Extra police officers have been assigned to patrol a new truck detour route along I-77 near the Virginia/West Virginia border after a large number of truck drivers were caught ignoring the signs.
As part of a construction project taking place on I-77 between Bluefield and Princeton that kicked off late last week, trucks are required to detour off of northbound I-77 at Exit 1, then onto U.S. 460 to get back onto I-77 at Exit 9 in Princeton. This detour is slated to remain in place through late June, with all northbound lanes scheduled to reopen for the 4th of July holiday. Traffic on southbound I-77 is not affected by this detour.
Road Work on Northbound I-77 from Mile Marker 0.56 to Mile Marker 8.98
1 of 2 northbound lanes are closed.Occurring until early November. Expect delays be prepared to stop.
I-77 NB Truck Detour, Take I-77 Exit 1 onto US-52 and off heading to Princeton on US-460 to I-77 Exit 9.
— 511 Southern WV (@WV511South) May 18, 2018
Traffic delays have been reported in the area since the construction project began.
According the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, many truck drivers are ignoring the detour and are being cited by both state and local police as a result. “They have been getting pulled over and a lot of citations have been issued,” said Trooper J.L. Morris of the West Virginia State Police.
Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Captain Joe Parks says that his agency is “matching the State Police citations, especially on ignoring the detour signs … Most of them (truck drivers) are not happy with the tickets.”
Parks says that the increased enforcement efforts will continue.
Extra law enforcement officers are also patrolling the detour area on U.S. 460 on the lookout for distracted drivers.
After work is complete on the northbound lanes of I-77, workers will begin construction on the southbound lanes, with all work scheduled to be completed by November 2018.