Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Editorials

November 24, 2012

Traffic congestion Intersection improvement a necessity

— Although it has created a few traffic delay headaches for motorists, the ongoing construction at the intersection of heavily traveled Stadium Drive and College Avenue in the town of Bluefield, Va. is a necessity that will ultimately improve traffic flow when all of the work is completed.

But until the construction is completed, town officials in Bluefield, Va., are urging motorists to exercise patience as they work to improve traffic flow and congestion through the intersection construction project.

It appears a significant portion of the construction may already be finished — and ahead of schedule — as motorists were able to utilize the new interesection on Thanksgiving Day providing improved traffic flow just in time for Black Friday holiday shoppers.

The road construction — located adjacent to Bluefield College — had led to some traffic back-up delays during the lunch time and quitting hours in recent days. And there is still more work to be completed in the area. The area generally stays congested due to shoppers attempting to reach the College Plaza Shopping Center and Ridgeview Shopping Center, along with the restaurants and additional stores in the area. Students also entering and leaving Bluefield College add to the congestion, along with traffic from football games and other sporting events at Mitchell Stadium and Bowen Field — particularly during the summer and fall months. You also have hundreds of vehicles now traveling in the area to tour the Holiday of Lights display at Lotito Park.

“During any construction project like this there are delays, but the end project will be a better flow of traffic,” Cody Musick, zoning administrator and assistant town manager for Bluefield, Va., said last week. “Between Bluefield College, businesses in the area, and football at Mitchell Stadium this is a heavily used area. Our goal is to improve this area for all of them.”

Musick said traffic congestion is the main reason the intersection improvement project was launched earlier this month. The town hopes to have the project finished possibly by Christmas, but no later than early next year. He says the town is trying to get the work done before asphalt plants are closed for the season.

 “The contract is for 60 days to partial completion and 90 days to completion,” Musick said. “It will take out the turning lane and the triangle there. The ultimate goal is a better flow of traffic in the area.”

While we realize the construction is causing a few headaches for holiday shoppers and others who frequent the busy intersection, the project is still welcomed and urgently needed. It should go a long ways toward helping to improve traffic flow and overall vehicle congestion in the vicinity of Stadium Drive and College Avenue.

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