The 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the more than $6 billion natural gas project led by Dominion Energy, won approval to begin full construction in North Carolina today. The decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission comes amid a federal court challenge that seeks to halt construction of the hotly contested pipeline following a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond in May. However, FERC has allowed the pipeline, which will run from West Virginia through much of central Virginia and the eastern third of North Carolina to plow ahead in certain areas where it already has state approvals.
West Virginia Division of Highways officials in Monongalia County are seeking funds to repair River Road in Westover. The road has been closed since autumn 2017, a result of a slip that, over time, has led the road to begin falling off the hill. A detour is required to navigate through the space. While previously there were tentative plans to close the road on a permanent basis, West Virginia Department of Highways District Engineer Donald Williams says that is no longer the case.
(West Virginia MetroNews 7/31) When the new Drive Forward WV website was launched Monday not all projects from the Roads to Prosperity list had been transferred, according to state Division of Highways spokesman Brent Walker. “We’re just continuing the process of moving those hundreds of projects over from our original spreadsheet to our new Drive Forward website,” Walker said Tuesday. “No project has been taken off the list.”
(WVNews 7/31) More than $840,000 worth of grants have been secured to fund projects at airports in West Virginia. Three grants were awarded, each for an airport in Cabell, Marion and Braxton counties. The awards will fund projects that will provide infrastructure repairs and improvements to the airports. The awards are: $675,000 for the Tri State Airport Authority in Cabell County; $110,000 for the Fairmont-Marion County Regional Airport Authority; and $61,829 for the Braxton County Airport Authority.
(The Fairmont News 8/1) Building upon Palatine Park’s continued expansion, a new pavilion, bathroom and other amenities are either completed or in the works at the park, specifically around the kayak dock and fishing pier. While the bathroom is already complete, the pavilion is under construction. Marion County Commissioner Randy Elliott said the upgrades are focused on a specific part of Palatine Park, that is away from the hustle and bustle of the splash pad and stage.
(The Dominion Post 8/1) When the Drive Forward WV website was launched Monday not all projects from the Roads to Prosperity list had been transferred, according to state Division of Highways spokesman Brent Walker. “We’re just continuing the process of moving those hundreds of projects over from our original spreadsheet to our new Drive Forward website,” Walker said Tuesday. “No project has been taken off the list.”
(The Herald-Dispatch 8/1) When it comes to new highway projects in West Virginia, the most visible are those currently taking place on the interstates. "There is a lot of work happening on I-64, which will continue over the next several years, but there is also lots of routine maintenance road work that will be happening in Cabell County, as well as all of the counties in District 2," said West Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Tom Smith.
(FOX11 Eyewitness News 8/1) The Roads to Prosperity Program has many West Virginia counties hopeful that projects years in the making will finally become reality. Wayne County leaders are wishing that will be true of one project on their radar screen that was first proposed 20 years ago. Mark Ross of Prichard was part of the group in the 1990s that first pushed the idea of making Route 52, the Tolsia Highway, a four-lane road. He was Prichard fire chief at the time.
(WVNews 8/1) Construction crews are hard at work putting the final touches on the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center ahead of its soft opening event Saturday, according to Executive Director Ryan Tolley. The event, scheduled to start at 7 p.m., will feature musical performances by four regional performers and will give members of the public an opportunity to tour the renovated theater for a ticket price of $10.
(The Morgantown News 8/1) West Virginia’s director of athletics Shane Lyons is slated to meet with the media Thursday morning to unveil WVU’s latest version of its athletic facilities master plan. West Virginia has had other master plans in the past, but those change over time. Lyons will present this latest version, which figures to have a number of significant projects.
(Charleston Gazette-Mail 8/1) West Side residents will have access to funding for home improvement projects and to help them buy homes under a program approved Wednesday morning. The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority approved a request from the Charleston branch of the NAACP and the Tuesday Morning Group to set aside up to $500,000 for a property improvement fund and a home buyers program fund for residents within the home ownership area as outlined in CURA’s 2008 West Side Community Renewal Plan.
(West Virginia MetroNews 8/2) Another phase of renderings foretelling renovations. Another push for massive fundraising. Only the push never takes a timeout. West Virginia’s climb into a Power Five conference certainly generated piles of new revenue. That also raised the neighborhood standards by which its facilities are measured. Having enviously inspected other Big 12 campuses, WVU athletics director Shane Lyons holds no delusions about the shortfalls in Morgantown.
