The Times West Virginian


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.

Text Only
  • Laws to keep mudslinging to minimum can stife free speech

    By nature, and by profession, we do not like lies. As journalists, we’re truth tellers. Or at least we attempt to get at the truth through research, attribution, documents and comments from people on either side of an issue.
    Sometimes it ends up with “telling lies from both sides,” as a crusty reporter once mused a handful of years ago.

    April 24, 2014

  • COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay

    Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.

    April 20, 2014

  • The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings

    During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.

    April 20, 2014

  • Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated

    Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
    During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.

    April 18, 2014

  • 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

    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

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads