(Office of the Governor 5/24) Last Friday, members of the Contractors Association of West Virginia visited West Virginia National Guard Soldiers going through a heavy equipment operator job training course at Camp Dawson, West Virginia. The CAWV was able to see the Soldiers in action and discuss potential career opportunities in the industry throughout the state. (Contractors: Bear Contracting, LLC, Stone Paving, Inc., J. F. Allen Company, March-Westin Company, Inc., Doss Enterprises LC, Mountaineer Welding Services, LLC,)
(The Register-Herald 5/28) The citizens of Hinton are no strangers to construction on the Bluestone Dam. Work to shore up the dam so that it could handle a once-in-a-100,000-year to a once-in-a-1-million-year event has been going on since right after the turn of the millennium. Now entering its final phase, which will last well into the next decade, the work on the dam which looms over the river city will continue to impact the residents and visitors for the foreseeable future. The cause of that impact is because of the nature of the work. Contractors will need to install a coffer dam a watertight enclosure pumped dry to permit construction work below the waterline in the stilling basin beneath the dam's gate. A stilling basin reduces the energy of water released by the dam.
(The Dominion Post 5/28) The Morgantown Utility Board’s effort to find an acceptable route for a raw water pipeline through or around White Park continued Tuesday. MUB presented a “matrix” of options during Morgantown City Council’s committee of the whole meeting. The updated information presented Tuesday is available at mub.org/waterline. Another public meeting on the topic will be held at 5:30 today at Morgantown City Hall. As MUB has stated previously, the eight or so options being considered are being updated continuously as additional information becomes available, including what, if any, additional permitting would be needed for each and how that could impact the project timeline.
(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 5/29) Paving will soon start on additional parking spaces in Bluefield, making way for the arrival of Intuit. The City Board of Directors on Tuesday approved a contract to pave an area between Princeton Avenue and Raleigh Street to help provide that needed parking. City Manager Dane Rideout told the board that Intuit has already started the process of moving into temporary headquarters on Commerce Street in the former AAA building and up to 750 additional parking spaces will be needed in the future to accommodate not only Intuit, but also the expected growth with other businesses and visitors coming to the downtown area.
(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 5/29) The City of Bluefield has taken another step forward with plans to start the engineering and design part of the development of property around I-77 Exit 1. Members of the city’s Board of Directors on Tuesday approved the start of negotiations with Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP, a Baltimore-based engineering company with an office in Roanoke, Va., for the work. City Attorney Colin Cline told the board eight bids were received and RK&K was the choice of a selection committee. Negotiations on a contract will now begin, he said. “A contract will be brought before you and we will bring that to you for approval, hopefully next month.”
(The Herald-Dispatch 5/29) Reconstruction of the Ky. 854 bridge over Garner Creek in southern Boyd County will begin next month with a road closure. Contractors expect to close the existing Ky. 854 bridge about a half mile west of Ky. 3 (at milepoint 7.1) on Monday, June 3. Crews will then demolish the bridge's superstructure and replace it with new support beams and driving surface, as well as make repairs to the piers and other parts of the structure. The project is being done under a $296,547 low-bid Transportation Cabinet contract awarded to Hinkle Construction Services LLC under the Bridging Kentucky program, which aims to improve the safety and soundness of the state's bridges.
(The Intelligencer 5/29) U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and federal officials were in the state capital Monday to promote a public-private program meant to spur investment and economic opportunity in struggling regions of West Virginia. Capito was joined by Scott Turner, executive director of the White House’s Opportunity and Revitalization Council, and Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin on a walking tour of an Opportunity Zone in the Charleston central business district.
(West Virginia MetroNews 5/29) It appeared from the flow of morning rush hour traffic in Charleston Wednesday that an overnight shift of closed lanes associated with a construction project may have helped what’s been a week of backed up traffic. Crews worked Tuesday evening to change traffic from a double right lane closure to a double left lane closure where the Westmoreland interchange leads into Interstate 77.
