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June 8, 2021


CAWV’s Construction Matters is a compilation of news articles from around the state of West Virginia on projects and issues of interest to CAWV members. A summary is provided for each article. To view the full article, click the link to the original source.



Sixty percent of firms working on highway upgrades experience cars crashing into work zones

( 5/27) Sixty percent of highway contractors report that motor vehicles had crashed into their construction work zones during the past year, putting motorists and workers at risk, according to the results of a new highway work zone study conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America and HCSS. In response, officials urged drivers to slow down and remain alert while passing through work zones during the summer driving season.


Signed agreement makes Mitsubishi’s presence more permanent at NCWV Airport

(West Virginia MetroNews 5/30) There’s now a signed agreement that makes the North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport the permanent home of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The agreement was signed last week and NCWVA Director Rick Rock said work on their facilities will begin immediately. “Mitsibishi Heavy Industries Regional Jet which replaced Bombardier- they’re doing a $20 million build of two hangers to make their home permanent at the North Central West Virginia Airport,” Rock said recently on WAJR’s ‘Talk of the Town.’


Raleigh Commission approves bid for Day Report Center roof

(The Register-Herald 6/1) Raleigh County Commission on Tuesday granted a bid to a Summersville company to install a new roof on the Raleigh County Day Report Center. Alpha Roofing and HVAC Services made a bid of $48,770 to place the roof on the 18,752 square foot building at West Prince Street. Raleigh Commission President Dave Tolliver and commissioners Linda Epling and Greg Duckworth opened and read aloud the four bids. Alpha made the lowest bid, while Tecta American Roofing Redefined, a national roofing company based in Baltimore, Md., made the highest bid at more than $95,000.


WVDOH answers Freedom of Information Act eight months later

(The Preston County News & Journal 6/1) When the Preston County Commission met with the West Virginia Division of Highways in July, they requested documents shown on the computer screen during the ZOOM meeting. Several documents of road projects such as paving projects, design work and projects to be bid out were put on a shared screen. Shortly after the meeting, the Preston County News & Journal sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the WVDOH for that information on Aug. 4.


DEP studying effects of mine blowout on Muddy Creek

(The Preston County News & Journal 6/1) The impact on aquatic life in Muddy Creek after a blowout of the old T&T mine in March will not be known for several months. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is in the process of conducting studies on Muddy Creek to determine if it is recovering from the March event. Testing at three stations takes place two times a year during the spring and fall.


Lewisburg plans expansion of park system

(The Register-Herald 6/1) The Lewisburg City Council is planning a significant expansion of the city park system. At its regular meeting in May, the council approved the purchase of land for development of a new 30-acre riverside park. The land acquisition also includes another four acres for relocation of the Public Works Department’s storage yard and water distribution headquarters, a relocation that will free up property on Feamster Road for a long-overdue expansion of the city’s existing Dorie Miller Park.


Preston County Health Department considers building new facility

(The Dominion Post 6/1) The Preston County Health Department is researching the possibility of building a new health department facility. At the commission’s Tuesday meeting, PCHD Director V.J. Davis told commissioners his department is researching grant possibilities to fund the facility. He said if built, the building would house the health department and possibly other entities. “If there was ever a time to find funding, it’s now,” Davis said. “Before we get into the project plan, we wanted to ask the commission to consider a donation of land for the project somewhere in the hospital or E911 area.”


Elm Grove Stone Bridge closure moved to 2022

(The Intelligencer 6/2) Preliminary work has begun on Elm Grove’s historic Stone Bridge. Yet, according to West Virginia Division of Highways District 6 Engineer Tony Clark, the bridge closure scheduled for today has been postponed until next spring. Traffic concerns are the reason for the change, highway officials said. Renovations are expected to continue beneath and around the more-than-200-year-old structure in the coming months. Clark said the bridge will not actually close until sometime next spring, possibly April.


Charleston city leaders discuss allocation of American Rescue Plan funds

(WCHS8 6/2) A large amount of money from President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan has landed in the city of Charleston's bank account. Charleston City Manager Jonathan Storage said 50% of $38 million is idle as city officials talk about the best way to use it. "We had a lot of people saying we need to help one another out," Storage said. "We need to help out small businesses and vulnerable populations and I think that is what the bulk of this money is going to do."


