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Equipment Put Into Place For Bridge Repair

By Staff | Jul 9, 2014

Brooklyn-area residents can see some signs of hope in the area when it comes to the rehabilitation of the Brooklyn/Main Street bridge. Velotta, the company who will rehabilitate the bridge’s piers, have started to move equipment into the area. (Photo by Lauren Matthews)

Jeff and Kristi Gieseke appeared before the Wetzel County Commission Tuesday morning to request an update on the Brooklyn/Main Street Bridge.

“On our way to the city meeting last night, we noticed a piece of equipment sitting there. We actually saw a person there this morning,” Kristi noted, “So that’s good news.”

“The management of the community’s expectations has been really kind of poor,” Kristi noted. “We just don’t know what’s going on. The fact that we are seeing something has our hopes up that maybe they might meet the deadline . . . If you could give us changes, updates on what you know, what’s going on . . . We see equipment, but that’s all we know.”

Commission Vice President Larry Lemon stated that he had spoken to the foreman of the project, Jim Stewart, that morning. “He indicates that it’ll take four to six weeks to complete the project. They are beginning to bring in some equipment this week. He said they will probably will bring in some rock this week to use in the work, and it sounds like right now they are gathering the equipment they will need for the project.”

The commission confirmed that this week is the beginning of the four to six weeks and that Velotta might actually start work Wednesday, depending on the weather.

“Do you know if everyone will have (water) access to and from the marina during the time they will actually do the work? Will there be any reason why boats can’t come to and from the marina?” Kristi asked.

Mason stated that the commission’s understanding was that possibly two to three days during the “driving off” of the coffer dams the creek may be closed in that area.

Kristi then inquired as to if there was a project plan or “scope of work” that the commission could give her a copy of. Mason replied that there was not, that the highway department has it.

“Project management is kind of what I do, so that’s why I have these kind of questions,” Kristi stated.

She added, “Is there a plan when the four to six weeks is over, will we have notification of that? There are a lot of children that have moved into the area, and they use that area at the south end of Main Street as a playground . . . So once that bridge is open, my concern is the traffic that comes across that bridge . . . I’m just wondering, will we have notification so that they can keep their children, retrain their children, not to run out into the middle of the street?”

“Is there a plan to announce the reopening of the bridge? . . . I’m sure there will be,” Mason replied, adding that it would be in the paper.

Gieseke inquired as to whether there would be notification before the bridge is open. “I’m just asking if we can have notification, us that live on the other side of the bridge, have prior notice . . . if we will have prior notice so we can make sure our children aren’t in the street, and we can retrain our children not to just run out in the street, to ride their bikes in the street, so that they know not to be in the street, animals too . . .”

“You know, as they keep us updated, then you will have some idea,” Mason replied.

“Will a phone call to you be sufficient? Lemon asked.

“It’d be nice to know,” Kristi stated. “Just so we can make sure the community trains their children.”

Larry stated that he would try to get a firm date and time, as “vagueness causes confusion.”

“The kids that been moved there . . . they don’t have any idea that there will ever be traffic,” Kristi stated.

“We know that it’s a city problem, but we are going to need some radar down there a couple of times, and it’s the kids getting out of school mainly. They get out of school and head across the bridge. We know that’s not your problem. It’s the city’s. We’ll probably ask that at the next meeting.”

Lemon stated that the commission would try to give an advance notice of when the bridge would be opening.

“Once construction starts, we will try to make sure our new neighbors know what to expect,” Kristi said, “but there was no need to talk about it, until we saw at least some kind of construction . . . Lucky for you guys today, the equipment is there today.”

“Lucky for you!” Lemon replied.

“Once they start driving those coffer dams there will be a lot of noise in that area,” Mason stated, adding, “a lot of dust too.”

“I’ve thought about that too,” Kristi stated, “wondering if they are going to do that in the middle of the night or if they will do it during the day.”

“They may work into the evenings,” Mason stated.

“I understand,” Kristi stated. “Whatever it’s going to be, it’s going to be, as long as it gets fixed.”

“It’s just a good sign to see them down there,” Commission President Bob Gorby stated.

“They will put up the orange barriers on both sides?” Jeff asked.

The commissioners stated that as far as they knew, orange barriers would be placed, with Mason adding: “We hope people don’t take advantage of that.”

Kristi added, ” We’ve got some really active, very curious kids now in the neighborhood. I know you’ve heard about a fire in Brooklyn . . . from kids starting it. They are very curious. My concern would be kids accessing that construction area.”

After Tuesday morning’s commission meeting, the Wetzel Chronicle was able to speak with Construction Foreman Stewart briefly, who stated that noise during the construction would not be as loud as perhaps people anticipated, as a sheeting wall would be built around the piers to hold the water back. He stated there would be no driving of dams. He also stated that the construction crew would be working four “10s,” meaning hours would be from seven to five the days the crew works.