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UPDATE: EB contraflow lane causes traffic delays on I-64

(WSAZ)
Published: Mar. 26, 2018 at 10:44 PM EDT
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UPDATE 8/1/18 @ 8 a.m.

Traffic is backed up for miles along Interstate 64 in Putnam County near the new eastbound contraflow lane that opened overnight.

The eastbound contraflow lane is in the I-64 construction zone near the Teays Valley exit.

Traffic heading eastbound in the fast lane is now crossing over the median just before the Teays Valley exit and traveling in that lane creating the contraflow lane.

The merging traffic onto I-64 is slowing down traffic in the EB slow lane as they go from Teays Valley towards Charleston.

As of 8:10 Wednesday morning, the interstate was backed up for miles and the Teays Valley entrance ramp was also at a stop.

Keep clicking on WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


UPDATE 7/30/18 @ 9:45 p.m.

According to the West Virginia Department of Transportation, the Interstate 64 traffic pattern changes for the eastbound contraflow lane is on hold.

WVDOT Director of Communications Brent Walker issued a statement, saying that heavy rains and the forecast of more rain in the area of the construction zone has postponed the lane changes.

The news release said the changes are now set for Wednesday, Aug. 1.

When the traffic is switched, traffic heading eastbound in the fast lane will cross over the median just before the Teays Valley exit and travel in that lane creating the contraflow lane.

Eastbound motorists who are wanting to exit the interstate at the Teays Valley exit or the Crooked Creek/U.S. 35 exit will need to continue to travel in the right lane to access those exits.

All trucks are required to remain in the right lane while traveling this stretch of interstate.

The contraflow lane will stretch from just before the Teays Valley exit to the St. Albans exit of Interstate 64.

Westbound traffic will continue to be two lanes in that area, as well.


UPDATE 7/29/18 @ 7:37 p.m.

There will be another change in the traffic pattern along Interstate 64 in the construction zone between Huntington and Charleston.

According to the West Virginia Department of Transportation, the contraflow lane will switch to eastbound Monday evening.

Traffic heading eastbound in the fast lane will cross over the median just before the Teays Valley Exit (Exit 39) and travel in the lane that would normally carry traffic in the westbound fast lane.

Drivers that need to get off at the Teays Valley Exit or the Crooked Creek/US 35 Exit (Exit 40) should travel in the right lane to access those exits.

All trucks will be required to drive in the right lane.

Those driving in the contraflow lane will not be able to get off until the St. Albans Exit at milemarker 44. Westbound traffic will continue to be two lanes in that area.


UPDATE 7/20/18 @ 11:55 p.m.

Another traffic pattern change is in store for the Interstate 64 construction zone between Huntington and Charleston, the West Virginia Division of Highways says

Starting Monday, two-lane traffic flow will resume on the westbound side of I-64 between Crooked Creek, also known as U.S. 35 and Teays Valley.

The contraflow lane will be closed so crews can remove the wall from the eastbound lanes to the westbound side of the interstate.


UPDATE 6/7/18 @ 7:15 a.m.

Drivers in Putnam County need to expect a new traffic pattern on Interstate 64.

A contraflow lane is now in operation in the construction zone near Scott Depot.

Drivers heading west towards Hurricane and beyond will now have to cross over the median by Scott Depot. Drivers in this lane won't be able to exit until they get all the way to Hurricane. Drivers heading to Teays Valley will need to stay in the westbound lane that is still open to exit I-64.

I-64E is now down to two lanes in this area.

The contraflow lane is part of the major rehabilitation project on I-64 in Putnam and Cabell counties.


UPDATE 6/5/18 @ 11:20 a.m.

A traffic change for drivers on I-64 has been postponed again.

The creation of a contraflow lane in the construction area of Putnam County is now set for Thursday.

West Virginia Department of Transportation (DOT) officials say the contractor has finished putting up the barrier wall, but there are still other things that need to be done before they can make the traffic switch. A DOT spokesperson says the contractor needs to continue anchoring a few thousand feet of wall and install glare barriers.

The plan is to start the contraflow lane the morning of Thursday June 7.

UPDATE 6/1/18 @ 2:20 p.m.

A traffic change for drivers on I-64 has been delayed.

The creation of a contraflow lane in part of the construction area between Scott Depot and Teays Valley has been postponed.

West Virginia Department of Transportation (DOT) officials say weather and other events pushed back the start date.

The new date is Wednesday, June 6.

In the meantime, the contractor will continue to prepare the area for the contraflow phasing.

As for how a contraflow lane works: Beginning Wednesday, traffic heading westbound in the fast lane will cross over the median. That will happen just before the US 35/Crooked Creek exit or Exit 40. Drivers will then travel in the lane that would normally be heading in the opposite direction (eastbound.)

Drivers will

not

be able to to exit until Hurricane (Exit 34.) The eastbound direction will be down to two lanes in that area.

If you are heading westbound and want to get off at Exit 40 or Exit 39 (Teays Valley), you will need to be in the right lane.

All trucks will be required to be in the right lane as well.

Phase two of the construction work will begin with work on the westbound slow lane and shoulder. Traffic will switch when that lane is done.

DOT officials are reminding drivers that

the speed limit in the entire 20-mile work area is 55 mph.

The speed limit has been strictly enforced throughout construction.

UPDATE 5/31/18 @ 10:55 p.m.

There’s a traffic alert for drivers heading out on I-64 this coming weekend.

There’s now going to be a contraflow lane in part of the construction project between Scott Depot and Teays Valley. Drivers will be crossing over the median, and some lanes will be able to exit -- while you could find yourself stuck in another.

A whole new lane of traffic heading westbound will be opening up Saturday. And you’d better be paying attention behind the wheel because once you’re in the contraflow lane, you’re stuck.