Ohio County Airport Project comes in below budget

(The Intelligencer 6/2) The secondary runway at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport is about to get more than $1 million in upgrades, and bidders combined their efforts to propose a price almost 13% below expectations. The Federal Aviation Administration is picking up all costs to repair cracks in the runway and do a seal coat, explained County Administrator Randy Russell. No local match will be necessary, as the FAA will use funds from the American Rescue to cover Ohio County’s share. The work comes with a price tag of $1,270,957, and will be done in partnership by Cast and Baker of Wheeling, Russell Standard Corporation of Pittsburgh and Mid-Atlantic Maintenance of St. Clairsville.


Stonerise, WVU Medicine Summersville Regional Medical Center break ground at new care facility

(WVNews 6/2) Stonerise, a West Virginia provider of clinician-led transitional care, and WVU Medicine Summersville Regional Medical Center recently broke ground on a new care center that will work to expand and improve health care to Nicholas County citizens as they age. The Stonerise Summersville care campus, an approximately 70,000-square-foot, 90-bed transitional and skilled nursing center, will be the first “COVID-19 influenced” center built in West Virginia, according to a press release from Stonerise.


COLUMN: Section 1123 of the Highway Bill would greatly benefit West Virginia motorists, wildlife

(The Dominion Post 6/2) The Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act, also known as the Highway Bill, is a comprehensive piece of legislation aimed at repairing our nation’s outdated roadways and other needed infrastructure. One specific component of this broad legislation would target and have a significant impact on wildlife resources throughout the country. Section 1123 of the Highway Bill includes funding and additional resources for wildlife crossings along highly critical stretches of roads throughout the country places like big game migration corridors and other high-risk areas for wildlife-vehicle collisions.


Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy will honor graduating cadets Thursday

(West Virginia MetroNews 6/2) A class of 73 cadets will graduate Thursday from the West Virginia National Guard’s Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy located in Preston County. Cadets from 23 counties make up the graduating class, of which 90% will receive a high school diploma. Forty-two cadets will enter the workforce, 18 people will enter vocational trades, and nine cadets will join the military. The academy is a 22-week program that offers traditional academic courses and vocational training. The program also includes extracurricular activities like hiking, athletics and land navigation.


Hopes high for new elementary school in McMechen

(The Intelligencer 6/3) Marshall County Schools is preparing newly purchased property as the site for a new McMechen Elementary School but voters first will be asked to renew an operating levy to make it happen. School officials announced Wednesday that the district has purchased 7 acres in the former McMechen Industrial Park with hopes of constructing the new school. The property contains the former baseball fields located at Lincoln and Fourth streets in McMechen.


New River Health to break ground on new site today

(The Register-Herald 6/3) A longtime pillar of the southern West Virginia health provider community will soon have a new home. Work has started in Oak Hill to transform the former Kmart building into a new and expanded site for New River Health, which is currently based in Scarbro. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned at the site for noon on Thursday, June 3. According to CEO John Schultz, the 95,000-square-foot facility will house existing and expanded NRH services, businesses related to community health, and a full-service conference center. (Architect: ZMM Architects and Engineers)


Governor Justice calls special session to put surplus funds in roads

(The Parkersburg News and Sentinel 6/3) West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has announced a special session of the Legislature for noon Monday to commit $150 million from the budget surplus for road project in all counties. Justice announced the special session during this morning’s COVID-19 pandemic briefing.


Company to bring up to 300 jobs to Mercer County

(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 6/3) A company locating in the Blue Prince Plaza will eventually bring 300 or more jobs to Mercer County. ESC Brands, a Lexington, N.C. based industry that specializes in the development of antiviral and antimicrobial products, is starting Phase 1 of a three-phase plan that will eventually include a new 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at the site. John O’Neal, executive director of the Mercer County Economic Development Authority, made the announcement Thursday afternoon, saying he and others have been working for more than a year to bring the company here, along with “significant jobs and investments.”


Harrison County BOE tours The Bridge Sports Complex during Thursday's special meeting

(WVNews 6/3) During a special meeting Thursday, Harrison County Board of Education members toured The Bridge Sports Complex in Bridgeport. Harrison County Schools plans to allocate $20,000 to the facility during the next budget cycle for use of the pools by the school system’s swimming teams. The county also plans to allocate $20,000 to the Harrison County YMCA.


Senator Manchin brings U.S. Energy Secretary to Morgantown, announces new opportunities for West Virginia in offshore wind energy production

(WVNews 6/3) U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., brought U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to the Mountain State to announce new opportunities for wind energy for West Virginia. Danish company Orsted is building wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia coast. Only 15 ships exist worldwide that are capable of getting the supplies to the turbine construction spot. So Orsted has decided to build their own, and that 16th ship will feature steel and supplies from West Virginia companies Dominion Energy, Steel of West Virginia, and Eversource.


