POINT PLEASANT — Turning left never felt so, well, potentially right, for economic development at least.
The West Virginia Division of Highways is planning to install a left turn signal from W.Va. 62 on to Third St. at the base of the Bartow Jones Bridge. The work is supposed to be completed by the end of next week, according to WVDOH Spokesperson Brent Walker on Friday.
This is significant because when the former Panchos restaurant property sold to businessman and former State. Sen. Oshel Craigo, he asked for the City of Point Pleasant’s support in approaching WVDOH with the prospect of placing a turn signal and turning lane in that area. At the time, he said he believed it to be crucial to any development of the property which would allow easier access to it. As it stands now, most of those entering Point Pleasant from the Bartow Jones Bridge who want to access the property have to travel one street up to Fourth Street and then down Main Street. This appears to be the long way around and can be confusing to visitors.
Mayor Brian Billings said back in August he received an email from WVDOH that a turn signal would first be placed at the location followed by a more extensive study as to how to address the traffic in the area with the eventual addition of an actual turning lane. The work on the turn signal was to be completed within 30 days of Aug. 19 but that hasn’t happened yet.
Walker said the reason for the hold up was the signal cabinet which is there wouldn’t support left turn “phasing.” However, WVDOH has come up with a plan and the correct signal cabinet will be in place by the end of next week, allowing that left turn on to Third St.
Of course, right now, the old Panchos remains empty. However, the City of Point Pleasant has more recently issued a building permit for the property and work has been going on at the site.
As for what will go into the space, or when, no one seems to know but for now, the turn signal signals more than just leading to the flood wall.
Reach Beth Sergent at email@example.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.