Government, News

State Transportation Secretary Tom Smith hopes Corridor H work can resume soon

BECKLEY — State Transportation Secretary Tom Smith said the state is working with its contractor on the Corridor H project to address environmental issues that led to a recent cease-and-desist order from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Speaking with MetroNews during an appearance in Beckley Tuesday, Smith said the order filed against Kokosing Construction Company shows the system is working.

“We work in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection. We work with the Mon Forest (Monongahela National Forest) there. There were concerns about water quality and it shows the system is working that we had those entities and ourselves stop the contractor and do a time out and say let’s get on top of this,” Smith said.

According to the DEP order, Kokosing allowed too much sediment to leave its construction sites in Randolph and Tucker counties. The company blames excessive rain in the area.

“There were sedimentation issues that had arisen because of rainfall and the contractor is ultimately responsible for that,” Smith said.

Kokosing is working to correct the issues. Smith said Tuesday he’s hopeful the road work can resume soon.

“I know our folks are working with the contractor to get things going,” he said. “That’s a very important project to us so we want to get it going as soon as we can.”