Upgraded WV Route 9 Opens

JEFFERSON COUNTY, WV-  Three years and $80 million later officials put the final touches before Route 9 finally opened to the public.

"We've got approximately five miles of new roadway plus the bridge," says Jim Golden, with the Department of Transportation. "So three and a half miles on one side of the river and about one and a half on the other so it goes from the Charles Town bypass to the Virginia line."

"The old Route 9 was designed back in the 1930's and not built for today's traffic and we have high expectations for this new road," says Sheriff Robert Shirley.

The new Route 9 is now four lanes wide but the biggest difference is the bridge that goes over the Shenandoah River.

"The bridge is about 17 hundred feet long and about 200 feet high," says Golden. "It's a real signature project and we're proud of it."

Making it the largest of its kind in North America.

County officials say this road has lots of benefits the old Route 9 lacked. It's a safer, more spacious and a faster commute.

"The congestion and the traffic that is going to be on this road is going to alleviate at least 80% of old Route 9 and be out on this road so the commute time will be better and the respond time for our officers will be better responding to calls," says Sheriff Shirley.

County officials say 60% of residents work outside  Jefferson County, and now they can shave up to ten minutes off their travel time.

"There's a lot of people that commute to Leesburg everyday and this new road will be faster, it'll be safer, it's better all the way around," says Golden.

Officials say they will be monitoring and enforcing the speed limit on Route 9 closely.

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