RIPPON —Seventeen years ago West Virginia highway officials told David Neil Slusher that a project to widen U.S. 340 through Rippon will run right through his auto sales and service shop.

“In 2003 they told me I had six months to pack my bags,” Slusher said. “That was their words, not mine.”

He’s still waiting.

And he’s still waiting as the state highway officials say the estimated $78 million highway project is set to select a construction contractor for the project in June. What that means for Slusher and the disruption for about three dozen other business and residential property owners along U.S. 340 is still anyone’s guess.

Highway officials still haven’t told them, they said.

“We’ve all been in a holding pattern out here, and, quite frankly, I think people are so sick of being in the holding pattern,” said Mike Chapman, who owns property fronting U.S. 340 near Rippon.

A chunk of Chapman’s land will be taken for the highway widening, so he was last told. He still doesn’t know for sure.

“I’m the same way. If they take my property, that’s fine,” he said. “Just build the thing and get it done.”

Chapman served as a citizen liaison on a state highway committee for the project at least a year ago, maybe longer, he said. The committee, which was assembled to suggest to highway officials planning

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