HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — Beginning next month, a three-months-long detour will affect traffic on Rt. 340 just outside Harpers Ferry for a planned rock stabilization project.

Due to the type of construction, this project includes a planned detour, starting on September 12, 2023. The detour route is explained  one-page summary here.

On May 1, 2023, West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) awarded a contract to Triton Construction, Inc. for the work to stabilize a rockslide-prone section of mountain high above US 340 near Harper’s Ferry. The contract is from a bid letting held by the WVDOH on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.

The DOH announcement says, “Triton Construction Inc. was low bidder on the project, with a bid of $10,277,500. The project will require closing US 340 from September through December to remove rock and install rockfall barriers above US 340 where it hugs the Shenandoah River just south of Harper’s Ferry. US 340 is a high-traffic volume corridor carrying about 24,500 vehicles a day including local, commuter, and truck traffic from West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland.”

The contract calls for stabilizing the corridor through rock slope scaling, localized rock bolting, and removal of potential large scale rockfall hazards.  The slope will have rockfall mitigation efforts including draped and pinned mesh, ground-level rockfall barriers, and on-slope rockfall attenuator systems.

A posted detour around the project area during work will be WV 9 and Virginia SR 9 and Virginia SR 671. Work is being scheduled after Memorial Day and before Christmas to lessen the impact on the traveling public, according to the post from the WVDOH.

US 340 along the Shenandoah River was built in the mid-1950s. The cut slopes and exposed rock tower from 150 to more than 300 feet above the roadway. WVDOH will remove rock and install barriers to minimize potential hazards to the traveling public.

Read the bid announcement from the Division of Highways here: 

A post from the West Virginia Division of Highways says the project study area is approximately one mile long and is located along the northbound (NB) and southbound (SB) lanes of US 340 in Jefferson County, WV, in the Loudoun Heights region of the Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park and west of the West Virginia / Virginia border on the southern bank of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. US 340 is a high-traffic volume corridor serving local, commuter, and truck traffic from West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland.

“This corridor also experiences high traffic volume from seasonal tourism due to its recreational and historical significance in the region,” according to the announcement from the WVDOH. “The existing cut slopes in the project study area are a product of US 340 construction in the mid-1950s and natural erosion along the Shenandoah River. The cut slopes and the exposed rock of natural slopes vary in height from 150 feet to greater than 300 feet above the roadway. The cut slopes in the project study area exhibit varying degrees of rockfall activity that present potential hazards to the traveling public and require ongoing maintenance by the WVDOH.”