City to see road closures

PARKERSBURG – Road closures and delays will take place in the area beginning next week.

According to the Parkersburg Police Department, Roadsafe Traffic Systems announced the closures to take place beginning at 7 a.m. April 17 and ending at 5 p.m. April 19.

CSX Transportation crews will be replacing rails on the tracks above Sixth Street, said Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin.

Martin said the work requires large spikes to be shot into the railroad ties and could result in some of those spikes coming through and onto the roadway beneath. Sixth Street will remain restricted to traffic flow, he said.

All intersecting streets to Sixth Street will be affected by closures and delays, including Garfield Avenue, Ann, Juliana, Market and Avery streets.

Juliana Street will be closed at 10-minute intervals at a time, Martin said.

“Whenever they are working directly above (crews and police) will have to stop traffic,” he said.

There will be yellow caution tape along Sixth Street. Foot traffic will be restricted under the railroad bridge along Sixth Street with sections of the roadway closed at various times, Martin said.

Paid parking in the private lots along Sixth Street will be accessible to people, Martin said. On Wednesday and Thursday parking will be permitted in the large private parking lots near Sixth Street and Garfield Avenue and near Market and Sixth streets, he said.

Emergency vehicles and buses will be accommodated. Buses will run as scheduled.

Intersecting streets with Sixth Street will be manned with traffic control personnel, officials said.

Sgt. Greg Collins with the Parkersburg Police Department said four additional officers will be stationed around the city during the construction. Officers on bicycle patrol will be used during this time, Martin said.

A police officer will be stationed throughout the day at the intersection of Garfield Avenue and Sixth Street, where most of the traffic congestion is expected to occur, Martin said. Another officer will be on Juliana Street between Fourth and Fifth streets, he said. The other two officers will be on bike patrol, Martin said.

The Parkersburg-Belpre Bridge will have one lane closed starting at 6 a.m. Monday. No traffic will be permitted off of the bridge north under the railroad tracks during working hours, officials said.

There will be flagging personnel at every location, with CSX officials monitoring safety and communicating with Parkersburg police officers, Martin said.

“Starting Friday morning signs will be posted,” he said. “We’re trying to eliminate (closures) during peak times of the morning, lunch and the evening (commute).”

The right-hand lane of Juliana Street will be open during the day, Martin said.

Residents can contact the Parkersburg Police Department at 304-424-8444 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. with questions.

Belpre’s Main Street will be closed to traffic for the repairs on Monday and Tuesday, officials said. While cars will be able to take Walnut Street, larger trucks such as tractor-trailers will need to take Farson Street to Washington Boulevard to reach the bridge. Walnut Street is too narrow and low with the railroad above one block, Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz said.

CSX issued a statement on the project explaining the efforts are part of its “ongoing commitment to ensuring the safe and efficient movement of rail freight so essential to the economy. CSX Transportation crews will replace about 9,000 feet of rail next week on the trestle that runs through Belpre and Parkersburg. The project is expected to begin Monday morning in Belpre, move to Parkersburg on Wednesday and be concluded by the end of the week.”

About 50 workers will handle the project, using about 30 pieces of equipment, said Bob Sullivan, CSX spokesman.