The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) along with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), West Virginia Division, and the American Council of Engineering Companies of West Virginia recently held their 2019 Joint Transportation Forum in Charleston, West Virginia. At the event, WVDOH awarded Lochner the 2019 Engineering Excellence Award in the Environmental Category for the US 340 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and third place in the Large Roadway Category for the WV 2 Reconstruction project. Lochner prepared the US 340 NEPA EIS and provided the WV 2 construction and right of way plans.
WVDOH’s US 340 project will improve the existing two-lane section from the West Virginia/Virginia state boundary to the existing four-lane section of the Charles Town Bypass in Jefferson County. The 4.5 miles of roadway currently pose several safety concerns as a result of roadway geometry and traffic congestion. The project area also contains 18 historic resources, including three properties and a district listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as several other eligible districts, properties, a railroad, and a portion of a Civil War battlefield. Due to the complex historic landscape, an avoidance alternative that satisfied the project purpose was not feasible. In completing the EIS, Lochner performed detailed analyses of the proposed alternatives to quantify impacts and led a comprehensive public involvement program to gather feedback from local residents and project stakeholders. In April 2019, the environmental process received FHWA approval; it is scheduled to be advertised as a design-build project in spring of 2020.
WVDOH’s WV 2 Reconstruction project widens the corridor from two to four lanes from the Town of Kent to Franklin Road. The roadway alignment is parallel to the Ohio River and located between a CSX railroad and a steep-rising hillside. To accommodate the topography and constraining features, Lochner designed a vertically adjusted alignment to avoid impacting the railroad and reduce major earthwork. The grading for the project will involve the excavation of 1.2 million cubic yards of earth, resulting in cuts in excess of 200 feet in height. The constraints also presented a unique challenge for the drainage, erosion, and sediment control design as well as the maintenance of traffic. With over 50 acres of earth disturbance, sediment sumps were proposed in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Lochner also proposed a drainage system that will be constructed in a way that avoids ponding. Because there are no viable detours during construction, two-way traffic on WV 2 will need to be maintained. The two northbound lanes will be constructed early in the project while traffic continues on the existing WV 2 corridor. Once this portion of construction is complete, traffic will be shifted to the new northbound lanes while the southbound lanes are constructed.
Lochner Project Manager, Chris West, with WVDOH State Highway Engineer, Aaron Gillispie