Virtual Informational Public Meeting and Availability of the Environmental Assessment
The purpose of this virtual public meeting is to provide an update on the project and present the findings of the Environmental Assessment prepared for the proposed rock slide repairs along US 340. This project includes the implementation of rockfall protection and stabilization measures associated with the existing slopes along US 340 northbound, between Chestnut Hill Road and Harpers Ferry Road. This meeting complies with the public involvement requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
November 9th Virtual Public Meeting
A live chat was held from 4 PM to 7 PM
During this time, representatives from our project team were available to answer questions virtually. Visit the “Questions” section at the bottom of this page to provide your comments or questions. WVDOH is accepting comments through December 9, 2021 on this project.
A live presentation was held at 4:30 PM and 6 PM
During the Virtual Public Meeting there were two oportunities to join live presentations of these materials. Presentation materials are now displayed on this page and we encourage you to review the information below.
Click below to download additional resources summarizing the information presented in this online meeting.
2. Purpose and Need
The purpose of this project is to implement rockfall protection and stabilization measures associated with the existing slopes along US 340 NB, while considering local traffic impacts and future development of the US 340 corridor.
Due to the high volume of traffic, and that US 340 is the main route through this area, rockfalls pose a threat to public safety. Not only from the rockfall itself, but from road closures that result from rockfalls, and the potential impact to emergency vehicle response times. Based on the analysis in a design study prepared in April 2018, there is a high potential for rockfall in the area and an established public safety need to implement rockfall protection and stabilization mitigation measures for the priority slopes.
3. Environmental Assessment
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 requires that all federal agencies consider their actions and potential impacts to cultural, natural, and socioeconomic resources. An Environmental Assessment, or EA, was prepared to determine if there would be significant impacts due to the proposed rock slide improvements.
The EA included detailed studies for many resources. These analyses concluded there would be no significant impacts based on the proposed improvements. It is anticipated that after the public comment period, a Finding of No Significant Impact will be prepared and signed by the Federal Highway Administration.
4. Slope Remediation Plan
Slope Remediation Techniques
For this project, several types of slope treatments are proposed to address specific issues. These were selected based on the geology and types of slides which are occurring on the hillside.
- Maintenance scaling involves removing loose or potentially unstable material my means of pry bars, pneumatic air bags or rams.
- Rockfall barriers are fences, typically along the roadside, which are constructed of materials capable of withstanding the energies of a rockfall event.
Proposed Slope Treatments:
- The slope drape and pinned mesh consist of an engineered wire mesh or cable netting that helps in controlling or directing rockfall to a safe location away from local traffic.
- The attenuator barrier, typically associated with a rock slope drape, acts similar to the rockfall barrier, but instead of at the roadway level, these are constructed on the slope to control rockfall and guide it to a safe area.
- Rock bolting helps secure the rock to the hillside by drilling and grouting in steel bars. These are deep enough so that the grouted bars tie the existing slope together and prevents large scale, rock fall events.
5. Temporary Traffic Control Options
The temporary traffic control for this project will require closure of US 340 for an extended period of time. This is due to the type of repairs and treatments along the rock face and the need to keep both motorists and the contractor safe at all times.
As part of this meeting, we need your input on the two traffic control options that are under consideration:
Option A is a full detour for 90 days.
During this time, drivers will utilize the proposed detour route which utilizes VA 671, VA 9, and the section of US 340 to the west of the project area. Using this approach for traffic control, the construction cost is estimated at $6.5 Million.
Option B is a hybrid which includes both a detour for 65 days.
Followed by a phase which allows us to continue construction and maintain traffic in both directions. During this time, the speed limit will be reduced and the lanes will be shifted away from the rock face. This option will last for a total of 130 days and the construction cost estimate is $7.4 Million.
We recognize that either option will be an inconvenience for drivers and appreciate your patience during construction.