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Charleston WV meet wrap-up

Started by hbelkins, June 14, 2009, 01:20:22 AM

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Skies were partly sunny to partly cloudy, with a haze more reminiscent of late
summer than late spring, but no raindrops fell on our Charleston, West Virginia
road meet today.

Nine of us gathered at Quaker Steak and Lube for lunch and discussion. States
represented were Kentucky (me), West Virginia (S.P. Cook, Brian Powell, Janet
Fraser and her boyfriend Chris), Tennessee (Jason Ilyes and Eric Near) and
Michigan (Brian Reynolds and Howard Goldman).

After an excellent lunch, we hit the road to check out the construction of the
new bridge that will carry the eastbound lanes of I-64 over the Kanawha River,
WV 25 and US 60 between Dunbar and South Charleston. We viewed the
under-construction bridge from three different vantage points, covering both
sides of the river.

Afterwards, we headed west to the new alignment of US 35 between I-64 and the
Buffalo Bridge that is scheduled to open Monday. Our first stop was the current
exit at WV 34, where all traffic is currently forced to exit. While we were
pulling off the highway, a WV state trooper passed by and made a U-turn to see
what we were doing. I explained that we were "road enthusiasts" who were getting
pictures of the new unopened road and had just come from the new I-64 bridge at
Dunbar. He told us to be careful and have a good day and went about his rounds.

From that stop we headed along WV 34 to Winfield and then up old US 35,
accessing the new route at Hurricane Creek Road. Then we went to the Johnston
Road access point, where work was going on to finish the highway before Monday's
opening. Our next vantage point was from Staves (or Stave, signs show it both
ways) Branch Road, which is near the point where the four-lane route will come
to an end and be routed onto an access route to the Buffalo Bridge. We drove the
new road to the bridge access, where it ties into existing US 35, and a crew was
at work doing pavement markings and striping, getting ready for Monday. At that
point S.P. had to depart for another engagement; the rest of us crossed the
Kanawha River over to WV 62 and a Tiger Mart for a comfort break and liquid
refreshments. At that point the rest of our tour group split up. Eric, Jason and
Howard were planning to drive north on WV 62 to the Mason County line so Jason
could clinch that county, and then head back to Charleston along WV 62. Brian
P., Chris and Janet were making plans to do something. And Brian R. and I headed
back to the meet site via US 35 and I-64.

All in all, I'd say we had a successful meet and I'd like to thank those that
came. Lots of photos were taken and they will probably be popping up on various
sites within the next few days and weeks.

Government would be tolerable if not for politicians and bureaucrats.

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