Drivers brace themselves for a bumpy ride along I-64 during pothole milling project

Pothole repairs on Interstate 64 are affecting traffic in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 9:34 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - As the West Virginia Division of Highways pothole milling and filling project continues along Interstate 64, drivers say they’re feeling the effects of the bumpy ride.

“There’s a lot of merging into one lane, which makes it more difficult, especially with signage, and you got to really pay attention to when that occurs,” said Brian McComas, who said he drives the interstate from Charleston to Huntington at least three times a week.

His sentiments are shared by Rachel Williams, a Richmond, Virginia, resident who drives through the state throughout the year.

“It’s been a while since I’ve traveled through West Virginia. I was reminding my kids of when I used to come up here pretty frequently with my family when I was a younger kid their age,” she said.

“[The roadwork] is gonna maybe change my opinion on the way I go back, we’re headed to Kentucky but heading 64 East I’m not sure if I’m willing to take that route after seeing the backup on 64 east headed toward Virginia. I don’t know if I’ll take that route going back.”

The West Virginia Department of Transportation shared Wednesday that the purpose of the project is to get ahead of a milling project set to start next week, which is all dependent on the weather.

“People are very impatient,” McComas said. “I think with the construction that’s going on, speeds are high. Seems like everybody’s sort of nervous about driving through the construction zones.”

WSAZ reached out WVDOT, asking why some of the work can’t be done at lesser traveled times.

“Work which cannot be scheduled at night is scheduled mid-day whenever possible to avoid rush hours,” a spokesperson said. “Work requiring a two-lane closure, such as patching potholes along the joint between two lanes, are only conducted when workers will be present in the second lane due to the placement of the repair.”

McComas said he is willing to wait for a smoother commute.

“It would be nice if they did a lot of the major construction not during the night,” he said. But the pothole repairs,” “I think it’s something that they’ll have to do and during the day.”