(above) Along US Route 340, looking south towards Harpers Ferry.
Note from the Editor
I enjoy driving south on Route 340 this time of year, when the leaves are off the trees and the low sun is glinting on the riffles of the Potomac River. The long view down the gorge to Harpers Ferry perched on the hill is always inspiring, even after the color has drained from the hillsides.
The traffic is not as enjoyable — but a reminder of the importance of this road, both to Jefferson County residents who commute to work, and to visitors who share their recreation dollars with us. The large rocks piled tight alongside are also a pressing reminder — that what we call “infrastructure” is never a “build it and forget about it” proposition.
The West Virginia Division of Highways is planning a multi-month construction project to stabilize the hillside and add rockfall protection along the road. The project, scheduled for the fall of 2022, proposes two options for detouring traffic, one of which would close the road completely for 3 months. The deadline for public comment on this project is Dec 9 — there is a comment form and email address on the project website (US340HarpersFerry.com) along with details of the project and information from the recent public hearing. As they say in “Who-ville,” make your voice heard.
The Observer staff hopes our readers are able to enjoy this special time of year, particularly in our local downtowns as they come alive to celebrate and share the community spirit of the season.By Steve Pearson