Projects of More Than $11 Million Officially Start in Bridgeport; Both Set for Completion Prior to 2016

By Jeff Toquinto on June 27, 2015 via

One major project has begun and another is expected to begin in August at the White Oaks development just off Interstate 79. And the projects – all of which are related to infrastructure – are coming with a near $11.5 million price tag, according to Woody Thrasher.

Thrasher, who heads up the High Tech Corridor Development group responsible for White Oaks and doubles as the head of The Thrasher Group (formerly Thrasher Engineering), said work began June 15 on what amounts to a near $9 million extension of White Oaks Boulevard. That time frame for both fall in line with the time frame Thrasher promised when he told Connect-Bridgeport of the work in April. (Click HERE for first article and HERE for second)
“The contractor (Wolfe’s Excavating out of Clarksburg) actually began construction last week. He’s doing preliminary stuff at this point; sediment and erosion control measures, clearing and grubbing,” said Thrasher. “You will see full blown earth moving beginning in a week or two.”

Another part of this work, which Thrasher said is another $1 million-plus, is the creation of four commercial pads along the new roadway. At this point, Thrasher said there is “nothing concrete in the works” for those pads.
While the retail pads are critical, as the numbers indicate it’s the road that is the bulwark of the projects taking place. The roadwork will extend White Oaks Boulevard where it dead ends near the new Dominion building to the Exxon just off the Saltwell Road exit of Interstate 79. And that project will lead to the second project.
Recently, advertising was done by Thrasher’s group, which includes partner Jack Keeley, to do work where the road will intersect with State Route 131 just off the Saltwell exit. In April, Thrasher said that the only thing holding up that project was the need to secure approval from the West Virginia Division of Highways.
“We have the approval and are proceeding,” said Thrasher.
Once done, the work will include 1,500 linear feet of road widening. There will also turning lanes as part of the road widening and a traffic signal at the extended road’s intersection near the entrance to the Saltwell Exxon – the one closest to I-79.
“What we’re essentially doing is widening the road to add left hand turn lanes that will be needed once the road comes out onto (Route 131),” said Chad Riley, P.E., with The Thrasher Group that has designed the road extension and the road widening projects. “We’ll accommodate with left hand turn lanes from what is essentially the Central Supply side of the road, a left hand turn lane for the Exxon and one from the interstate for the entrance into White Oaks. There will also be a right-hand deceleration lane into Exxon.”
Thrasher said this project should also be in the seven-figure range, which pushes the estimated work total into the near $11.5 million area he alluded to. The project is not being funded with taxpayer dollars, but with bond dollars from White Oaks.
“I’m very hopeful the completion of that road will create some additional excitement at the development,” said Thrasher. “That could lead to more things in the future as we believe this will help us continue to grow.”
Thrasher said in April that the road buildout could be up to 150 days. Riley said the plan is to award the contract for the road widening project August 1. The contract calls for the contractor to have the work completed within 60 day, which Riley said means they’ll be looking for the work to be done the very first week of October.
Riley said the road widening and traffic signal project is fairly simple. He added that there will be additional work done on property owned by the HTCD group to help improve the site distance for drivers in several areas.
Editor's Note: Top photo shows workers with Wolfe's Excavating clearing the area where the new road will begin just past the new Dominion site and the office building of the Thrasher Group. In the middle, developer Woody Thrasher briefs City Council at a recent meeting, while the bottom photo shows where the new traffic signal and road widening will take place.

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