(The Exponent Telegram 8/2) It would seem the much heralded “Roads to Prosperity”has hit a bit of a speed bump. The bids for the first big project under the new highway construction plan have come in $100 million over estimates. It was reported last week that the rehabilitation of seven miles of Interstate 70 in Wheeling had an estimated cost of $172.5 million. But the bids were opened last Wednesday and the low bid was $270.16. Two other bids came in over $300 million.
(West Virginia MetroNews 8/2) Gov. Jim Justice touted the state’s economy during three stops in Randolph County Thursday. Justice got a look at Corridor H highway construction, handed out some community corrections grants in Elkins and took at a tour of the Armstrong Flooring Plant in Beverly. Justice told a crowd gathered at the Randolph County Courthouse that President Donald Trump and his infrastructure program are the keys to finishing Corridor H.
(Charleston Gazette-Mail 8/2) The Democratic leader in the West Virginia House of Delegates wants to know if the Justice administration deliberately underestimated project costs to promote the “Roads to Prosperity” bond referendum last October. “It’s certainly an issue worth exploring, and it’s an issue to which the public is entitled to an answer,” House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison, said after bids for the first “big-ticket” Roads to Prosperity project, on Interstate 70 in Wheeling, came in more than $100 million over original estimates.
(The Morgantown News 8/2) “Most of the other Big 12 programs had a 10-year head start on us when it comes to facilities. We’re trying to catch up,” said WVU director of athletics Shane Lyons. Coming off Phase 1 of West Virginia’s athletic facilities renovations, most of which have been or are nearing completion, Lyons announced another $100 million in capital projects as part of the “Climbing Higher” campaign to upgrade many facilities for Mountaineer student-athletes.
(The Herald-Dispatch 8/3) Site preparation is underway for the first phase of the St. Cloud All-Inclusive playground, aimed at providing a place for everyone to play. Thursday, crews began digging the outline of the playground area and preparing the area for the installation of the playground equipment, which will be shipped in the next seven to 10 days, said Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District Executive Director Kevin Brady.
(The Inter-Mountain 8/3) Gov. Jim Justice visited the Kerens construction sight of Corridor H Thursday morning and said he believes the project to be the most important in the state. “I’ve said this over and over and over, there is no road project within our state that has the economic impact or is more important than Corridor H. Nothing. Nothing,” Justice said during his visit. “Truly, what this can bring to West Virginia is unbelievable. It really is. All of you be safe in what you do and know you are appreciated. Work hard and work fast.”
(The Journal 8/3) Mountaineer Gas is tweaking the direction of the second segment of its natural gas pipeline to connect to a prospective new customer. As the first segment of Mountaineer’s pipeline — a 22.5-mile line of pipe to run from Berkeley Springs to Martinsburg — inches toward completion, the company is altering the route of its second segment originally slated to run from Martinsburg through Kearneysville to Charles Town.
(The Preston County News & Journal 8/3) New sidewalks, pavement and streetlights now greet visitors to Kingwood as they drive into town on W.Va. 7 from the west. “I think it really looks nice, and I have heard nothing but great compliments about the results,” Mayor Jean Manuel Guillot said. “Now when coming into the town, we have new sidewalks, lights, paving and flowers.”
(Charleston Gazette-Mail 8/3) The latest draft of proposed water quality standards shows that West Virginia will mostly follow the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s lead when it makes its own rules. After a public hearing in early July, the state Department of Environmental Protection responded to almost 200 pages of comments. The agency-approved rules now go to the Legislative Rule-Making Committee for review, and then to the full Legislature for the 2019 session. The rules can be altered at any time along the process.
(The Exponent Telegram 8/3) Another round of classroom renovations has taken place at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon through grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Major upgrades have taken place in the Administration Building Room 22, Christopher Hall of Science Rooms 103 and 314, English Annex Room 11, Haymond Hall Rooms 120 and 121, Kresge Hall in the Martin Religious Center, Room 107 in McCuskey Hall, Middleton Room 214 and Room 300 in the Martin Religious Center.
(Charleston Gazette-Mail 8/3) The West Virginia School Building Authority’s board voted Friday, in a voice vote with no nays heard, to advance proposed policy changes that would reduce the SBA’s regulations of the school construction and renovation projects it funds. The new policy no longer would require counties to submit the list of architecture and engineering companies that have bid on their SBA-funded projects to the SBA for “review and evaluation” before the county picks a winner. The proposal must be approved by the Legislature before it can go into effect.
