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West Virginia Officials Expect Two Turnpike Travel Plazas to Be Done By Late 2024

Wed June 05, 2024 - Northeast Edition #13
MetroNews & West Virginia Parkways Authority


West Virginia Turnpike’s Beckley Travel Plaza
Rendering courtesy of West Virginia Parkways Authority
West Virginia Turnpike’s Beckley Travel Plaza
West Virginia Turnpike’s Beckley Travel Plaza    (Rendering courtesy of West Virginia Parkways Authority) West Virginia Turnpike’s Bluestone Travel Plaza   (Rendering courtesy of West Virginia Parkways Authority)

The work to reconstruct two of the West Virginia Turnpike's three travel plazas is moving forward, according to Jeff Miller, executive director of the state's Parkways Authority.

In speaking with the MetroNews Network, West Virginia's statewide radio and online outlet, Miller took time in late May to give an update on the progress of the construction.

"I know you've been driving by these for going on two years and wondering where we are," he told Gov. Jim Justice and others gathered for a press conference near the rebuilding site of the Beckley Travel Plaza. "I'm happy to announce the progress on these is going very well."

Along with Justice and state Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston, Miller announced the project in 2017 to rebuild the plazas to incorporate a modernized look.

Miller said he believed the designs would be something people will much appreciate as he gave a tip of the hat to the original "glass house" look of the state's travel plazas.

"The glass houses of the ‘50s and ‘60s meant a lot to this area," he elaborated. "When we had the opportunity to redesign them, we took a hard look at what people would want and came up with a beautiful design. It's something that meets today's modern standards but is a bit of a throwback to what the West Virginia Turnpike had at one point."

Miller anticipated completion of the Beckley and Bluestone travel plaza projects before the end of 2024.

"We hope that by the end of this year, Gov. Justice will be cutting the ribbon as the governor and not the U.S. Senator," he said, alluding to Justice's run for the Senate, which, if he were elected, would have him leaving West Virginia's top office in early January. "We hope to get them done before then."

Crews began demolishing all three of the old travel plaza buildings in the spring of 2023. Paramount Builders, a St. Albans-based contractor, is being paid $122.8 million to rebuild the facilities.

Work is anticipated to begin on rebuilding the Morton Travel Plaza in Kanawha County next spring, MetroNews reported June 2.

Modern Designs, Offerings to Highlight Updated Plazas

Rendering courtesy of West Virginia Parkways Authority

West Virginia Turnpike's Bluestone Travel Plaza

The transformation of the West Virginia Turnpike's Beckley Travel Plaza will bring several different eating and shopping opportunities to the facility, located alongside both the northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 77 via Exit 45.

When it opens, the oasis will feature a Wendy's, Starbucks, Popeyes and Mountain State Market as well as provide motorists with a place to rest and recharge during their drive through the lush, rolling hills of West Virginia.

Similar in its offerings, the Bluestone Travel Plaza in Princeton will have a Wendy's and a Mountain State Market. The rest area is located at Milepost 18 of the W. Va. Turnpike/I-77 but can only be accessed via the northbound lanes.

Free West Virginia State maps are distributed at all of the state's travel plazas and each one has an ATM, fax services, a sunroom, a dining hall, picnic areas, showers and free Wi-Fi service.

The new Mountain State Market facilities within each of the state's travel plazas will be replete with the nourishments and the conveniences travelers covet, including local and regional gourmet foods, a grab-and-go food bar, hot and cold beverages, travel accessories, electronics, healthy snacks, sundries, health and beauty aids, and non-prescription drugs.

Nearby, visitors can shop in the plazas' West Virginia Made crafts stores featuring locally produced quilts, pottery, glassware and wood-sculpted art pieces as well as a variety of foods, according to the state's Parkways Authority.




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