Clarksburg Exponent Telegram
by Nora Edinger, Regional Editor
BRIDGEPORT (Tuesday, January 1, 2002)
Interstate 279, the northern Bridgeport Bypass of U.S. 50, will not open until spring, probably in May.
The highway had originally been scheduled to open in the fall of 2001. The first stages of construction on the 2.8-mile, $30 million project began in late 1999, according to Marvin Murphy, district 4 engineer for the state Division of Highways.
In spite of the warm fall, Murphy said delays over rights of way early last year made it impossible to finish paving details that required good weather.
"The majority of the project has the base coat down," he said.
He said the need for a final coat of asphalt that seals the road from water and provides a non-skid surface is the primary hold up. Workers also need to complete grading work near a bridge over 131.
Other details, such as completing guard-rail installation, may be done after the road opens, he said.
I-279 will connect Route 50 east of the entrance to the Harrison-Marion Regional Airport Industrial Park to the Jerry Dove Drive intersection of I-79.
Development at the latter intersection includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint center, the Charles Pointe planned community and the future location of United Hospital Center.