The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

May 24, 2013

Turnpike officials expect major traffic issues for Jamboree and FOC Auto Fair

BECKLEY — For a week or so, the Beckley area just might resemble the bumper-to-bumper crawl of traffic in a major metropolis and the West Virginia Turnpike is taking steps now in an effort to keep travelers moving in and out of the Boy Scouts complex for a Jamboree in July.

That’s not all, however.

As the Turnpike’s maintenance director, Jim Meadows, pointed out Thursday, the influx of visitors passing through Beckley will also rise dramatically with the annual Friends of Coal Auto Fair at the soccer complex.

Even before the Jamboree opens at the Summit Bechtel Family Reserve in Fayette County, he said some 20,000 staff members are expected to filter in before the 10-day event set to run July 15-24.

“We’re expecting a bus every 35 seconds at our tollbooths,” Meadows said.

Depending on the popularity of the entertainment, he said, this means another 50,000 on top of the number already gathered at the complex. What’s more, the Scouts themselves will be fanning out in the region for a series of community  service projects.

“For that 10 days, there’s going to be a lot of traffic in Beckley and on the Turnpike,” Meadows told the West Virginia Parkways Authority in a special meeting.

“We’re planning to split-shift our maintenance guys in Beckley — we have 21 in all — from 7 a.m. until midnight, flagging traffic. We anticipate U.S. 19 backing up onto the Turnpike. We don’t think the road there can handle the volume. We anticipate it coming back on us. We want to be able to flag so there’s no rear-enders on the Turnpike with people sitting, trying to get off the exit.”

As another precaution, Meadows said the Turnpike will not engage in any construction that requires a permanent lane closure for the 10 days of the Jamboree.

“When we get out past Beckley, we will do some temporary closures and try to keep our guys working as much as we can,” Meadows said.

“It’s going to be a huge impact. To add to that, on that Saturday, we have the Friends of Coal car show on the soccer field, which is going to bring in another 50,000. We haven’t see anything like this, traffic-wise.”

Asked by Turnpike Manager Greg Barr, the governor’s representative on the board, Jason Pizatella, said plans are being drawn up to involve the use of the West Virginia National Guard for traffic assistance.

“If we have one bus per minute, we can deal with that,” Barr said.

“It’s those concert days and stadium days they’re talking about that could be a problem.”

There also is the prospect that routine tolls could be waived, depending on the volume of traffic and how much is stalled, if cars are backed up and the right lane is idle and only the other lanes are open, Meadows noted.

“It’s going to take a lot of coordination and people on their toes to make this thing go without a glitch,” he added.

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • Kroger restricts pseudoephedrine sales in state

    Supermarket chain Kroger is tightening monthly purchase limits of cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine at its West Virginia stores.

    July 31, 2014

  • ‘Biscuit guy’ makes his mark with anthem at TWV

    The old saying “being at the right place at the right time” couldn’t be more true for Calvin Alexander. Thanks to a salad dressing bottle (and some impressive vocal skills), Alexander was invited to sing the national anthem not once, but twice, at Theatre West Virginia before the opening of “Hatfields and McCoy

    July 31, 2014

  • legion American Legion posts plan to merge

    To help deal with its decreasing membership numbers, Beckley American Legion Post 70 is planning a merger with Post 32. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • legal Tort reform group brings message to Beckley

    How can West Virginia create more jobs and have a better business climate, at no cost to taxpayers? Greg Thomas, executive director of the West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA), says legal reform is one of the answers to that question.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before hearings

     More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 31, 2014

  • Judge in W.Va. asked to delay gay marriage ruling

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked a judge to postpone ruling on a federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's same-sex marriage ban until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a ruling in a similar case in Virginia.

    July 30, 2014

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before EPA hearings

    More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 30, 2014

  • Work continues on stand-alone Warrior Trail

    The executive director of the Hatfield and McCoy Trail Authority said Tuesday that officials are still working toward the creation of the stand-alone Warrior Trail in McDowell County.

    July 30, 2014

  • East River Mountain Tunnel repairs will continue for several weeks

    Motorists traveling Interstate 77 could see slight delays again tonight as repair work continues inside of the fire-damaged East River Mountain Tunnel.

    July 30, 2014

  • State leaders to attend coal rally in Pittsburgh

    West Virginia officials are set to join hundreds of coal miners and coal supporters at an electricity and energy jobs rally.

    July 30, 2014