(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 5/29) I think I can safely say at this point that I have written far too many stories over the years about the King Coal Highway. This is largely due to the fact that the project was stalled for 10 long years due to a lack of state and federal dollars needed to advance the future four-lane corridor. Well guess what? Construction has finally resumed on the King Coal Highway near Bluefield. It wasn’t a surprise, although I think just about everyone in the region was kind of holding their breath and waiting until they actually saw dirt moving again high above Stoney Ridge. We knew last fall that work would be resuming on the King Coal Highway at some point with the passage of the “Roads to Prosperity” bond referendum by Mountain State voters.
(West Virginia MetroNews 5/29) A delegation made up of mostly state government officials will travel to China and Japan later this week for what’s being called a business development mission. State Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch will lead the delegation that will leave Friday for an eight-day trip that will include stops in Beijing, Tokyo and Nagoya. The stop in China will include meetings with officials from China Energy, the company that signed a memorandum of understanding with the state in 2017 with potential of $83 billion investment in West Virginia natural gas projects.
(The Register-Herald 5/29) City officials are determined to turn Beckley's now-enigmatic "Hole" into an aesthetic downtown showpiece. "We're doing all we can and moving along as fast as we can to get this done," Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold said Wednesday. "Our goal right now is to have it done and have, at least, a plaza we can use for Chili Night, which is the first weekend in October." Like many of the happenings and plans in recent years that have swirled around the notorious Hole a place that doesn't actually exist but has, as Beckley At-Large Councilman Tim Berry once observed, managed to become a dubious landmark, anyway the most recent Chili Night deadline carries a sense of déjà vu.
(The Parkersburg News and Sentinel 5/30) Members of the Parkersburg Utility Board unanimously voted Wednesday to fund a $47,000 engineering study of a potential sanitary sewer service extension northeast of the city. “If we’re going to grow, there’s only certain places to grow, and that’s one of them,” PUB Manager Eric Bennett said. Under the terms of the agreement, Burgess & Niple Inc. will evaluate the proposed service area along and around Old St. Marys Pike and develop an initial map for needed sewer infrastructure and a preliminary cost estimate for the project. The area will include some side roads such as Newbanks and Spider Ridge Road.
(West Virginia MetroNews 5/30) There are plenty of provisions in the big education bill donned the Student Success Act. As the bill is looked to be put on the table and acted upon on Saturday by the state Senate, one of those provisions inside would be to expand the Mountaineer Challenge Academy to Montgomery. An expansion to Fayette County would give the academy a second location with the first being in Preston County. “I think it would be a very good location,” Montgomery Mayor Greg Ingram told MetroNews. “The facilities are there and it is helping our youth.”
(West Virginia MetroNews 5/30) The construction at the state Capitol dome is literally under wraps. In the current stage of repairs, the dome has been covered for weather protection as construction crews take out large blocks that are in need of repair due to water intrusion. Secretary of Administration Allen McVey said the wrapping was completed a few weeks ago and the first of several limestone cornices located directly under the dome, weighing an estimated 2,300 pounds each, was removed Thursday.
(wtap 5/30) The West Virginia Division of Highways district office in Parkersburg has announced two upcoming projects affecting Mid-Ohio Valley motorists. Starting on Friday, there will be lane closures on Wood County Route 14/4, Butchers Bend Road, and County Route 14/3, Price Road, as part of a resurfacing project. The initial work will be on Price Road between milepost 0 and milepost 1.28. Then, crews will be working on Butchers Bend Road between milepost 2.58 and milepost 5.23, at the junction of State Route 14. The DOH said flagging personnel and a pilot truck may be used but that only minor delays are expected. The work will take place between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., with a tentative completion date of June 28.
