Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

September 27, 2012

Bluefield making mandated repairs to city’s sidewalks

BLUEFIELD — The city of Bluefield is making mandated repairs on downtown sidewalks after inspectors found structural and accessibility issues with a state-funded sidewalk renovation project.

The $447,500 Bluefield Streetscape Transportation Enhancement Program was done in 2009 to renovate sidewalks downtown. Mayor Linda Whalen said crews are now working on correcting issues with the initial installation of sidewalks in front of East River Arts and other areas downtown.

“It is part of the streetscape project,” Whalen said. “We had to make some corrections on that. We will be working on the other side of the street when we finish up where we are now.”

Whalen said the city is seeking additional grant funds to help with other sidewalk projects in town.

“We have recently applied for phase two of that project,” Whalen said. “It would allow us to repair more sidewalks stretching out toward south Bluefield.”

City Attorney Brian Cochran said the state found issues with the project and required repairs.

“Several years ago the city received money from the state to complete new sidewalks downtown all the way up and down both sides of the street,” Cochran said. “Since it was state-funded money, the state came to inspect the work. The concrete didn’t set right and there were also some other minor issues they had to fix. In addition, there were some issues with wheelchair accessibility.”

Cochran said the repairs will be covered by state funds.

“The repairs are from that same pot of funding,” Cochran said.

“We just had to make some corrections to the previous work in certain areas.”

The city received $290,000 in state funding for the project in 2009. In addition to the state funding, the city matched $72,500 in funding and received $20,000 from Appalachian Power and $65,000 from a forced labor account provided by the city.

As part of the original project, new sidewalks and street lights were installed in the downtown area.  

— Contact Kate Coil at�

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