U.S. 19 and Raleigh County Memorial Airport Expecting Significant Traffic Increases Over Weekend

FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va (WOAY) – It is no secret that with the influx of people coming to the area with the World Scout Jamboree, there will be traffic.

“Most of the traffic is going to be on U.S. Route 19 and around U.S. Route 16 through Mt. Hope out of Raleigh County through Glen Jean,” Mt. Hope Police Chief Stan Ellison said. “Most of us around here know alternate routes. I suggest they do take alternate routes.”

With 44,000 scouts, over 8,000 volunteers, and 200 buses per hour coming in over the weekend for the World Scout Jamboree, the traffic will be heavy. 

“When the contingent buses start arriving on the 21st and the 22nd, they’ll be directed into designated roads so that we can try to keep as many vehicles off the highway as possible,” Vistor Reception Team Leader Dan Segersin said. “But there’s a lot of people coming so the roads are going to be a little busier than normal.”

The roads won’t be the only thing seeing traffic.  The Raleigh County Memorial Airport will be seeing two to three times more air traffic than it has ever seen before. 

“We’ve got a temporary air traffic control center system here as well, from Fort Bragg,” Airport Manager Tom Cochran said. “The helicopters that you see in the background. We’re going to have five Black Hawk helicopters and some of the other smaller helicopters supporting the event.”

Cochran also said some of the volunteers and those flying on corporate aviation are the ones flying into Raleigh County. The rest of the volunteers and scouts are coming in by bus from places like Brazil, Canada, China and other places around the world. 

The World Scout Jamboree officially kicks off  on Monday, July 22nd,  and lasts until August 2nd.  

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.