(Office of the Governor 5/31) Gov. Jim Justice and leaders from the West Virginia Department of Transportation today announced that the contract for additional work upgrading Corridor H, through the governor’s Roads to Prosperity program, has been awarded to Kokosing Construction Company. A low bid of $175.6 million has been awarded for this project, which marks the second out of five phases of work that will be done to enhance Corridor H from Kerens to Parsons in eastern West Virginia. The scope of work for this project includes designing, grading, and draining approximately 4.13 miles, which will eventually become new, partially controlled access roadway from the US Route 219 Connector to the WV Route 72 Interchange in Tucker County. Kokosing Construction Company, Inc. also completed the first phase of the Corridor H enhancement work, which graded and drained another 7.5 miles between Kerens and Parsons with a connector to US Route 219.
(WVNews 5/31) A $100 million grant for Corridor H was announced Friday by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The money goes to the West Virginia Division of Highways through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects program, and funding will support the construction of a Corridor H interchange at the junction of the four-lane highway and W.Va. 72. The money also will help pay for 4.6 miles of the highway and a bridge spanning the Cheat River.
(West Virginia MetroNews 5/31) Upgrades to Corridor H are getting a boost with two announcements on Friday. A $100 million grant for the West Virginia Division of Highways was announced by U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects. The funding will support the completion of Corridor H, specifically, an interchange at the junction of Corridor H and WV Route 72, along with 4.6 miles of roadway and a bridge spanning Cheat River. Kokosing Construction Company, Inc. was awarded the bid at just over $175 million.
(The Intelligencer 6/1) Crews with Shelly & Sands and Kelly Paving are continuing to work on a concrete replacement project on National Road in Elm Grove. The West Virginia Division of Highways announced there will continue to be lane restrictions on National Road between Monument Bridge and the Super 8 Hotel, and two-way traffic will be maintained at all times. Delays are expected to continue through the project’s estimated July 26 completion date.
(West Virginia MetroNews 6/1) The developers of the planned gas-fired power plant in Harrison County have selected a contractor to build the plant. ESC Harrison County Power, one of the two co-developers, has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction services contract with Connecticut-based Gemma Power Systems. ESC Harrison and its partner, Caithness Energy, have issued a limited notice to proceed to Gemma to continue project planning and engineering activities, according to a release from Gemma’ parent company, Maryland-based Argan Inc.
(West Virginia MetroNews 6/1) The U.S. Department of Labor is giving up to $10 million to Workforce West Virginia for disaster-relief jobs and employment services to eligible individuals. Individuals in West Virginia who have been impacted by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose will be eligible through this Dislocated Worker Grant. Workforce West Virginia will initially receive over $3.3 million with this grant.
(The Parkersburg News and Sentinel 6/2) Before it closed in 2013, the Ormet Aluminum Corp. in Monroe County used the same amount of power in a day that the city of Pittsburgh did. “And that was 540 megawatts of power we were using,” explained Robert Cox, general manager of the Long Ridge Energy Terminal, on the former Ormet site. On Thursday, the terminal at 43840 State Route 7, north of Hannibal, hosted those representing local, state and national partners at the site to break ground for a new 485-megawatt natural gas power plant–enough to almost power the former aluminum plant and estimated to be complete in two and a half years.
(The Register-Herald 6/2) Paving will soon start on additional parking spaces in Bluefield, making way for the arrival of Intuit. The City Board of Directors on Tuesday approved a contract to pave an area between Princeton Avenue and Raleigh Street to help provide that needed parking. City Manager Dane Rideout told the board that Intuit has already started the process of moving into temporary headquarters on Commerce Street in the former AAA building and up to 750 additional parking spaces will be needed in the future to accommodate not only Intuit, but also the expected growth with other businesses and visitors coming to the downtown area.
