By Wendy Holdren
The Beckley Post Office roadway that connects Ragland Road and Industrial Drive reopened Friday, after being closed for several weeks because of drivers speeding, littering and disregarding the stop sign.
After Congressman Nick Rahall was flooded with phone calls from local business owners who were concerned with the road closing, he scheduled a meeting Thursday to discuss the issue.
Affected business owners, Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh, Police Chief Tim Deems, District Supervisor of the Beckley Post Office Gary Riley and officials from the West Virginia Division of Highways attended the meeting.
“Our first concern is the safety of area citizens,” Rahall said. “Our next concern is the convenience of the businesses.”
Beckley Postmaster Brian A. Frazier said the roadway was becoming increasingly dangerous, and a postal carrier had even been hit because someone failed to stop at a stop sign, so they had no other choice than to close the road.
After discussing the issues at the meeting, Rahall said District Supervisor Riley agreed to work with the city to reopen the access road.
Rahall said speed bumps will be put in place, and the Beckley Police Department has agreed to patrol the area, although the road is privately owned by the United States Postal Service.
“It is not technically a city street, so we’re limited in what we can do enforcement- wise,” Chief Tim Deems said. “We will be monitoring the traffic in the area though to prevent reckless driving.”
Rahall said the road opening is on a short-term basis, pending drivers obeying the speed limit, stop sign and littering laws.
He also said that this road will be in the area of the next phase of the Beckley Bypass, which is set for construction next fall. He said this road is not to be closed during construction.
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