Health care complex pegged for 2022 completion

(The Register-Herald 6/3) A long-serving foundational member of its past, Paul Lively is eagerly anticipating the future of New River Health. Lively is a charter member of the New River Health Association's board of directors, and he was among those on hand Thursday as New River Health CEO John Schultz and company employees were joined by community members and governmental representatives for a groundbreaking ceremony to usher in NRH's planned move from its current Scarbro base to the former Kmart building in Oak Hill. A $14 million project designed by ZMM Architects and Engineers, with Paramount Builders performing the renovations, is tentatively set for completion by late April 2022.


West Virginia company part of wind development partnership

(West Virginia MetroNews 6/3) West Virginia will play a key role in generating wind power. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced Thursday a new collaboration between Dominion Energy, Steel of West Virginia, Orsted Wind Energy and Eversource to supply the necessary parts for an offshore wind turbine construction vessel to be located in the Atlantic Ocean. The ship, the Charybdis, will begin operations in 2023, and be utilized for building wind farms along the coasts of Virginia and New England.


Charles Parker: Fixing crumbling country roads (Opinion)

(Charleston Gazette-Mail 6/3) Potholes litter the roads, bridges are failing, aging water/sewer lines and deteriorating stormwater management are problems. West Virginia’s infrastructure is horrible, consistently receiving a D grade or worse. In addition, our construction workers need jobs. For decades, our government has neglected our infrastructure, but Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is working to secure funding for our failing infrastructure.


Biden and Senator Capito will continue infrastructure talks Monday; new GOP offer does not ‘meet his objectives’

(West Virginia MetroNews 6/4) Discussions on a federal infrastructure package will continue Monday after President Joe Biden spoke Friday to U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., about an updated Republican offer. Biden told Capito he appreciates the efforts of Senate Republicans, but the altered plan does not do enough to meet the Biden administration’s goals. Capito is the lead Republican negotiator in infrastructure talks; she and colleagues put forward a $928 billion counteroffer to the White House’s American Jobs Plan last week. The White House has reduced its plan from nearly $2.3 trillion to $1.7 trillion.


Weirton Council members updated on Frontier Crossing plans

(The Weirton Daily Times 6/4) Officials with the Frontier Group of Companies say construction of their planned infrastructure improvements to former steel-making land in Weirton could begin within the next year. Company officials met with Weirton Council Thursday, to provide the city with the latest information on plans to attract business prospects to property which once served as the home of Weirton Steel Corp. “The city of Weirton, I believe, is at a crossroads,” City Manager Joe DiBartolomeo said in opening the meeting at the Weirton Municipal Building. David Franjoine, chief executive officer, of the Frontier Group of Companies, explained the company has been working since acquiring the property in 2017 to prepare the land, with the majority of planned demolition set to be complete by the end of September.


Former coal mine land to be transformed into solar energy sites in Wise County

(WJHL11 6/4) Collaborating groups in Southwest Virginia plan to repurpose land previously used for coal mining and convert it into sites for solar development. Five different sites in Wise County are designated to become utility-scale solar farms over the next few years. The project was initiated by the Nature Conservancy, a global environmental organization that has had a conservation program in Southwest Virginia since the early 1990s. The Nature Conservancy manages the Cumberland Forest Project, which spans parts of Southwest Virginia, Eastern Tennessee, and Eastern Kentucky.


WVU Medicine announces plans to expand, invest $110 million in Fairmont Medical Center

(WVNews 6/4) Joined by Gov. Jim Justice, WVU Medicine announced Friday morning that it will be making a $110 million investment in the Fairmont Medical Center campus over the next few years and turn the hospital into its Marion County base of operations in the process. The multi-phase plan will include a wide array of additions and improvements to the hospital, with the addition of 30 skilled nursing beds and the construction of a central energy plant to control the campus’s heating and cooling.


MUB installs river monitoring pontoon

(The Dominion Post 6/4) As part of its mission of treating and distributing clean water to the Morgantown area, Morgantown Utility Board installed a floating monitoring station along the Monongahela River. About two miles upstream of the water treatment plant main intake, the station will monitor and provide real-time data to MUB staff. “This floating station is part of our overall Source Water Protection Program,” said MUB Director of Communications Chris Dale. “Because 80% of our drinking water currently comes from the Monongahela River, having a device such as this to monitor its quality is of obvious importance.”


