West Virginia Roads - Monongalia SR 857

Monongalia SR 857

Heading north from US 119 on the beginning of SR 857, Green Bag Rd. It wasn't dirty-sounding back when it was named.

SR 857 jogs west to get from Green Bag Rd. to Hartman Run Rd., formerly two different secondary routes.

A reused shield and faux-older white sign on the top and bottom of this SB assembly. WV 69 is somewhat west of here, although actually along WV 7, so the shield hasn't traveled implausibly far.

Older, embossed street sign.

Why is SR 857 such an oddly numbered route, and why is it a secondary? Well, it's a continuation of PA 857, to explain the numbering. Until the Mon-Fayette Expressway was completed as WV 43, 857 was the way to get from Morgantown to the toll road, so it ideally would have been a square instead of a circle. However, WV did not see a high priority or else did not experience high traffic heading north this way instead of via I-79 or US 119. (So that really justifies the Mon-Fay, right? Right?) The white border on the new signs is undignified, and the assembly is correct - there is a short US 119/SR 857 concurrency! Since when do secondary routes multiplex?

SR 857 NB follows US 119 NB at the top side of the Morgantown airport. What secondary route does that?

SR 857 meets I-68 twice. Here's the first time, NB at Exit 7.

SB in the same place. Maybe I can't take the state name for granted.

Tiny reassurance on the EB onramp.

Thanks to I-68 from Exits 7-10, SR 857 gets little traffic across Cheat Lake, so the signs have been neglected on this side. White on green is the old secondary route color scheme before the modern black on white was adopted.

S. Pierpont Rd. NB and N. Pierpont Rd. SB, both SR 67 with a short SR 857 concurrency. Okay, then, so what's SR 69? That's actually one of the former numbers of SR 857, whose number was extended down from Pennsylvania over a bunch of roughly north-south secondary routes with no relation. That's why SR 857 follows Morgantown back roads, then suddenly becomes a major connector arterial, then turns east-west across Cheat Lake only to turn north once more and head into Pennsylvania.

As you can see, over time, the fractional route notation in white on green is completely unreadable, although the street name is more than sufficient for a dead-end road like this. These are the NB and SB faces, respectively.

One of the focal points of the 2011 Morgantown Road Meet was the SR 857 Ices Ferry Bridge, which had been recently closed due to structural deterioration. Its replacement was being constructed just to the north, even though the I-68 bridge to the south could have continued to serve local demands (as it was doing on a temporary basis) via Exits 7 and 10, but most of the work was still under the Cheat Lake surface at that time. Because of the closure, we only explored one side of the bridge, and that happened to be the east shore, so these photos are facing south from there. Check out what appears to be a gigantic castle-like mansion on the hillside beyond the bridge.

On the NB and SB sides of SR 857, these seem a bit too formal to have been erected by a property owner, so are probably state-issue. So what does West Virginia want to keep you away from, exactly? One side of the road is a cliff and the other is a lake; they couldn't be much more different.

Maybe it's worth not trespassing on this little waterfall on the NB side.

Various westward (SB) views across the bridge. The weight limit has since been reduced from 4 tons to 0 tons, give or take a few road enthusiasts.

Structural details, up and down. I've never liked open-grate bridges. I have to wonder what happened in the last photo to warp an individual grate bar without catching anything more than the next one along. It almost looks burned, but that could just be the rust. Overall, the bridge seemed to be in good condition, so I blame a lack of maintenance for its untimely demise.

The view north from Ices Ferry Bridge is dominated by I-68.

Just to the northeast of Ices Ferry, SR 857 crosses under the infinity of the I-68 bridge.

SR 857 continues NB and comes to a new development, WV 43, the Mon-Fayette Expressway, in June 2011 shortly before it opens. The road is done, the signs are done, and final touches are being put on before it's opened to traffic. The Morgantown Road Meet parked at a gas station here, and I intrepidly climbed around for more photos, which you can see on the WV 43 page linked below.

One more WV 43 construction photo, looking west along Bowers Lane (SR 88-1) at future Exit 1.

Okay, we have squares and circles, so what's a triangle? How many shapes does WV have? Well, at least four, since there are also pentagons for what I call Driveway Routes (they're really minimum-maintenance state takeovers of once-private roads). But this NB sign has an official shape defined by WVDOH, a "delta route" that signifies state maintenance on a road that's not a state highway, in order to preserve an important through route (for mail, school buses, etc.).

Into PA on 857
Onto WV 7
Onto I-68
To I-79
Onto US 119
To WV 705
Onto WV 43
Back to the Morgantown Road Meet page
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