BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — Transportation officials are making plans for the expected rush of traffic during the 10-day National Boy Scout Jamboree in July.
Officials said Thursday that plans were being made to use the West Virginia National Guard for traffic assistance. The Register-Herald of Beckley reported that officials also are considering waiving tolls during that time to ease traffic congestion on the West Virginia Turnpike.
All construction that requires a permanent lane closure also would be suspended during that time.
Officials expect some 20,000 staff members to begin arriving ahead of the jamboree, which will run July 15-24 at the Summit Bechtel Family Reserve in Fayette County. That’s before buses begin bringing in thousands of Boy Scouts for the event.
“We’re expecting a bus every 35 seconds at our tollbooths,” the Turnpike’s maintenance director, Jim Meadows, told the West Virginia Parkways Authority in a special meeting on Thursday.
Another 50,000 could gather at the complex, and Boy Scouts also will be fanning out in the region for a series of community service projects while they’re in town, Meadows said.
“It’s going to be a huge impact,” he said, warning that another 50,000 are expected on that Saturday for the annual Friends of Coal car show.
Meadows said the 21-member maintenance crew will work split shifts. He said he expects U.S. 19 to back up onto the Turnpike.