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Author Topic: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments  (Read 10388 times)

seicer

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WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« on: January 24, 2009, 08:44:35 AM »

McGees cover their third Charleston bridge in lights
By Ashley B. Craig, Daily Mail, January 22, 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The McGees are at it again, and the mayor of Charleston is grateful.

"Light the bridge," Ruth McGee called over a megaphone to engineers under the bridge on the east side of the icy Elk River.

 After her call at 6 p.m., as the sun was setting on a bitterly cold but clear Wednesday evening, the new lights on the bridge began to glow.

The couple's mission to brighten Charleston's bridges was complete.

John and Ruth McGee have provided the inspiration and funding; Pittsburgh lighting engineer Hal Hilbish has provided the expertise; and city officials have coordinated the work necessary to light three of the city's bridges, the South Side Bridge, the Kanawha Boulevard Bridge and finally the Lee Street Bridge.

"They're people following their passion. A lot of people want to see money spent in the city in certain ways; the McGees wanted this," Mayor Danny Jones said.

Jones said the lights make the city stand out.

As were the previous two projects, the Lee Street Bridge lighting was paid for by a donation from the McGee Foundation, the couple's philanthropic group.

"We are grateful for their contribution to the city," Jones said.

City Manager David Molgaard said the South Side Bridge was painted a silvery gray shortly before the bridge was lit and that the same color will be used when the Kanawha Boulevard Bridge is painted in the near future.

The Lee Street Bridge is state-owned, and while city officials would like to paint it the same color as the other two, they will have to go through the Governor's Office to get permission, they said.  

The lighting system for the South Side Bridge was complete in 2000, and the Kanawha Boulevard Bridge was lit in December. Jones said the Lee Street Bridge project was supposed to be finished last year but was delayed.

The McGees, who have traveled widely, were inspired on a trip to London.

"The real reason for doing this is my wife," McGee said.

The couple was at a party in a room atop one of the towers at the newly lit Tower Bridge in London several years ago. Ruth was captivated by the lights and thought of bringing the beauty of the Tower Bridge to Charleston as a way to say thank you to the city she called home.

The couple contacted Mary Jean Davis, an at-large member of city council, who turned to Hilbish.

The McGees selected the first bridge to be lit, and the mayor picked the second. Hilbish chose the last bridge because of its superstructure, John McGee said.

The South Side Bridge was Hilbish's first bridge project. Maguire Hilbish Associates, based in Sewickley, Pa., usually does lighting for buildings and parks.

White, 14-watt LED lights line the arch of the bridge's superstructure and the crossbars inside. High-pressure sodium lights were used to cast a golden glow on the piers under the bridge and on the roadway, Hilbish said. White lights also were used on the pedestrian lanterns and on the pillars on each side of the bridge.

The lights are long lasting and environmentally friendly, Hilbish said.

The Lee Street Bridge, while somewhat similar to the South Side Bridge in structure, was lit differently, the designer said.

"We listen to the bridge, and it tells us what to do. We looked at the bridge and determined what made the most sense," Hilbish said.

He said the Lee Street Bridge had a smaller superstructure than the South Side Bridge, but that made the newly lit bridge unique.

The Lee Street Bridge has about 84 lights in all, and the work took about a year and a half to complete.

The bridge will be lit every evening from dusk to dawn as the other bridges, and the city will pay for the electricity, city officials said.

"I think it's lovely," Ruth after the lighting.

The bridge is the last lighting project for the couple for now, John McGee said.

Hilbish is very pleased with the outcome.  

"This town is blessed to have them," he said of the McGees.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 08:42:36 PM by deathtopumpkins »
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seicer

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2009, 04:51:50 PM »

King Coal Highway: Officials hopeful of fed funds
By Charles Owens, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, January 27, 2009

BLUEFIELD — U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., vowed Tuesday to fight for several southern West Virginia highway projects as Congress begins its work on the federal stimulus bill requested by President Obama.

Rahall, who will once again serve as the vice chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for the new Congress, said the committee will begin work later this year on crafting the nation’s next multi-year transportation bill, funding highway and bridge programs and the country’s mass transit systems.

“As vice chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I will be riding shotgun over federal transportation programs and funds,” Rahall said in a press release. “In the 111th Congress, the committee will work on the 2009 Federal Transportation Bill which is critical to the continued development of southern West Virginia and the nation. This year it will be more difficult than ever to find the necessary resources to adequately fund the bill.”

Rahall said past transportation bills have provided funding for the King Coal Highway, the Coalfields Expressway and the Shawnee Parkway.

Meanwhile, officials in Bluefield expressed renewed optimism Tuesday over the chances of the King Coal Highway being included in President Obama’s federal stimulus package. West Virginia is expected to receive up to $1.4 billion in federal stimulus dollars.

Mike Mitchem, executive director of the King Coal Highway Authority, said recent media reports are suggesting that the King Coal Highway could be included in the state’s share of the federal stimulus dollars.

