For The Register-Herald
A West Virginia firm has landed a $55 million contract to continue work on stabilizing and enhancing the safety at Bluestone Dam in Hinton, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., announced Thursday.
Heeter Construction Co. Inc. of Spencer was awarded the contract by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Rahall said the contract covers Phase 4 of the Bluestone Dam Safety Assurance Project, which calls for installation of 115 anchors along the structure on the New River.
“By any measure, Bluestone Dam is a gigantic dynamo for our economy,” said Rahall, the ranking Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“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.”
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, also D-W.Va., who nailed some $70 million in the 2011 appropriation bill for the project, said it is vital to maintain flood protection from Hinton to Charleston.
“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.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, also D-W.Va., said there is no finer example of common sense than putting Americans to work by rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, and the Bluestone Dam fits into this.
“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.”