Meeting Planned to Make Bridge Handicap Accessible

By: Rahel Solomon Email
By: Rahel Solomon Email

DUNBAR, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- State highway officials are working to make the Dunbar Toll Bridge more accessible for those in wheelchairs.

A public meeting is planned from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Bridgeview Elementary in South Charleston. The public is encouraged to attend and offer suggestions on how to make the bridge more wheelchair-friendly.

“I think it will be a good idea because there are a lot of things that I'd like to go over and buy from time to time, for the most part I'd have to travel in the street and I really don't want to be in the traffic,” Dunbar neighbor Joseph Wrenn told Friday.

Wrenn lives beside the bridge but says he hasn’t traveled across it because of his wheelchair.

“You feel confined,” Wrenn said.

Officials from the West Virginia Division of Highways tell the estimated cost of the project is $1.1 million. According to a spokeswoman at the WVDOH, 80 percent of the cost would be federally funded and the remainder would be paid for by the state.

Rich Harper of John's Cyclery lives on the South Charleston side of the bridge. An avid biker, Harper says he often sees unsafe scenarios playing out on the bridge.

“I've seen these people on their little motorized wheel chairs, and they go slower than I do on my bicycle and there's always motorists behind them and they're getting impatient,” Harper said. “It'd be very easy for someone to hit them.”

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