(The Parkersburg News and Sentinel 8/4) Work on remediation at the site of the new Williamstown-area elementary school will proceed, with officials estimate the cost at about $1.1 million. That amount includes remediation at three areas on the site of the former Fenton Art Glass plant, including removal of unfired glass cullet at a cost of about half a million dollars.
The numbers were presented Thursday to the Wood County Board of Education by Adam Krason with ZMM Architects and Engineers. (Contractors: Potesta & Associates, Inc.; Swope Construction Co.)
(The Herald-Dispatch 8/4) Installation of the largest solar panel project in Huntington is underway at Harmony House. "We are in the process of installing 115 solar panels in what will be a game-changing project for Harmony House," said Bill Rosenberger, the agency's director of development. The Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless, or Harmony House, has three separate entities in one building in the 600 block of 4th Avenue.
(WVNews 8/4) West Virginia would mostly follow the lead of federal environmental officials under the latest draft of proposed water quality standards setting limits on pollution that enters the state's streams and rivers. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the state Department of Environmental Protection responded to nearly 200 pages of comments following a public hearing in July. The agency-approved rules now go to the Legislative Rule-Making Committee for review, and then to the full Legislature for the 2019 session. The rules can be altered at any time along the process.
(Charleston Gazette-Mail 8/5) Roger Thomas, vice president and area manager of Kelly Paving in Williamstown, has been elected as president of the Contractors Association of West Virginia. He replaces Scott Pierson, president of Pipe Plus in Nitro, who will serve on the board of directors as immediate past president.
(The Weirton Daily Times 8/5) Last week, Gov. Jim Justice called a press conference to announce yet another new program he says will help the state and its residents.
Armed with his requisite easels and colorful displays, Justice sat at a desk and announced not one, but two new websites focusing on West Virginia’s highways. DriveForwardWV.com is set to allow us to track road projects funded through the Roads to Prosperity program. Roads to Prosperity is the program enacted through last fall’s special election and the sale of millions of dollars in bonds to fund numerous projects in every county of the state.
(WVNews 8/5) State highways officials are having trouble filling hundreds of jobs they say will be needed to tackle Gov. Jim Justice’s massive “Roads to Prosperity” road construction program. In October 2017, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 2003, which allowed expediting usual hiring procedures for the state tax department and Division of Highways in order to hire hundreds of employees fairly quickly.
(West Virginia MetroNews 8/6) Construction work is moving along at the new Procter and Gamble production facility in Berkeley County. Already about 70 employees are on staff producing Bounce Fabric Softener sheets. As construction on other production faculties nears completion, another 400 or more are being trained up and the search for more is underway.
“We have nearly 500 people employed here now about half of those have been hired locally,” said Keith Busby, Human Resources Manager at the Tabler Station Business Park operation. “We’re still looking for a lot more employees.”
(The Herald-Dispatch 8/6) Two million-dollar projects in the Ashland and South Point, Ohio, areas will cause traffic delays in the coming weeks and months as the 12th Street bridge will be closed for major repairs and the Solida Road exit off U.S. 52 undergoes construction. Preventative maintenance for the green span, officially named the Ben Williamson Memorial Bridge, which carries some 14,000 cars a day from Ohio to Kentucky, is scheduled to begin after Labor Day, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
(Contracting Business 8/6) Casto Technical Services, Inc. of Charleston, West Virginia, recently marked 50 years of providing HVAC services for commercial, institutional, and industrial customers. The company was founded in 1969 by Harry Casto, who passed away in January of 2014 at the age of 90. During his long life, Harry Casto became known as a benefactor of the arts, avid sports fan, world traveler, and all-around outstanding citizen.
(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 8/7) Local motorists interested in learning more about the next stage of repaving on Interstate 77 will have the opportunity today to speak with West Virginia Department of Highways officials. The meeting takes place today from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Mercer County Health Department in Green Valley, according to Joshua Cline, president of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce. This public meeting is also being hosted by the Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce and the Mercer County Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCCVB).
(The Parkersburg News and Sentinel 8/7) A cell tower for communications is planned to be built near the Washington Works facility. Wood County 911 Director Rick Woodyard told the Wood County Commission on Monday the county was awarded $420,000 for a project to expand cell service in the area through the Public Service Commission’s Tower Assistance Fund. The commission signed the paperwork accepting the grant.