Justice confirms state support for Wheeling streetscape

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Justice confirms state support for Wheeling streetscape
Plans call for streetscaping Main and Market streets and adjacent thoroughfares in downtown Wheeling, West Virginia.

Officials have confirmed state support for a $25-million streetscaping project in downtown Wheeling, West Virginia, and the Wheeling National Heritage Area in the state's northern panhandle.

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Governor Jim Justice today joined state officials and Wheeling Mayor Glenn F. Elliott, Jr., in expressing the state’s commitment to the Wheeling Streetscape Project.

“This project is going to change the look and feel of downtown Wheeling,” Justice said.

Street festival in downtown Wheeling

"The funding is in place, and we are committed to beginning work on this project as soon as possible. I know that these improvements will help West Virginia’s economy continue to grow.”

The approximately $25-million project is a partnership between the City of Wheeling and the W.Va. Department of Transportation that will upgrade Main Street and Market streets.

Improvements include repaving the streets, installing new traffic signals, and upgrading sidewalks and curb ramps to ADA accessibility.

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"I sincerely thank all those involved in making this project a reality, including Senator Capito, Senator Manchin, Representative McKinley, State Senator Ryan Weld, Delegate Erikka Storch, Mayor of Wheeling Glenn Elliott, and many more," Justice added.

"Without their hard work, this would not be possible."

West Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Byrd White said details are still being ironed out, the ADA accessibility is assured.

National Bank of W.Va. Building

“We have a variety of design elements to sort out but we are certain that we will be able to get the work done,” he said, adding that, “One major portion of the project includes making sidewalks ADA accessible, which is an important focus across the WVDOT."

Deputy Secretary Jimmy Wriston said the transportation department will soon begin paving particular bad roadways in the development area.

“We have plans to begin skip-paving in the area as soon as possible,” Wriston said.

“We have faced challenges along the way, but we are all here today to let people know we are fully committed to completing this project. It perfectly aligns with Governor Justice’s plan to put West Virginia first by investing in the state's infrastructure.”

State Senator Ryan Weld said he's excited to have watched the project reach the point of full state commitment.

"It has been almost two years at this point since we first began meeting with the governor's office on this project," Weld said, "and it was made clear that if federal funding wasn't available, a lot of work would be done on the state level.

"This is really going to be a major jump start for downtown Wheeling," he said.

Mayor Glenn F. Elliott, Jr., hailed the project as a long-awaited opportunity for advancement.

"It has been about 35 to 40 years since the downtown streetscape has been redesigned," Elliott said.

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform downtown Wheeling, and for that, we are very excited."

The project is currently in the design phase, according to the governor's office, and additional announcements will be made when work begins.

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