CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A plan that would eventually widen a nearly four-mile stretch of Interstate 64 near Nitro will be the subject of a public informational meeting later this month.
The plan is in its infancy stages, and it could be five to 10 years before work actually begins, state Division of Highways spokesman Brent Walker said.
The project would widen the stretch of highway between the new interchange at Crooked Creek (Exit 39) and the Nitro interchange (Exit 45). Right now there are two lanes on each side. The project would make the stretch three lanes on each side.
It also would likely involve the building of a new double truss bridge over the Kanawha River, Walker said.
"We would add to the bridge in some way," he said. "I don't think we would replace it."
The meeting will be 4 to 7 p.m. May 20 at Rock Branch Elementary School in Nitro.
Walker said the meeting is just the first step in a very long process. The meeting will initiate studies under the National Environmental Policy Act. Those studies must be conducted before the state hires a firm to develop potential designs for the project.
After designs are completed, the state would still need to come up with funding for the project, Walker said.
"This is years away," he said, "but we have to start somewhere."