Gov. Justice awards $450,000 in transportation alternatives and trails grants for Northern Panhandle; announces reopening of lane on I-70W in Wheeling

10/28/2020

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WHEELING, WV – Marking yet another day of progress for Wheeling and communities nearby, Gov. Jim Justice awarded over $450,000 in Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program grants today for several projects in cities and towns across West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle, including one major project to turn a blighted piece of property in Wheeling into a park and trailhead.

During an event to celebrate the grants, the Governor also announced that, within a matter of days, one westbound lane of Interstate 70 in Wheeling will reopen to traffic for the first time in several months as roadwork continues into the next phases of the I-70 Bridges Project in Wheeling. The project – which includes the replacement of the Fulton Bridge just east of the Wheeling Tunnel and the rehabilitation of another 25 bridges along I-70 – is one of the most significant projects of Gov. Justice’s ​Roads To Prosperity program.

“By the end of the week or by Monday, weather permitting, we’re going to now be able to open up one lane of I-70 West all the way through Wheeling so you won’t have to use as many of the detours,” Gov. Justice said.
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Last month, Gov. Justice visited Wheeling to get a progress report on the I-70 Bridges Project and a tour of the construction zone.

“We’re making great progress all over Wheeling,” Gov. Justice said. “Not only with this important project on I-70, but in all kinds of other ways, like with these grants we’re giving out today.”

During this morning’s grant award ceremony, Gov. Justice awarded four Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program (TARTP) grants, worth $454,454 in total, for a variety of projects in a pair of Northern Panhandle counties.

West Virginia TARTP grants help towns and cities build and improve sidewalks, lighting, trails, and more. The program is administered by the West Virginia Department of Transportation and funded by the Federal Highway Administration.

“I want to take a minute and talk about one of these projects in particular, called the Wheeling Robrecht Riverfront Park,” Gov. Justice said. “Senator Ryan Weld and Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott reached out to me personally regarding this project. The city applied for this grant to help it transform a blighted, three-acre brownfield into a riverfront park and trailhead for the Wheeling Heritage Trail.

“This project will turn a blighted piece of property into a functional park for citizens and visitors,” Gov. Justice continued. “Because this property would provide a connection to the Wheeling Heritage Trail, its development would also mean economic benefits to the businesses in the nearby downtown and Centre Wheeling districts.”
“This project is a big step in the right direction toward utilizing this property,” said Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron. “Not only will it be a valuable asset for our downtown, it will also contribute to our streetscape efforts coming up next year, and it will enact Mayor Elliott’s vision to connect our various trailheads throughout the city, so it’s a big step in the right direction.

“Governor, we really appreciate you coming up today. You’ve also been really good to Wheeling and we really appreciate your efforts and everything you’ve done for us over the past four years,” Herron continued.
“This is really big stuff,” Gov. Justice said. “I couldn’t be more proud to see all this goodness coming to Wheeling and the great people of our Northern Panhandle.”

The grants announced today are among the most recent wave of TARTP grants to be awarded this year, which includes a total of 47 grants, worth over $8.6 million, for projects in 29 counties.

Earlier this year, Gov. Justice presented another round of 38 TARTP grants, worth over $7.4 million, for additional projects in 27 counties.

In total, Gov. Justice has awarded over $16 million TARTP grants this year alone to communities all across West Virginia.

“I’m tickled to death to be here and to announce all this great stuff, but this is really just the tip of the iceberg,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re really on our way in West Virginia and it’s just getting better and better.
“The day I walked in the door and they handed me the books, we were bankrupt,” Gov. Justice continued. “But I went to work, we got our economics in good shape, and now you’ve got a state that’s genuinely percolating and moving in the right direction.”

“Right now, Wheeling – and really all of West Virginia – is becoming a place that’s in demand, and pretty soon you’re not going to be able to stop it.”
The projects awarded today include:

OHIO COUNTY
Village of Bethlehem
$50,000

Village of Bethlehem Community Park Trail Project: Design and construction of approximately 1,000 feet of hiking trail within the Village of Bethlehem Community Park.

City of Wheeling
$240,864

Wheeling Robrecht Riverfront Park Project: Design of 0.46 miles of pedestrian and trail facilities at the Riverfront Park.

Wheeling Park Commission
$152,000

Oglebay Trails Maintenance & Repair Project: Design and construction of repairs and maintenance to existing hiking trails within Oglebay Park.

WETZEL COUNTY
City of New Martinsville
$11,590

New Martinsville Bike Path Extension Project: Design of an extension of the New Martinsville Bike Path.

Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov

Contact

Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:
304.558.3588

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