September 27, 2012

Manchin, Rahall, Rockefeller Announce Federal Contract Award for Bluestone Dam Safety and Stabilization Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), along with Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin (both D-W.Va.), Thursday announced a nearly $55 million Federal contract for a local West Virginia business to continue stabilization and safety improvements at Bluestone Dam in Hinton.

"By any measure, Bluestone Dam is a gigantic dynamo for our economy," said Rahall, top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee which has jurisdiction over U.S. Army Corps of Engineers programs.  "Not only has Bluestone Dam provided nearly $5 billion in flood protection, served as a recreation and tourism springboard, but now as we extend and strengthen the life of the dam, it breathes more life into our economy with jobs.  That a West Virginia company successfully competed for this major contract is a welcome sign of our State's business outlook."

“Making sure West Virginians from Hinton all the way to Charleston are fully protected from flooding is absolutely essential,” said Senator Rockefeller, who has long supported upgrading the Bluestone Dam, secured $70 million in last year’s appropriation bill for the project, and is working to secure more this year.  “If the Bluestone Dam were to fail, the flooding would be catastrophic for the entire area and would put about 115,000 West Virginians at risk.  We can’t allow that to take place.  This contract will go a long way to lessen the risk during severe rain or storms.  Making sure West Virginia households, businesses, and property are protected from harm’s way is so important and it’s great news that a local West Virginia company received this significant federal contract.”   

"There is nothing more common sense than putting Americans back to work by rebuilding the infrastructure of this country - and the Bluestone Dam project is an excellent example," Senator Manchin said. "I'm so gratified that a West Virginia company that employs hard-working West Virginians won the contract to continue needed improvements to this dam. Not only will good people get good jobs on this project, the Bluestone Dam will protect the entire Kanawha Valley from flooding - and that's what I call a win-win for all the people of West Virginia and this country.”

Heeter Construction Company, Inc., a U.S. Small Business Administration HUBZone business located in Spencer, was awarded the contract by the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Federal contract covers Phase 4 of the Bluestone Dam Safety Assurance Project, installing 115 anchors along the Dam.  Phase 4 is the latest step in the Corps’ work to ensure the Dam’s stability and provide an increase in the amount of flood waters that can safely be held by the Dam.  

Rahall, Rockefeller and Manchin have worked to secure funding to modernize and make Bluestone Dam safer.  Rahall noted that, teaming with the late Senator Robert C. Byrd, he helped to secure over $219 million for upgrades to the Bluestone Dam.