CHARLESTON - Dave Moe, coordinator for the North-South Appalachian Highway Coalition of The Greater Cumberland Committee, received a large flicker of hope for what he wanted the West Virginia Department of Transportation to say about the Tier II study for the project.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
CHARLESTON - Dave Moe, coordinator for the North-South Appalachian Highway Coalition of The Greater Cumberland Committee, received a large flicker of hope for what he wanted the West Virginia Department of Transportation to say about the Tier II study for the project.
Moe said prior to the meeting Wednesday as part of Mineral County Day in Charleston that the completion of the Tier II study was “critical,” because no progress on the U.S. 220 Corridor Project could proceed until that task was complete.
At the transportation meeting, one of several attended by those attending the annual Mineral County Day at the Legislature, Dave Vanscoy asked Gregory L. Bailey, highways engineer, to give an update on the project
Bailey said, “The preferred way to approach the Tier II study is to break it down in pieces,” with Vanscoy saying, “That is exactly what Maryland is doing.”
Bailey added the Tier II study deals with environmental issues and, “There has to be funding to complete such things as right-of-ways.”
He gave an example of the possibility of purchasing homes along the suggested highway route, and knowing this effort “changes the lives of those homeowners.”
He said that Tier I studies deal with the planning procedure, but, “We have to be cautious when getting the Tier II underway.”
Bailey said, “Our intent is to find funding; we have to have money for the project.”
Bailey said the first phase of what is scheduled for the Tier II study is along U.S. 220 in the area of Keyser High School going north into Maryland.
“The alignment will be carried over into Maryland to the small community of Dawson,” he said.
Adding that there is not a lot of flexibility for the alignment of the highways, Bailey said, “There is no wiggle room.”
Vanscoy pointed out that the area of U.S. 220 near the high school has a “Wal-mart, a housing development, and a new apartment complex.”
With this section of roadway involving five miles in West Virginia and two miles in Maryland, Bailey said, “Maryland has to agree with the study and has to be very involved.”
Vanscoy said the received information by the Mineral County people “is a start, with a good plan to go forward.”
He added that doing the work on the study in segments is “something do-able.”
Moe wanted to know the number of segments that would follow the first one, and Bailey said that the actual number was not known, but added, “We have to look for points that the highways has to go through.”
Melanie Winfield of WVU Medicine Potomac Valley Hospital also had a question dealing with the placement of priority for this particular highway project.
Bailey said that the highest priority “goes to the project that is now underway.”
He added that considering the U.S. 220 project, the design study has “a decent priority.”
Also saying, “Big money comes into this project, especially in the right-of-way areas.”