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Lewis County to get $6.5M DOH headquarters

WESTON, W.Va. — The contractor is preparing to start work on the new $6.5 million Division of Highways District 7 headquarters in Lewis County.

Kip Hall, Division of Highways District 7 construction engineer, said the new facility, along with a new district shop, will move from its location on Depot Street in Weston to a large site on U.S. 19 south of Weston.

“Wiseman Construction, Charleston, got the bid of $6,512.106. They are currently in the process of finding an office site for DOH staff. They have also requested information on multiple aspects of the building prior to the start of work on the site,” Hall said.

“The 32-acre site is midway between exits 96 and 99 of Interstate 79,” said John Fitzsimmons, District 7 realty manager. “We wanted to have two accesses in case of emergency. Eventually, it will be the entire district headquarters. It will include offices, lab, sign shop, bridge maintenance and building and grounds office, as well as our warehouse.”

It will be more efficient to run the district because everything will be in one location, he said.

“We are currently spread out in Lewis and Upshur counties,” Fitzsimmons said.

The facility is scheduled to be complete in May of 2018.

“The District 7 shop will be built at the same location as the headquarters. It will service all of the district’s equipment. Bids will be opened on Oct. 18 when the apparent low bidder will be named,” Hall said.

The district serves six counties: Lewis, Barbour, Braxton, Gilmer, Upshur and Webster.

“We’re excited about the new buildings. The shop will be another multimillion dollar project. Both of these will be done simultaneously,” Hall said.

Weston Mayor Julia Spelsberg said they always hate to see any business move out.

“But the opportunity for a new facility is wonderful. It’s even better that they kept that facility in the county. We have to look at long-term options for that large facility,” Spelsberg said. “It’s good news for the county. We just have to be proactive about what is going to happen with the old facility.”

In addition, there are three paving projects currently underway in the county and one bridge that is nearly complete.

“The Lance Cpl. Larry S. Heater Memorial Bridge on U.S. 19 near the armory will be paved next week. The completion date is Oct. 20,” Hall said. “The contractor is Mountain State Bridge at a cost of $1,434,434.50.”

Hall said although the construction without a replacement bridge or temporary bridge has been a slight inconvenience, he hasn’t had many complaints about it.

“It hasn’t been ideal with people having to get back on the interstate and make a loop to get back to the other side of town, (but) it’s been working well,” he said. “I’m very pleased with what’s happening and what has taken place within the short amount of time for this bridge.”

J.F. Allen, Buckhannon, was the low bidder for three paving projects throughout the county. They are all currently ongoing.

Smith Run Road is being resurfaced at a cost of $144,280. Vadis Road is getting a new coat of asphalt for $242,627, and Churchville Road is being repaved for $321,354, Hall said.

Staff writer Darlene J. Swiger can be reached at (304) 626-1403 or [email protected]

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