Harrison County Commission Approves Funding $1.4 Million Rail Trail Bridge And Improvement Project
Source: Harrison County Commission approves funding $1.4 million rail trail bridge and improvement project on 2-1 vote | Harrison News | wvnews.com
by JoAnn Snoderly SENIOR STAFF WRITER Feb 3, 2022
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WV News) — The Harrison County Commission on Wednesday voted to allocate funds for further development of the county’s rail-trail system, including a trail bridge.
Commissioners approved 2-to-1, with Commissioner David Hinkle opposed, allocating $1.58 million, including $800,000 of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funds and $780,000 that had been set aside but was ultimately not needed for the Salem and Shinnston rail-trail paving projects, for a bridge to connect the North Rail Trail and the North Bend Rail Trail.
“This will allow us to cross the water in Clarksburg,” said Commissioner Patsy Trecost, who made the proposal.
He said the bridge will address one of the major issues in the way of “connecting all the dots” in the Harrison County portion of the proposed Pittsburgh to Parkersburg — or P2P — Trail.
The bridge project, which will connect a parking area on the other side of U.S. 19 to the North Rail Trail, will cost $1.4 million. It will include a bridge and some trail paving, according to Trecost.
Chad Biller of The Thrasher Group engineering firm said there would still be “several gaps” along the trail after the bridge project’s completion. He estimated the work necessary to complete the trail to Salem would cost $2.5 million to $3 million, and work to complete the trail to Shinnston would cost $5 million.
“We’re just trying to spend money as we can, rather than go into debt,” Trecost said.
Hinkle said he believes the commission should be able to see a plan for how the trail will be completed and how much it will cost, including for acquisitions of property along the proposed route under private ownership. He made a motion to spend no more money on rail trails until a spending plan is put into place and until copies of agreements that allow the county onto private property are presented. The motion failed.
Trecost said he voted against Hinkle’s motion “because we have not trespassed on anybody’s property without their permission.”
Commissioners also voted to move a total of $45,000 from various capital line items to the courthouse budget for the purchase of a truck and gravel spreader that will be used by the Maintenance Department for rail-trail work.