Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Turnpike Authority announced Nov. 18 that construction will begin on expansions for two parking areas and travel centers. During the time of the construction, 199 truck parking spots will be removed from the route connecting Charlotte, N.C. to Pittsburgh, Columbus, OH, and Cincinnati.
This will cause serious route planning changes as there are few parking locations on I-77
As much as drivers will welcome the expanded parking areas coming in the designs with open arms, it is going to cause havoc with route planning down the Turnpike. Drivers will have to park earlier in places like Nitro and Hurricane, West Virginia or Wytheville, North Carolina.
The construction is set to begin in February 2023, with Beckley and Bluestone Travel Centers being closed to all travelers. Morton Travel Plaza, which lies between Beckely and Charleston near the town of Burnwell, will remain open, but only hosts approximately 22 truck parking spots.
Construction is set to continue until Q4 ‘24, and officials plan to add 10 truck parking spaces to the Bluestone Travel Plaza, bringing the total number of truck parking spaces to 79. Thirty-five truck parking spaces will be added to the Beckley facility, bringing the total number of truck parking spaces to 165.
“Each year 3.3 million people, double the population of West Virginia, drive on the WV Turnpike. This is our chance to show them Almost Heaven, West Virginia. So we better not screw it up, and now we’re going to have the best facilities that showcase everything that West Virginia has to offer. Because we want all 3.3 million people to walk away with a positive image of our great state. So I am incredibly proud to showcase these new plazas today and I can’t wait to break ground on the project next year.”Gov. Jim Justice
Gov. Justice commented that the redeveloped travel plazas will offer expanded food concepts, a 24/7 Mountain State Market convenience store, outdoor dining options, expanded parking for tractor trailers and passenger vehicles, EV charging stations, separated vehicle and tractor trailer fueling options, picnic area, and pet relief areas.