Fourth Street Bridge Public Informational Workshop
Monday, May 17, 2010
Fairmont Senior High School
4 to 7 p.m.
Fourth Street Bridge crosses Coal Run and Benoni Avenue in Fairmont, West Virginia. The current city-owned structure was built circa 1920 and is currently functionally obsolete and structurally deficient and has a posted weight limit of 3 tons. The existing bridge is a contributing resource to the Fleming-Watson National Register Historic District. Fourth Street also provides access between US 19 (approximately 940’ north) and US 250 (approximately 520’ south).
Twelve alternatives were considered in the Bridge Replacement Study of February 2003 (Revised October 2009). Alternatives 1, 2 and 3 involve construction of a new bridge at or near its current location with minimal right-of-way acquisition and minimal street reconstruction. Alternatives 4, 5, 5-A, 6, 6-A, 6-B, 7, 7-A and 8 involve major street reconstruction or widening, extension and/or new construction with increased right-of-way takes, with the ultimate goal of providing a more direct connection between US 19 and US 250. Due to the difficulties inherent in renovation of concrete structures, rehabilitation of the structure is not a feasible alternative for this project. The alternatives are shown on the aerial map and in the diagrams in the meeting handout. They are also summarized in the attached PDF table below.
Several alternatives involve relocation of the bridge to Third Street in order to connect directly to the David Morgan Bridge (WV 310) over the Monongahela River. Currently, in order to travel between US 19 and US 250, traffic must follow a circuitous and congested route through downtown Fairmont. Relocating the bridge to Third Street allows a direct connection from WV 310 to US 19 and US 250.
Alternative 6-B is identified as the preferred alternative based on recommendations in the Fairmont/Marion County Multimodal Transportation Plan of February 2000 and by City of Fairmont officials. Alternative 6B provides a direct connection to the David Morgan Bridge that is needed to prevent future congestion in downtown Fairmont during peak traffic hours. Alternative 6-B also removes traffic from Fourth Street and reestablishes the area north of Coal Run as a contiguous neighborhood and it will not create an additional intersection with US 19 (Locust Avenue). If additional capacity is needed to accommodate future traffic, Alternative 6-B can be widened with minimal cost and impact to the local residential area.
Alternative 5-A was also studied further in order to compare engineering and construction requirements with the preferred Alternative 6-B, which requires a retaining wall. Alternative 5-A is similar to 6-B, but has more substantial impacts on the surrounding neighborhood.
The purpose of this informational workshop public meeting is to afford participants an opportunity to ask questions and state their views and opinions on the Fourth Street Bridge replacement project. Highway personnel will be available to answer any questions. There will be no formal presentation.
Comments will be accepted until Friday, June 18, 2010.