steps are completed. It also includes live traffic cameras in the area so drivers can view the road conditions.

The second phase of the project is about to be put out for bid, Pack said. Construction on that section of road should begin by this fall.

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