(The Herald-Dispatch 6/3) After years of work, the Mingo County Air Transportation Park made a big step closer to completion Friday afternoon. Officials and development partners celebrated the groundbreaking of the water/sewage holding tank infrastructure project Friday afternoon at the site at Oldfield Branch, near Varney, on WV Route 52/14, also known as Mystery Mountain Road. "Today we are commemorating the start of construction. It's a long-awaited start of construction of the water line extension and the installation of a sewage holding tank," said Mingo County Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Leasha Johnson. "These critical infrastructure components are going to be necessary in readying this facility to provide much-needed economic diversification in Mingo County." (Engineers: E. L. Robinson Engineering Co.)
(The Register-Herald 6/3) Now that a new Beckley Police Department has been built on Neville Street, the former BPD headquarters will be demolished to increase parking in the city, Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold confirmed. “Demolishing the old police station is our No. 1 option, as far as public safety,” Rappold said. Rappold said that after the new, state-of-the-art police department is dedicated today, transfer of personnel, files and equipment to the new facility will begin, along with the painstaking process of transferring evidence that has been collected in criminal cases.
(The Intelligencer 6/3) The Ohio Valley Mall is undergoing a multitude of changes and upgrades. The construction of sporting goods retailer Dunham’s at the site of the old Kmart is “progressing nicely,” according to Joe Bell, spokesman for Cafaro Co., the mall’s parent company. The demolition is now complete on the old Kmart building and construction items for the new Dunham’s are currently going into place by Southpaw Construction of Missouri. Bell said the construction workers are working long shifts and many hours to complete the interior framing of the building. The exterior of the building will be complete in about three weeks. The work being done on the new Dunham’s is moving at a rapid pace, he added.
(West Virginia MetroNews 6/3) The start of summer vacation for students in Greenbrier County means moving time at Rupert Elementary School. On Wednesday, a school move is planned from the existing location into a more than $5 million new school located about a mile away that’s attached, in part, to Western Greenbrier Middle School. Beginning this fall, doors will keep the two schools separated. (Engineer: The Thrasher Group, Inc.; Contractor: Swope Construction Co.)
(West Virginia MetroNews 6/3) With end of May federal and state announcements, a clear path to full completion of the Kerens to Parsons section of Corridor H, through the heart of West Virginia, is now in place. “The topography going over Backbone Mountain is significant,” Morris said of that area. “You also have environmental constraints there that we have not had on other sections of the highway. You have cultural and historical things that you need to take into consideration as well.” The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $175.6 million contract to Kokosing Construction Company, Inc. for designing, grading and draining work on 4.13 miles running to Parsons.
(West Virginia MetroNews 6/3) The long-awaited opening of the City of Beckley’s new police department headquarters was celebrated Monday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the state-of-the art downtown facility adjacent to the city’s Intermodal Gateway. Members of the Beckley Common Council and area law enforcement agencies, along with a crowd of several hundred citizens, attended the event at the downtown site. Beckley Police Chief Lonnie Christian said the 18 months of construction, which was hampered significantly by unfavorable weather during the past two winters, was worth the wait. (Engineer: The Thrasher Group, Inc.; Contractor: Persinger & Associates, Inc.)
(The Herald-Dispatch 6/4) A renovation project continues at the Lawrence County Courthouse in Ironton. The project that began in April includes a new roof and gutters, improved lighting, a new elevator, refurbishing the copper courthouse dome, an upgrade to the heating and cooling system and repairing stonework and masonry on the courthouse building. The main entrance to the three-story, 111-year-old courthouse on 4th Street remains closed while crews from Perfection Group of Cincinnati work on making repairs to the courthouse dome. The public will have to use the 5th Street entrance to gain entry to the courthouse while the front entrance is closed.
(The Intelligencer 6/4) Passersby likely have noticed a new construction site on Fourth Street in the downtown business district, helping to fill a gap left by a massive fire more than two years ago. Earth work is underway to make room for a brand new building for the Dance Factory, a dance studio that currently is located on Hanover Street in Martins Ferry. Ashley Pietro, who co-owns the business with Jessica Trout, said they hope the building will be complete in August and in time to start new dance classes in September.