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Main St. Bridge Remains Closed

By Staff | Jun 5, 2013

Just when county commissioners were ready to repoen the Main Street bridge in New Martinsville to some light traffic, a new inspection report reveals it is indeed unsafe. Consequently the closure remains.

Just as the Wetzel County Commission was about to reopen New Martinsville’s Main Street/Brooklyn Bridge, an inspection revealed an alarming shift that cancelled those plans.

Wetzel County Commission President Don Mason reported Tuesday morning that the bridge was set to reopen Tuesday on the recommendation of West Virginia Division of Highways Assistant District Engineer Dave Sada. However, after that opinion was rendered, Bridge Inspector Allen Hall of the West Virginia Department of Transportation showed alarming findings that have prompted the commission to keep the bridge closed.

Mason reported that Hall, a civil engineer, inspected the bridge and found that a pier on the north end is leaning four inches.

Mason reported that previously, new recommendations from the state were going to lead the commission to open the bridge up to a three-ton load limit. Mason stressed that the state made these recommendations before they knew of Hall’s new findings.

Hall’s inspection was purely a scheduled inspection that occurs every six months, said Mason. “That’s what we based all of our decisions on,” Mason noted, “the inspection report that comes in from the Department of Engineering.”

In other commission-related matters, County Clerk Carol Haught is in the process of reviewing bids submitted for digital imaging work in the county clerk’s office. The two companies proposing to help the office scan records from 1846 up until 1992 are COTT and ACS, the latter being a Xerox company.

“The dollar amount is important,” Haught noted, “but the main issue is to find the best company for the job and the company that has the best technology to get the images.”

Furthermore, Haught stated that each vendor who submitted a bid had received the same request for proposal. “Each vendor had the opportunity to come and do the test pages; each one has been in the record room and viewed our records,” she noted. “Both are very well aware of what we are going to require and the condition of some of our records.”

David Weaver, account sales executive, was present Tuesday morning to represent ACS. Weaver told the commission that ACS has done work with several oil and gas counties in the area.