Officials share status on I-79 to PA line construction

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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (WDTV)-- For months on end, I-79 from the PA line into Monongalia County has been down to one lane and traffic cones stretch on for miles.

"We're really worried about how long this is taking and what is going on with the project," said Monongalia County Commission President Tom Bloom.

Bloom says the Division of Highways contracted this project out to Bear Contracting in Clarksburg. A project Bear Contracting said has been a challenge due to rain prohibiting them to put down asphalt.

Bloom says this construction has been harping on the county's businesses as well as for those who have no other option but to use this main thoroughfare to get to PA.

"We need that open. We need our businesses to be able to transport their goods and vise versa."

5 News reached out to Bear Contracting and the DOH to understand the delay.

According to the DOH Bear told them the lanes should be reopen by the end of next week. However, Bear Contracting says the project will be wrapped up in the next 30 days.

"Time is very important. I believe the counties should know when they put out the bid and how long it's going to take," said Bloom.

The DOH says none of the work is being redone. They are "completing work that did not get complete last fall and providing the repairs as stipulated in the warranty of this project."

Bloom says these contractors are hired because the DOH doesn't have enough staff or equipment.

"There are so many great companies that do it, but the key is that we need to keep them in the timeline that is recommended."

According to Bear Contracting they're working as safely and as courteous as they can to commuters. An official with them says they hate causing delays, but they're trying to improve the roads in the state and will continue to do so.

Bear Contracting says once the project is done the DOH will go assess the work to make sure it went as it was planned to.