MORGANTOWN — The reassurance offered in October, when Gov. Jim Justice sat in entrance of Mountaintop Beverage and promised “two accesses” to the Morgantown Industrial Park, took a severe hit Tuesday when Division of Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston appeared to inform state legislators that he has his doubts.
Now Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom is looking on Wriston for some clarification.
For the final three-plus years, the West Virginia Division of Transportation, Enrout Properties and the Monongalia County Fee have been working towards the development of a brand new Concord Grove interchange to offer direct interstate entry to the Morgantown Industrial Park.
The interchange was not want listing infrastructure. It was really promised by the state to land the huge Mountaintop Beverage facility in West Virginia.
Vans started rolling out and in of the 330,000 square-feet that comprise Section I of the bottling plant in Could, however as a result of complexities of the federal regulatory course of surrounding interstate initiatives, the DOH couldn’t make good on that promise in a well timed method.
So, in July, the state introduced that it was not solely going to push ahead with the Concord Grove interchange however construct a $70 million bridge throughout the Monongahela River to the MIP within the meantime.
That announcement raised eyebrows.
Would each initiatives really get constructed?
Justice mentioned sure.
“Now pay attention, if there’s anyone right here that claims, ‘Properly, they’re going to construct this one, however which means they’re taking all of the emphasis away from Concord Grove.’ Don’t suppose that,” Justice mentioned in October. “I’ll make errors, however I’ll by no means ever let you know one thing knowingly that I do know just isn’t true. I received’t do it and that’s all there may be to it. So, at this time I’m telling you that is going to provide us two accesses.”
That optimism was bolstered in November, when, on the state’s request, the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Group Coverage Board moved $30 million price of labor tied to the Concord Grove interchange onto its Transportation Enchancment Program, making it eligible for federal funds.
Then got here Tuesday, when Wriston informed state lawmakers that whereas the state stays on board, it’s finally out of the state’s arms.
“We’ve at all times dedicated to that undertaking. We all know that it’s possible. … I might wager you a greenback in opposition to a doughnut that the minute we begin that different bridge undertaking, the federal companies might take a tougher have a look at the interchange,” he mentioned.
Throughout Wednesday’s Monongalia County Fee assembly, Bloom mentioned he’d prefer to know precisely what which means.
“I’m simply asking for a clarification. I’m positive he means they’re going to maneuver it ahead faster, however I believe it’s necessary that Monongalia County get a clarification on that assertion.” Bloom mentioned.
The Dominion Publish has reached out to the WVDOT looking for clarification and to ask if there’s been any communication with federal companies about whether or not the bridge undertaking would jeopardize the Concord Grove interchange. This report might be up to date with any new info it receives.