Taking the long way around: detour from the I-70 detour coming soon in Wheeling

(The Intelligencer 6/5) Motorists, hold on to your steering wheels: The detour for the detour of the Interstate 70 Bridges project is set to go into effect in the next month. Drivers traveling east across the Fort Henry Bridge who plan to use the Interstate 70 Bridges Project local detour which presently takes you off the exit ramp at Main Street and through downtown Wheeling, then on to Market Street and over Wheeling Hill to U.S. 40 headed east will soon be forced to detour from that detour route. (Contractor: Swank Construction)


Familiar faces on rejuvenated Wheeling Municipal Building Commission

(The Intelligencer 6/5) As the city of Wheeling looks ahead to financing major construction projects on new buildings, city leaders are reactivating a Municipal Building Commission to assist in these projects. In fact, the new Municipal Building Commission in Wheeling will act as owners of the new multimillion-dollar facilities that will generate debt in the city. In turn, the city will lease the properties from the Municipal Building Commission.


Some environmental test results pending on ACF property; part of land is ‘environmentally clean’

(The Herald-Dispatch 6/6) Some environmental test results are still pending at the former ACF Industries property. Cathy Burns, the executive director of the Huntington Municipal Development Authority, said preliminary tests were done on the site in February 2020 and more comprehensive tests in October through December. But all of the results have not come back yet. Burns said the city has received some test results on 5 acres of the south side of the property near 3rd Avenue that show the area as environmentally clean. The land was the former parking lot for ACF.


Lawmakers return to Charleston for interim committee meetings; highway projects top list

(West Virginia MetroNews 6/6) State lawmakers return to Charleston Sunday for three days of interim committee meetings that will include a special session highlighted by a bill calling for $150 million in highway maintenance projects. Interims begin Sunday with five meetings scheduled including a joint meeting of the Oversight Commission on Transportation Accountability and the legislature’s new Committee on Infrastructure. Lawmakers attending the 5 p.m. meeting are scheduled to hear from representatives from the Department of Transportation, Division of Highways and Division of Motor Vehicles. They’ll discuss the $150 million in improvements Gov. Jim Justice is proposing lawmakers take up on Monday.


Chandelier returning to capitol rotunda

(West Virginia MetroNews 6/6) Work to re-assemble and raise the rotunda chandelier at the West Virginia state capitol is underway. The massive lighting figures was removed and transported to a facility in New Hampshire when the renovation work on the Capitol Dome started three years ago. “It wasn’t the easiest thing to get down, take apart, and get to their facility,” said Administration Secretary Allen McVey.


Lawmakers consider devoting an additional $150 million to highways

(West Virginia MetroNews 6/6) West Virginia lawmakers will decide in special session Monday whether to approve dedicating an additional $150 million to highways maintenance. Delegates and senators got a preview of the proposal during legislative interim meetings on Sunday evening. Transportation Secretary Byrd White said the money would go toward 400 projects spread over all 55 counties. State leaders have described 742 total miles of paving. As examples, he described select bridge projects, repairing slips on bus routes or fixing slides on business routes.


Beckley, New River Gorge Regional Development Authority seeking funds for development efforts

(West Virginia MetroNews 6/6) The city of Beckley and the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority are seeking federal funding for building new amenities near the Alfred Beckley Mill. Leaders have reached out to federal lawmakers about earmarking funds for the project, in which the first phase could cost at least $7 million. Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold told MetroNews the first part of the project will include a visitor’s center and park near the current shooting range location. The Beckley Police Department and other agencies use the shooting range for qualifying exercises and training.


Clay County wins Case Dire States Grant

( 6/7) Case Construction Equipment has named Clay County, West Virginia, as the winner of the 2021 Dire States Grant. Representatives of the county will receive $25,000 in free equipment rental from Case that will be supported locally by State Equipment. Clay County was awarded the grant to repair grounds and facilities that were initially damaged in heavy flooding in June 2016. More than 500 homes were destroyed in that event, and local resources that provided food and services to residents have been closed due to ongoing water and sewer issues. This includes the recent closing of the local Nutrition Center, as well as the continued flooding of local parks and recreational areas.