The Division of Highways (DOH) has already closed off one of the eastbound lanes between Scott Depot and Teays Valley. The idea is that traffic heading west will cross over the median into this contraflow lane.

But once you’re in, you’re stuck, having to ride it out all the way to the end and you won’t be able to exit the interstate until Hurricane. If you’re looking to exit at Scott Depot or Teays Valley, a right lane will stay open allowing you to exit.

“Their full attention needs to be given to driving their car,” explained Judy Farley.

Farley says this could work well, but only if people are paying attention.

“I just saw a short essay on YouTube about contraflow lanes and how useful they are so it’s interesting the subject came up,” described Bill Farley.

The DOH said this whole change is to prepare for phase 2 of the construction project, which includes working on the slow lane and shoulder.

This lane change goes into effect on Saturday, and the speed limit is still only 55 mph in the construction zone.


UPDATE 5/30/18 @ 5:40 p.m.

Phase 2 of the Interstate 64 construction between Teays Valley and Milton is about to get underway, meaning a traffic flow change for motorists, the West Virginia Division of Highways says.

Beginning Saturday, traffic heading west in the fast lane will cross over the median just before the US 35/Crooked Creek exit (exit 40) and travel in the lane that would normally carry traffic in the eastbound fast lane.

Westbound motorists who want to get off the Crooked Creek exit (exit 40) or the Teays Valley exit (exit 39), will need to travel in the right lane to access those exits. All trucks will be required to remain in the right lane as well.

Travelers in the contraflow lane will not be able to exit until Hurricane (exit 34). Eastbound traffic will be reduced to two lanes in that area.

Phase 2 rehabilitation will begin with work on the westbound slow lane and shoulder, and traffic will switch when completed.

Meanwhile, the state Division of Highways says that night work will continue from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Friday, June 1, as the contractor places barrier walls between the fast and slow lanes heading eastbound between Teays Valley and U.S. 35, in preparation for Phase 2 of the I-64 Milton to U.S. 35 Rehabilitation project.

Also, motorists are reminded that the speed limit in the entire 20-mile work area is 55 mph. Law enforcement officers continue to enforce the reduced speed limit.


UPDATE 4/12/18 @ 10 p.m.

Drivers can expect delays between Hurricane and Milton for the foreseeable future now that phase 1 of a major construction project is underway.

Thursday evening traffic on I-64 in the construction zone by the Milton exit was moving slowly and at some points came to a standstill.

Between Hurricane and Milton, the slow lanes of the interstate are closed.

"It's a really big pain because it slows everybody down getting home from work," one driver said as he was using the Milton exit.

"Yesterday I realized it took half an hour to get from Teays Valley to Hurricane," Sherri McCracken said. "Side roads are just bumper to bumper traffic because people are trying to find the fastest route home."

Some drivers say with the potholes and other problems on that stretch of I-64, the delays will be well worth it once this project is comleted.

"I don't like hitting potholes, and after they're done, there aren't going to be any potholes," Milton resident Mearl Chapman said.

Highway officials are asking for patience and extra caution as this major interstate makeover is expected to last the rest of the year.

The next phase will extend from Hurricane to the U.S. 35 interchange at Teays Valley.


UPDATE 4/10/18 @ 7:30 a.m.

Drivers can expect delays the next time they travel Interstate 64 between Hurricane and Milton.

Orange Barrels and construction signs are now in place for the first phase of the major road rehabilitation project from U.S. 35 to Milton on I-64.

The eastbound lanes were down to one lane by 7 Tuesday morning. As of 7:30 a.m., construction crews were still preparing to take westbound lanes down to one. The slow lanes will be closed for most of 2018 as the work continues.

West Virginia Paving will be doing the work. The project is part of Governor Jim Justice's Road to Prosperity program.

Phase one of this $50 million project is expected to last all year and possibly into 2019. It will take place between Hurricane and Milton.

The next phase will extend from Hurricane to the U.S. 35 interchange at Teays Valley.

The project was delayed a day due to snow on Monday.


UPDATE 4/9/18 @ 10:25 a.m.

Drivers won't see any work starting on the interstate Monday due to the rain and snow.

The West Virginia Division of Highways announced Monday morning that the project from US 35 to Milton on I-64 has been delayed to start Tuesday.

West Virginia Paving will be doing the work. The project is part of Governor Jim Justice's Road to Prosperity program.

Phase one of this $50 million project is expected to last all year and possibly into 2019. It will take place between Hurricane and Milton.

The next phase will extend from Hurricane to the U.S. 35 interchange.


UPDATE 4/6/18 @ 12:30 p.m.

DOH crews have put out safety barrels along Interstate 64, ahead of a major road rehabilitation project between Huntington and Charleston.

The project is part of Gov. Jim Justice's Road to Prosperity program.

Phase One of the $50 million project is expected to last all year and possibly into 2019.


ORIGINAL STORY

A major road rehabilitation project is set to begin in mid-April on I-64 between Huntington and Charleston.

It's part of Gov. Jim Justice's Road to Prosperity program.

Monday night at Hurricane City Hall, the DOH held the first of two informational meetings to let drivers know about traffic changes during construction.

"This is major surgery," Cindy Cramer, director of Traffic Engineering, said. "This really gets to the core issue, and we'll have a much better project in the end."

Phase 1 will take place from Milton to Hurricane. One lane in each direction will be closed.

Another meeting will be held for the public from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Milton Middle School.

Officials say the project is expected to last all year and possibly into next year.

Just to clear up any confusion on this, DOH says it will be done in phases. Phase one, which starts tomorrow now, is Milton to Hurricane. Next phase will be up at the 35 interchange.