The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 7, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013

We need to save the Edwight truss bridge

I have been trying to find somebody in a position of power to act in defense of the Edwight steel truss bridge. This bridge is slated for destruction once the new concrete bridge is completed.

It seems as though every agency involved in this scheme is going to prosper by making a sacrificial lamb of the bridge.

The state Historic Preservation Office is going to have documentation of the bridge featured in their educational materials which they will distribute to Raleigh County Schools, the Raleigh County Historic Landmark Commission and to the Raleigh County Library. The Edwight Truss Bridge will be included as an example of a metal truss in educational materials developed as part of the comprehensive mitigation plan. The machinations of the state Historic Preservation Office and the state Department of Highways may also shine through.

Shirley Stewart Burns from the state Historical Preservation Office did a lot of work in trying to save the Edwight truss bridge. She told me that she loves this bridge and I believe that she does. She is the only shining light in this sordid affair.

The Raleigh County Historic Landmark Commission will receive $3,000 from the West Virginia Division of Highways “to be used for preservation activities and projects within Raleigh County.”

And the people here in Edwight will get the cahoots.

The time table mentioned for completion for the new bridge (Perfidy Bride) by one of the bridge engineers was five to six months. The Rowland Land Co. man on the job of finding property corners assured me that he knew of no new strip mining in this area when I told him of my suspicions as to why a new bridge was being built. Three days later an Alpha Resources representative appeared at my door and told me of an impending strip mining job behind Edwight and lower Hazy on both sides of the creek (including Mill Hollow.) And the time mentioned for starting the job was five or six months — “in the springtime.”

I guess there is nothing new under the sun.

Richard A. Bradford