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Justice has ties to development benefiting from new interchange, bridge

By Steven Allen Adams, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Last week, Gov. Jim Justice announced plans for a new interchange and bridge across the Monongahela River to connect U.S. 119-I-68 and I-79 to the Morgantown Industrial Park.

But Justice failed to announce his own ties to the park.

Justice traveled to the industrial park last Thursday to announce a new Department of Transportation project that is slated to begin next spring and cost taxpayers approximately $70 million.

The project would involve a new interchange connecting the Morgantown Industrial Park to I-79, which the park overlooks. The project would also involve building a bridge over the Monongahela River in three possible locations, connecting the park to U.S. 119, which links it to I-68.

“We’re committed to building this important bridge over the Mon River to provide the necessary level of access for this incredible industrial park,” Justice said in a statement last week. “We’ve got to have additional entry for these hundreds of trucks, because we can’t have them going through the middle of Westover every single day.”

The Morgantown Industrial Park already includes interstate access, though the proposed project would give the park more direct interstate access. The park also includes access to rail and river, allowing for barge transportation to Pittsburgh and to the Ohio River.

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