KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. — A public forum held late last month in Kearneysville was a chance for WVDOT/Division of Highways engineers to update the public about ongoing projects in District 5, which encompasses the larger Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and the counties of Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, and Morgan.

Projects in the district that are ongoing or scheduled to begin soon include Berkeley Springs Bypass, Exit 12 Apple Harvest Drive realignment, Interstate 81, The Middleway Bridge on Route 51, and work on US Rt. 340 in Jefferson County, including the rock fall stabilization on US 340 near   Harper’s Ferry.  That’s in addition to the ongoing milling, filling, pothole and maintenance work in the district.

Lee Thorne, District 5 engineer for the West Virginia department of high ways spoke about 3 road projects

He said work on the Rt. 522 bypass in Morgan County will happen in two stages, the second of which won’t see dirt moved until sometime next year:

He gave an update on the Rippon project  in Jefferson County on Rt. 340, reporting that the work there will likely start in September:

As for the massive rock mitigation project set for this fall on Rt. 340 in Harpers Ferry, Thorne said it will be a long-term project that will require commuters take a detour from just after Labor Day until around Christmas:

Thorne said Interstate 81 in Berkeley County was constructed in the 1960s and the pavement slabs are showing their age:


He talked about a timeline for the expansion of the highway into six lanes beginning in 2026.  Thorne said the work is federally funded and would be tackled in three different phases that would expand the interstate from the Tabler Station Road interchange at Exit 8 down to the Virginia line.

Thorne talked about how money is allocated across the state and in the seven counties covered by District 5 out of a $38.5 million budget, more than half of which goes to cover employee-related expenses:

District 5 makes up about a tenth of the total miles of road maintained by the DOH across the state, according to Thorne.

Thursday’s meeting took place at the Division of Highways Jefferson County Headquarters, off Leetown Pike in Kearneysville.