August 19, 2011

Rockefeller, Manchin Announce $3,913,626 In Federal Grants For Transportation And Infrastructure Projects Across West Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin (both D-W.Va.) today announced close to $4 million in federal grant money to improve transportation and infrastructure projects across West Virginia and to enforce child safety vehicle laws.  The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

“These grants will help to maintain and improve important infrastructure projects and child passenger safety programs in West Virginia,” said Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.  “These projects will help save and create jobs in the state, enable our businesses to be more competitive and sell their products more broadly, and help better protect children who are traveling in cars. At a time when budgets are being cut across the board, we cannot underestimate the importance of this money to the workers, projects and programs that depend on it to stay afloat and expand.” 

“Infrastructure projects like these are economic drivers, creating construction jobs and laying the foundation for expanded economic development and tourism,” Senator Manchin said. “Making smart investments in our roads, highways, ports and bridges helps West Virginia stand out as a great place to live, work, and do business.” 

The following projects received funding through various programs:

$1,232,135 - C & C Marine Maintenance in Congo Shipyard, Newell: The DOT’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) awards funds that will help local shipyards become more competitive by purchasing modern equipment and training workers. The grants, which are part of the Assistance to Small Shipyards program, went to shipyards around the country that provide essential services to commercial and government ships.  The grants support a vital segment of America’s maritime economy, as well as promote long-term job creation and retention opportunities. In Newell, the grant will assist the shipyard in purchasing a drydock, a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform. Drydocks are used for the construction, maintenance, and repair of ships, boats, and other watercraft. 

$652,200 – Slack Plaza Multimodal Improvement, Charleston: The Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program provides funding for a comprehensive initiative including planning grants; implementation grants; and research to investigate and address the relationship among transportation, community, and system preservation plans and practices and identify private sector-based initiatives to improve those relationships. This project will implement safety improvements to four key pedestrian crosswalks and redevelop a pedestrian and business corridor called Brawley Walkway and Fife Street. A concept plan has been developed through a public participation process as a result of an Environmental Protection Agency Greening America’s Capitals Sustainable Communities grant. 

$500,000 - West Virginia I-81 Welcome Center Truck Parking Project: The Truck Parking Facilities Discretionary Grants Program establishes a pilot program to address the shortage of long-term parking for commercial motor vehicles (CMV) on the National Highway System. A total of 28 new truck parking spaces will be constructed at the Welcome Center located on the southbound segment of I-81 and at an unused weigh station on the northbound segment of the route in the eastern part of West Virginia. This corridor suffers from a severe shortage of truck parking facilities. The State has committed more than $1.1 million as a match to the half million dollars they've applied for under the program reflecting their strong support for this project. Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) services will be included in the construction of the new spaces to help make truck drivers more aware of parking opportunities. 

$350,200 – Kanawha Valley Community College: The On the Job Training/Support and Services Program was established to support training programs by providing services to surface transportation contractors and assistance to construction apprentices and trainees. This funding will provide construction industry skills training tools, equipment, and supplemental services (childcare, and transportation) to increase the targeted group's participation in highway construction industry.

$300,000 – Dry Branch Bridge over Campbells Creek, County Route 60: The Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment (IBRD) Program was established to promote and apply innovative construction methods in constructing and improving bridges and other highway structures. The West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) proposes to replace an existing structurally deficient bridge with a new bridge using lightweight and more cost-effective materials. This project will use a modular form that will dramatically cut overall construction time from conventional methods. Prefabricated Bridge Elements and System in Superstructure is one of the technologies FHWA is promoting under the Every Day Counts initiative.

$238,605 – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE): WVDOT has been awarded funding to provide assistance to DBE firms in the following areas: capacity building for highway construction contractors and the establishment of a DBE/SS Small Business Academy. The WVDOT is also proposing to provide training, counseling, and technical assistance services to DBE firms statewide. This project was selected because it meets the selection criteria and furthers the statutory objective of the program by contributing to the long-term development of DBEs able to successfully compete, on an equal basis, for prime contracts and subcontracts.

$211,034 - Midland Trail Scenic Byway: The National Scenic Byways Program provides funding to States and Indian tribes to implement projects on highways designated as National Scenic Byways. This project will assist communities and stakeholders along the 180-mile Midland Trail Scenic Byway to plan visitor amenities and attractions, value its intrinsic qualities and develop a unified vision and goals for the Byway to become stops along a well-marketed Mid-Atlantic Destination, through the process of creating a new 20-year Midland Trail Corridor Management Plan. This project benefits the byway traveler by enabling Midland Trail Scenic Highway Association and its partner towns and attractions to improve the quality and continuity of the traveler’s experience.

$107,172 - Governor’s Highway Safety Program: The 2011 Child Safety and Child Booster Seat Incentive Grant program is administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and encourages states to enact and enforce booster seat laws. The current West Virginia Child Passenger Safety Law says that all children up to the age of 8 must be properly secured in a federally approved child safety seat, which does include a booster seat. Grant funds may be used for purchase and distribution of child restraints to low income families, enforcement of child restraint laws, training on use of child restraints and educating the public concerning the proper use and installation of child restraints.

$95,000 – Preservation of Philippi Covered Bridge: The National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program (NHCBPP) aims to restore and rehabilitate historic covered bridges to preserve our heritage using advanced technologies, and to assist in rehabilitating and restoring these bridges. This project is eligible for NHCBPP funds because it provides for preservation of the bridge by replacing deteriorated siding and timber members, installation of lighting, repairs to the sprinkler system and repainting. 

$85,600 – Sistersville Ferry Terminal: The Ferry Boat Discretionary Program is for the construction of ferry boat or terminal facilities which carry both cars and passengers or just passengers. This project will provide improvements to the vessel including engine and rudder rehabilitation and will provide terminal improvements. 

$80,000 – Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike: The National Scenic Byways Program provides funding to States and Indian tribes to implement projects on highways designated as National Scenic Byways. This project will provide pull-off areas, parking areas, and road access and trail improvements. This project benefits the byway traveler by providing clear wayfinding signage to follow the route. Safe pull-offs and parking at key byway sites will benefit travelers who wish access to these sites. Improved gateways, site access, and wayfinding signage will identify and brand the byway more clearly, providing a more safe and integrated experience for Byway travelers.

$49,600 – Coal Heritage Trail: The National Scenic Byways Program provides funding to States and Indian tribes to implement projects on highways designated as National Scenic Byways. This project will complete Phase I of the Coal Heritage Interpretive Plan by adding six interpretive waysides along the Coal Heritage Trail. These waysides will follow the same design as the five that have already been completed; a total of 30 interpretive panels will be installed, along with appropriate landscaping. By visiting the interpretive waysides, byway travelers will understand a context for the development of the rugged landscape they are traveling through.

$12,080 – Lower Greenbrier River Byway: The National Scenic Byways Program provides funding to States and Indian tribes to implement projects on highways designated as National Scenic Byways. This project will provide funding for the design, development, and installation of 15 interpretive panels at seven kiosk locations. This project benefits the byway traveler by promoting, through the use of interpretive kiosks and signs, the byway and the opportunities it offers for recreation, educational opportunities and other qualities.