West Virginia Week in Review - September 23, 2023


West Virginia Week in Review
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Gov. Justice celebrates grand opening of the historic Wellsburg Bridge
Gov. Jim Justice, West Virginia Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E., federal, state, and local officials took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the 1,875-foot Wellsburg Bridge connecting the communities of Wellsburg, West Virginia and Brilliant, Ohio.

Hundreds of people joined in the festivities on the bridge, which opened to vehicular traffic on the morning of Thursday, September 21.
"This is an incredible day for both Wellsburg and Brilliant because we are finally opening a bridge connecting these two communities that is long overdue," Gov. Justice said. "This bridge is going to make life better for everyone who travels through West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle. This is truly an incredible day, and I'm proud to see another bridge project across the finish line. The bridge might be in the Northern Panhandle, but this is a great day for all of West Virginia.”

Flatiron Construction, headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, was awarded an approximately $131 million contract for construction of the new bridge. The 830-foot main span of the bridge was built off-site on the bank of the Ohio River just upstream from the bridge site.

"Once again, the Governor here is to cut a ribbon on a project that has lingered and lingered and lingered," Secretary Wriston said. "The biggest question I have had to answer recently is, 'why now, why now?' The answer is very simple. In 2016, we elected the most dynamic governor in our state's history, who had a vision to put transportation at the forefront of our economic recovery. He is a Governor who is transforming our economy, diversifying our economy, and building the infrastructure that West Virginians and Ohioans deserve and appreciate."
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Gov. Justice appoints Hollis T. Lewis to 57th District seat in House of Delegates
Gov. Justice announced he appointed Hollis T. Lewis to the West Virginia House of Delegates 57th District, which serves Kanawha County, replacing Doug Skaff, who resigned earlier this month.

"I know Hollis will do a great job," Gov. Justice said. "I'm really proud to be able to appoint him, and we wish him the very best.”

A native of Charleston’s Westside, Lewis graduated from West Virginia State University, where he lettered in football and received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He then attended law school at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“First, I would like to thank God for filling me with vision and purpose,” Lewis said. “I look forward to serving the communities that make up the 57th District and the State of West Virginia. I would like to thank Governor Jim Justice for the appointment. In addition, I would like to thank the Kanawha Democratic Executive Committee, former Delegate Doug Skaff, Councilwoman Jennifer Pharr, Jonathan Frazier, Woody Wood, Delegate Mike Pushkin, and everyone who has been a part of this process.”
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Gov. Justice appoints Jeremy Jones as State Forester
Gov. Justice announced he has appointed Jeremy C. Jones as State Forester and Director of the West Virginia Division of Forestry.

Jones is a West Virginia native and a graduate of West Virginia University. He has over 20 years of experience with the West Virginia Division of Forestry, beginning as a Service Forrester in Roane County. Most recently, he served as Assistant State Forester-Fire for the division.

Jones steps into the position following the retirement of former West Virginia Division of Forestry Director Tom Cover. 

“I am honored to continue to serve the West Virginia Division of Forestry through this new role and thank Gov. Justice for this opportunity,” Jones said. “I am excited to lead the agency into the future.”
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Also this week:

How to spot the best Fall foliage around West Virginia

2,500 celebrate opening of historic Wellsburg Bridge connecting Ohio and West Virginia

DHHR announces launch of State Health Assessment, which is open to the public

Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov; CJ Harvey, cj.harvey@wv.gov


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:

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