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Participants discuss plans for widening of Parkersburg’s Pike Street

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 6:17 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Questions about a roundabout and bicycle traffic, made up much of the discussion Tuesday at a virtual public meeting on the proposed widening of Pike Street in south Parkersburg.

Representatives of the West Virginia Division of Highways, and engineering firm Burgess and Niple, explained the project to those logged into the meeting.

They said the widening will include space for a bicycle lane on the regularly-congested portion of Pike Street between Broadway Avenue and Gihon Road.

An engineer explained that, in addition to cutting down on congestion, a roundabout is also a safer choice than traffic signals.

”It’s really an efficient way to handle the traffic,” says Matt Lewellyn, Transportation and Bridge Leader for Burgess and Niple. “Notice here,” referring to a diagram shown at the virtual conference, “we have two lanes that are headed southbound. That was that heavy movement in the (late afternoon), we can handle quite a bit of traffic through that double lane that goes through there.”

Lewellyn also noted that roundabouts in other West Virginia cities, including one just completed in Willliamstown, have been well-received.

Engineers explained the construction, which is still several years away, will mean some current businesses and residences will have to be removed. Right of way for those properties have not yet been obtained.

The project is being funded through the “Roads to Progress” bond issue approved by voters four years ago.

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