Wheeling City Council Public Works Committee Updates Community on Major Projects
The Public Works Committee discussed several multi-million dollar projects throughout the city related to sewer, water, streets, and bridges.
A Public Works Committee meeting, chaired by Councilor Jerry Sklavounakis, Ward 4, was held prior to the June 6 City Council Meeting. Discussed were several updates to ongoing projects throughout the City of Wheeling, including paving as well as sewer, water, and storm drainage replacement and repairs.
City Manager Robert Herron spoke about the ongoing contract for paving approved in 2022, saying the project is 77% complete. The $415,000 worth of contracted paving will likely conclude in two to three weeks, Herron said. Some $215,000 worth of additional paving will be paid for by Mountaineer Gas, who are replacing gas lines, beginning in late June or early July.
In a brief exchange between Councilor Sklavounakis and City Manager Herron about paving, pricing for removing and replacing concrete roads was estimated at $2.5 million per mile, while paving surfaces with asphalt would cost roughly $600,000 to $800,000 per mile. While removal and replacing concrete roads is costlier, it is considered longer lasting than the asphalt paving.
Councilor Sklavounakis voiced concerns from residents regarding the paving of alleyways, mainly that the work has the potential to cause flooding of garages and structures. Ms Cadar echoed these concerns during the public comment period, adding that debris had been in by contractors, and that there are no storm drainage systems in the alley behind her home. Councilor Sklavounakis encouraged residents to contact the city if they have issues with water drainage, saying employees would remediate these concerns.
On sewer system repair, City Manager Herron mentioned the $25 million in funding approved for the Wheeling Pollution Control Division in previous years. So far, $20 million of that funding has been bid on or is under contract. Councilor Rosemary Ketchum, Ward 3, asked about the capture of methane at WPCD which could alleviate the odor emanating from the treatment plant in Center/South Wheeling. The project would cost between $5-7 million, and may not affect the odor.
The Washington Avenue bridge will be closed to traffic sometime this year, City Manager Herron said, and will be torn down and replaced. While he could not say for certain when the closure will take place, Herron stated the WV Division of Highways has procured the project and is in the design phase. The bridge serves as a major throughway in Woodsdale, connecting Interstate 70 with National Road.
City Manager Herron concluded his update to the Public Works Committee by speaking about the Wheeling Streetscape project, affecting Market and Main Streets in downtown Wheeling. Herron says the project should not see any more “unknowns,” citing the discovery of buried railcars in early April. The project has not been extended, and its current planned completed date is in November 2024.
Mayor Glenn Elliott spoke about the Streetscape project, saying the WVDOH has considered paving Main Street as the contractor works its way north fixing the east side. Previously, work was planned specifically for the sidewalks with paving to be completed on a later date. Mayor Elliott said this would be a sign of huge progress for the City of Wheeling.
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