Jefferson Road project bringing big changes to part of South Charleston
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) —
If you drive down Jefferson Road in South Charleston, you might notice the more than two-dozen houses boarded up and abandoned.
But instead of a future of desolation, there's huge promise for economic growth and development in that area, and plans are moving right along.
Alleviating traffic and congestion for those who travel from Corridor G to MacCorkle Avenue, the Jefferson Road Project has been a long time coming.
"It's a game changer for South Charleston,” South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said.
For neighbors like Elaine Wyatt, it's taken a length of time to get used the changes.
"It's been kind of sad, walking around, seeing the houses boarded up, all of these pretty houses,” Wyatt said.
These days, this block of Pennsylvania Avenue has become a bit of a ghost town with houses with boarded-up windows, listed as state property. There are just some of the many structures that will be demolished to make room for this project.
"We have acquired the property, we're waiting for asbestos inspection, and once we have that, we will take bids for the demolition,” Brent Walker, with the West Virginia DOT said.
Once the demos are complete, plans for multiple lanes, a round-about, and possibly even a fly over, the project will finally come to fruition.
“We're going from a two-lane road to a five-lane road. The state agreed with us that an overpass over the tracks is absolutely necessary. It's just going to make it easier to go in and out,” Mullens said.
Which means big news for other projects in the South Charleston area as well.
“We need the materials from the Jefferson Road Project to develop the Fly Ash Pond and this brand-new shopping facility in our community,” Mullens said.
While Wyatt's house is not set to be demolished, the home of some of her family members is.
“They got them a new house and are in the process of moving," she said.
Wyatt said they are trying to embrace the changes as they come.
“I guess it's going to help in the end, but it's still sad,” Wyatt said.
State officials plan to begin taking bids for those demolitions this August.