Kingwood takes on large paving and sidewalk project

KINGWOOD — Stalled traffic and the sound of jackhammers hitting sidewalks are the rule on W.Va. 7 in Kingwood, as a road and sidewalk project got under way Monday May 14.

The work includes making sidewalks handicapped accessible and replacing 18 of the 17-year-old street lamps with LED lights on both sides of W.Va. 7 from WesBanco to the intersection of 7 and Price Street.

Route 7 will be paved from County Route 7/24 (Grape Thicket Road) to W.Va. 26, about 1.49 miles.

Funding for the project is a combination of local, state and federal monies. Brent Walker, director of communications for the West Virginia Department of Transportation, said Wednesday that some planned state projects were combined with the streetscape work.

Kingwood applied for a grant to do the streetscape   in 2012. In 2015, the State Division of Highways (DOH) told the city it had been awarded a $143,200 grant. In February 2016, Kingwood paid its 20 percent match of $35,800.

Then the project stalled, as Kingwood and the DOH worked to agree on a contract, and the availability of  federal money for the project was questioned.

“These transportation alternative grants don’t work as fast as some people would like, but they do work,” Walker said.

Stone Paving Inc., of Reedsville, had the winning bid of $1,110,727 for the work, which the DOH said should be finished by July 27.

Expenses not covered by the grant and Kingwood’s contribution will be paid 80 percent with federal monies — about $745,381 — and 20 percent with state monies — about $186,345.

The city plans to use the lights that are removed for spare parts in other, similar lights around town, or to replace lights that are damaged. They can also be retrofitted with LEDs for about $1,500 each, the town previously said.

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