Community, Latest News, Preston County

Terra Alta bridge repair

KINGWOOD — A meeting has been set  for 1 p.m. Aug. 10 at town hall to further discuss the Bridge Street Bridge  in Terra Alta. The bridge, which served  vehicles and pedestrians traveling between W.Va. 7 and Highland Avenue has been closed since August 2017.

Officials from CSX, and West Virginia Division of Highways and Terra Alta town officials will  attend the meeting. They are asking officials who have past or present documentation about the bridge to bring it to the meeting.

Preston County Commissioner Dave Price said the bridge is more than a convenience. He said when it was open, the bridge was used by emergency vehicles going to and from  accidents, medical emergencies and fires.

“It’s like playing the lottery, but the stakes are real high,” he said, “If a train is on the track and blocking the road and there is an emergency on the other side of town, you have to go to Gregg’s Pharmacy, turn right, go to the Aurora Pike and back to town and across Salt Lick. What’s the odds of a train on the track when there is an emergency? I don’t know.”

Price said if Kingwood emergency personnel are called in and the road is blocked by a train, they have to go to Rowlesburg and up Salt Lick Road to get to the emergency.

He said he doesn’t know what the DOH and CSX officials have in mind for the bridge. Price said the current bridge doesn’t have to be replaced with a two-lane bridge. It could remain one lane, just as long as it can handle the weight of a fire truck filled with water and an ambulance.

In other business, County Administrator Kathy Mace asked commissioners to review the clean-up committee ordinance draft and have it ready for next week’s meeting.

Mace said commissioners should indicate any spelling errors or changes that need to be made prior to its first reading.

 If passed, the ordinance will address dilapidated buildings, property clean-up and open dumps. Under the ordinance, the commission will designate an enforcement agency that will consist of a county engineer or other technically qualified county employee or consultant; a county health officer or his or her designee; a fire chief from a Preston County fire company; a county litter control officer; two members-at-large selected by the commission to serve two-year terms; and the county sheriff, who will serve as an ex-officio member of the enforcement agency, and who will enforce the orders of the commission.

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