Gov. Justice announces over $13.7 million in grant funding for community development projects across West Virginia

(Office of the Governor 6/7) Gov. Jim Justice held a virtual ceremony today to announce the award of 19 grants, worth $13,734,817 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which have been dedicated to various water/sewer, broadband, demolition, and park improvement projects to communities in 14 counties across the state. “It’s always exciting when we’re able to give away money to different cities and different communities across our state,” said Gov. Justice, who was joined for the virtual ceremony by local officials representing many of the communities receiving these grants.


Harrison County Commission to consider interview process for administrator search, rail trail projects

(The Exponent Telegram 6/7) The Harrison County Commission will discuss the interview process for county administrator candidates, as well as rail-trail paving and bridge repair projects. The designated application period for the position of Harrison County administrator ended on Friday, according to Commission President Susan Thomas. The county has received approximately 15 applications, she said. Wednesday’s discussion will allow the commission to move forward in the hiring process with a plan, Thomas said.


$250 million earmarked to improve water infrastructure in Kentucky

(WCHS8 6/7) Martin County, Ky. has had its share of water issues over the years, and now some help is now available for water districts across the state. At the end of the 2021 General Assembly, lawmakers agreed to invest nearly $700 million in federal relief funds for infrastructure projects. It's called the Better Kentucky Plan, and as part of the plan, $250 million was set aside for the plan's Cleaner Water Program to improve water infrastructure across Kentucky. $150 million of that money will be divided between Kentucky's 120 counties based on county population. Martin County's share is $411,000.


Legislature passes bills to devote $150M to road projects; Mon & Preston will see 21 projects totaling $8.8M

(The Dominion Post 6/7) The Legislature passed two bills during Monday’s brief special session to appropriate $150 million of Fiscal Year 2021 surplus funds for Division of Highways maintenance projects in all 55 counties. Gov. Jim Justice announced the plan last week and included it in his special session call along with some bills to appropriate federal American Rescue Plan funds dedicated to the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Department of Education. Statewide, the money will pay for 402 projects: paving 482.84 miles, repairing 17 slips and slides and 40 bridges, and 111 other projects.


West Virginia Lawmakers OK Governor Jim Justice’s funding requests

(The Intelligencer 6/8) Despite technical difficulties with voting systems, the West Virginia House of Delegates and state Senate managed to complete action Monday afternoon on funding requests from Gov. Jim Justice in the first special session of the year, as well as lay the groundwork for redistricting. The Legislature passed seven bills Monday between noon and 2:30 p.m. Justice called the special session last week, coinciding with three days of June legislative interim meetings that wrap up today.


Lawmakers use $150M of expected budget surplus for road maintenance

(The Herald-Dispatch 6/8) The West Virginia Legislature approved adding $150 million to a fund for road maintenance Monday. The money will accelerate about 400 projects in all 55 counties, according to Transportation Cabinet Secretary and Highways Commissioner Byrd White. “All of these projects were in our long-range plan, so we’ve just simply moved them forward to now,” White told lawmakers. The funding is from the surplus expected when this fiscal year ends June 30. After the $150 million is subtracted, lawmakers still expect a further $250 million in surplus.


‘Over 400 projects planned:’ Legislature considering using COVID funds for secondary road projects

(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 6/8) Millions of dollars for secondary road improvements in Mercer County and neighboring McDowell County and Monroe County were among the items being considered Monday by a special session of the Legislature. The West Virginia Department of Transportation and Gov. Jim Justice recently announced plans for $150 million in new funding to address secondary roads in West Virginia upon approval by the West Virginia Legislature. “There are over 400 of these projects planned, and projects in every county,” Secretary of Transportation Byrd White stated.


Block grants allowing Bluefield to proceed with public projects

(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 6/8) Community Housing Development Block Grants that will let the City of Bluefield proceed with downtown demolitions and replace a sewer system serving more than 100 people were announced Monday during a conference with West Virginia’s governor. Gov. Jim Justice held a virtual ceremony Monday to announce the award of 19 grants, worth $13,734,817 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which have been dedicated to various water/sewer, broadband, demolition, and park improvement projects to communities in 14 counties across the state.


Contractors are ready to go to work on road maintenance

(West Virginia MetroNews 6/8) Members of the Contractors Association of West Virginia were thrilled with the Legislature’s approval of $150 Million in funding this week for more than 400 highway maintenance projects across the state. According to Association Executive Director Mike Clowser, the redirection of funding makes up for a lag the Department of Highways has experienced with revenues from the gasoline tax. The gas tax revenues, where much of the maintenance funding comes from, are well behind estimates for 2021.



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