“We are feeling confident that there will be some money coming down for the King Coal Highway,” Mitchem said. “We know that Congressman Rahall, Sen. Byrd and Sen. Rockefeller will all do what it takes to ensure West Virginia gets its fair share.”

Mitchem said the federal stimulus funding would allow for an extension of the King Coal Highway from the K.A. Ammar Interchange and the $16 million King Coal Highway Bridge project in Bluefield to Stoney Ridge, Route 123 and the Mercer County Airport.

Mitchem said another 14 mile stretch of the King Coal Highway in Mingo County extending from Red Jacket near Matewan to Horsepen Mountain is now scheduled for completion in 2010. Mitchem said officials are in discussion with a coal company interested in building another segment of the King Coal Highway that would extend the new four-lane corridor to the border of McDowell and Wyoming counties near Johnny Cake Mountain and the Isaban communities. The future Interstate 73/74 corridor will extend from Bluefield to Huntington, replacing the existing U.S. Route 52.

Rahall said the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will play a critical role in determining future federal dollars for the region.

“The Transportation Committee’s importance to West Virginia can not be over emphasized,” Rahall said. “It touches every major artery of commerce and travel by our businesses and citizens.”

In the last bill, Rahall said West Virginia received $1.69 for every $1 West Virginians paid into the highway trust fund from every gallon of gas purchased at the pump.

“The highway formula is a crucial tool West Virginia uses to level our playing field with states with flatter topographies which don’t have to compete between mountains and money,” Rahall said. “I fight to protect our return, because it is an issue of fairness.”
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74/171FAN

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2009, 10:07:04 AM »

Interesting that the I-64 bridge over the Kanawha River's new color gets to be voted on by others  http://www.dailymail.com/News/Kanawha/200906090882
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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 08:03:55 PM »

Major West Virginia transportation projects are poised to gain an infusion of a few million dollars if President Obama signs the Fiscal Year 2010 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill into law.

Senator Robert Byrd has included nearly $14 million in funding for various road projects throughout the state.

They include:

    * $4.4 million for Corridor H (specifically for the highway between Bismarck and Foreman).
    * $1.9 million for US 35 improvements
    * $1.9 million for WV 10 upgrades
    * $1.9 million for the Coalfields Expressway - specifically for work in Raleigh County in the Allen Creek to Slab Fork Section.
    * $1.9 million for the King Coal Highway - to be used for extending the highway north towards the Mercer County Airport near Bluefield.

These funds will not make construction imminent on these projects, but they will be added to the pool of funds needed to start or continue work.

http://www.bdtonline.com/cnhi/bdtonline/homepage/local_story_349195855.html?keyword=leadpicturestory

http://wvgazette.com/News/200912150555
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Alps

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 08:48:37 PM »

A little lighthearted reading from the bottom of WV:

http://bdtonline.com/lifestyles/x1685966195/Name-that-road

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 09:40:02 PM »

Too bad they'll never four-lane US 522 like they once talked about.  The bypass of Berkeley Springs is desperately needed.
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amroad17

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2012, 08:49:52 PM »

Too bad they'll never four-lane US 522 like they once talked about.  The bypass of Berkeley Springs is desperately needed.
WVDOT should do this as this is a nice shortcut from Winchester, VA to Hancock, MD instead of heading to Hagerstown and then to Hancock.  However, the question is does WVDOT have the money to do this?
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hbelkins

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2012, 02:48:45 PM »

Too bad they'll never four-lane US 522 like they once talked about.  The bypass of Berkeley Springs is desperately needed.
WVDOT should do this as this is a nice shortcut from Winchester, VA to Hancock, MD instead of heading to Hagerstown and then to Hancock.  However, the question is does WVDOT have the money to do this?

Wonder if this is a bit of payback for Virginia not wanting to four-lane VA 55 (US 48) to connect the state line to I-81?
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amroad17

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2012, 03:14:16 AM »

Ah, "border wars"!!!
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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2012, 03:57:35 AM »

Wonder if this is a bit of passive aggressive bullshit for Virginia not wanting to build a completely useless four-lane to replace a very adequate two-lane?
Fixed for you.
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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2012, 11:39:56 AM »

Ah, "border wars"!!!

probably the last border war in the US ... recall how West Virginia came to be.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2012, 03:47:36 PM »

Ah, "border wars"!!!

probably the last border war in the US ... recall how West Virginia came to be.

Not so sure about that, at least not when it comes to highway capacity.  Consider Md./Va. and N.Y./N.J.
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Alps

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2012, 07:25:15 PM »

Ah, "border wars"!!!

probably the last border war in the US ... recall how West Virginia came to be.

Not so sure about that, at least not when it comes to highway capacity.  Consider Md./Va. and N.Y./N.J.
Not sure what your NY/NJ reference is for. There's no "war" going on that I'm aware of.

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2012, 07:45:52 PM »

Ah, "border wars"!!!

probably the last border war in the US ... recall how West Virginia came to be.

