The Times West Virginian

Opinion

September 26, 2012

Clarksburg Street Bridge replacement must be completed for safety reasons

It’s something for which the people of Mannington have been waiting for quite some time.

And now, thanks to city council’s approval of the first reading of a new ordinance last week, plans are being set in motion for the replacement of the Clarksburg Street Bridge.

It’s a project city officials have been eyeing for years.

In fact, the condition of the city’s bridges has been on the mind of elected officials for at least the past two decades. In 2009, Mannington Mayor Bob Garcia said the issue was one that had been on his mind since being elected to council in 1987.

Safety remains a concern to this day, especially because so many students cross the Clarksburg Street Bridge on their way to and home from school each weekday.

“Mannington kids, Dent’s Run and Farmington kids come across the bridge every day,” Garcia told the Times West Virginian three years ago. He added that if the bridge were to collapse with the kids on it, “it will wipe out the next generation of kids for this end of the county.”

Three years ago, city officials said that despite numerous unsatisfactory reports at the time, the state would not require the bridge to undergo repairs until inspections determined that the nearly 90-year-old structure posed a significant safety hazard.

Reports from the West Virginia Division of Highways now, though, have shown more deficiencies in the bridge, and it looks as if the replacement of the structure will finally happen.

As Garcia told the Times West Virginian last summer, “We need to act now.”

Although city officials say they aren’t sure of the potential cost of the project, we all know infrastructure of this magnitude doesn’t come inexpensively.

Just last year, city council members tossed around the idea of adding a $2 or $3 fee to residents’ water bills as a way to raise a portion of the city’s share of money for the project. That discussion was met with opposition from some, but others said a monthly fee of just a few dollars would be a small price to pay for safety.

So sure, there are a few more steps that must be taken before the project really gets off the ground. To start, the next and final readings have to be approved. Funding has to be secured. An appropriate timeline for the project must be set.

And because the replacement of the bridge will be a joint project between the city and the state, it will take cooperative efforts from all parties involved.

But the project is closer to fruition than it ever has been, and that is a victory. We’re glad Mannington officials have remained dedicated to the project and, ultimately, to residents’ safety.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives

    A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
    Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
    The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.

    April 17, 2014

  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    Instant.
    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

  • Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

    Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
    That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
    When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

    April 6, 2014

  • COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community

    There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
    I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.

    April 6, 2014

  • Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths

    Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
    A simple 57-cent item.
    That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.

    April 4, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads