I-64 lighting project will tangle traffic this weekend

March 22, 2019 GMT

HUNTINGTON - If you have been wondering about all the metal towers lying on the ground around the Interstate 64 exits from Kenova to the Huntington Mall, they are part of a major roadway lighting project that begins this weekend.

And if you’re wondering whether you should be on the interstate in the Huntington area during the work, state highways officials advise you to avoid it if you can.

The project involves the installation of high-mast lighting towers at the interchanges of Exit 1 at Kenova; Exit 6 at West Huntington; Exit 8 at 5th Street; Exit 15 at 29th Street; Exit 18 at Barboursville; and Exit 20 at the Huntington Mall.

The so-called high-mast lighting is a tall pole with lighting attached to the top pointing toward the ground. It is used at sites requiring lighting over a large area.

The weekend-long project will involve “rolling roadblocks” as crews install the lighting.

The West Virginia State Police will assist with traffic control that will close lanes on Interstate 64 on both Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24, according to a news release from the state Department of Transportation.

The rolling roadblocks will close all lanes of I-64 - in both directions - several miles back from the interchange being worked on and traffic will travel at a reduced speed, the news release said.

Highways officials said the contractor will use a helicopter to install the towers at the exits.

Secondary routes at the interchanges also will be intermittently blocked to traffic when the contractor is working at that specific interchange. Officials said this will ensure there are no vehicles in the areas of the interchange while the helicopter is lifting and installing the towers.

The traveling public should expect delays on I-64 throughout the weekend and try to avoid the interstate and interchange areas if possible, officials said.

Transportation officials added that the work is part of the Huntington Area Roadway Lighting Project and is being conducted by the state Division of Highways and its contractor, Pritchard Signal and Light Co. of Scott Depot, at the six interchanges.

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.