Not so sure about that, at least not when it comes to highway capacity.  Consider Md./Va. and N.Y./N.J.
Not sure what your NY/NJ reference is for. There's no "war" going on that I'm aware of.

Not a war per se, but more than a few people I have spoken with from that part of the world have told me that New York is absolutely, positively opposed to any new capacity crossing under or over the  Hudson River from North Jersey. 

It cannot even be mentioned in alternatives analysis of any planning study.
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Alps

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2012, 08:04:53 PM »


Not a war per se, but more than a few people I have spoken with from that part of the world have told me that New York is absolutely, positively opposed to any new capacity crossing under or over the  Hudson River from North Jersey. 

It cannot even be mentioned in alternatives analysis of any planning study.
I thought it was the other way around. NY was willing to connect the Cross County Pkwy. to a new crossing, but NJ couldn't push NJ 14 through Bergen County. Anyway, adding to an existing crossing won't help because there's no way to get the traffic to and from it on either side. My concept is to have a new double deck roadway from the Turnpike and NJ 3, two lanes each way, all the way above all the Hoboken and Weehawken bridges, then to continue straight across Manhattan several stories up, and finally touch down in the median of I-495 by the I-278 interchange. (I-495 is very light volume west of there, so could be reduced to 2 lanes each way.)

cpzilliacus

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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2012, 08:58:12 PM »


Not a war per se, but more than a few people I have spoken with from that part of the world have told me that New York is absolutely, positively opposed to any new capacity crossing under or over the  Hudson River from North Jersey. 

It cannot even be mentioned in alternatives analysis of any planning study.
I thought it was the other way around. NY was willing to connect the Cross County Pkwy. to a new crossing, but NJ couldn't push NJ 14 through Bergen County. Anyway, adding to an existing crossing won't help because there's no way to get the traffic to and from it on either side. My concept is to have a new double deck roadway from the Turnpike and NJ 3, two lanes each way, all the way above all the Hoboken and Weehawken bridges, then to continue straight across Manhattan several stories up, and finally touch down in the median of I-495 by the I-278 interchange. (I-495 is very light volume west of there, so could be reduced to 2 lanes each way.)

I must add that my discussions with staff from there is mostly limited to sessions at sessions at the Annual Meetings of the Transportation Research Board over several years, not an especially large sample size.

I like your idea - seems that many trips from North Jersey are not destined to Manhattan, but to points east of that island, but unfortunately, what you propose probably makes too much sense.
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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2014, 01:29:04 PM »

Register-Hearald.com: W.Va. Coalfields Expressway is pushing ahead



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Although the state is seeing a lull in coal production, truckloads are being moved as the Coalfields Expressway is cut across a scenic trek between Slab Fork and Mullens.

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West Virginia Division of Highways project manager Ali Sadeghian said selling the coal removed along the expressway was bid to contractors to help fund the roadway.

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At this point, the portion of the expressway between Slab Fork and just outside of Mullens is about 38 percent complete, he said.

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At Slab Fork, 7 miles have been graded and heavy machinery is hauling rock and moving coal to continue to clear the way.

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Sadeghian said the final 2 miles into Mullens from the end of the four-way will be the first private highway contract in the state, and it slated to be let out for bidding on Dec. 4.
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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2017, 12:36:11 AM »

Charleston Gazette-Mail: Road bond referendum passes in a landslide

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Voters approved a constitutional referendum Saturday that will allow West Virginia to issue up to $1.6 billion in bonds for highway and bridge construction in the state.

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The vote on the Roads to Prosperity Amendment of 2017 passed, earning nearly 73 percent of the vote with every precinct reporting late Saturday night, according to unofficial results from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.

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At a news conference after word of the victory circulated, an elated Gov. Jim Justice said the electorate has given its take on the state’s future, loud and clear.

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“The voters spoke, did they not? They spoke,” he said before the crowd of labor and industry representatives who supported the effort interrupted him with applause. “They spoke and I am so happy for our state in every single way.”

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Of the 1.2 million West Virginians registered to vote, more than 119,000 cast their ballots Saturday.

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In Kanawha County, roughly 80 percent of voters supported the referendum. In Putnam County, roughly 82 percent of voters supported the referendum.
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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2017, 03:35:35 PM »

So, basically a 10% turnout.  Hardly a "loud and clear", but in fairness those that didn't want it and didn't vote only have themselves to blame.
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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2017, 10:27:14 PM »

I wonder why they didn't just hold the vote on election day.  Seems like a lot to organize a special election just for this.
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Re: WV: West Virginia highway news and developments
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2017, 11:54:26 AM »

I wonder why they didn't just hold the vote on election day.  Seems like a lot to organize a special election just for this.

That is the entire point of it.

In WV "bond" elections, either like this one being statewide or the more typical county ones, generally for schools, are almost always held on Saturdays during football season.  The idea is to get a very low turnout of those affected (construction workers, DOH or school employees, etc) and as few others as possible. 

When bonds get put on regular ballots, they often lose.

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