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Public meeting held about crumbling road

Public meeting held about crumbling road
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 12:03 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Crumbling and buckling -- that’s how neighbors like Robbie Hendricks describe Blaine Boulevard.

It’s a road in North Charleston he’s lived on for more than 30 years.

“It just keeps getting worse and worse and worse,” Hendricks said.

“I’m really scared,” Ronnie Gurnee said.

We introduced you to Hendricks and his neighbor Ronnie Gurnee earlier this week.

WSAZ Investigates | Broken Boulevard

Hendricks says he’s tried to reach out to the city numerous times to see when a permanent fix is going to be made. However, he says he hasn’t gotten clarity.

“We’ve contacted the city time after time after time and they just never do anything to it. They put more blacktop on it and patch the holes and as more weight and more pressure, it just keeps on going,” Hendricks said.

However, after listening and asking questions to city, state, and federal representatives about Blaine Boulevard, neighbors say they feel heard.

“They knew that we needed help and they saw all the people in our community. For them to get on board and for them to have a meeting for Monday … I really appreciate it,” Gurnee said.

As the city works to apply for funds to help cover the project, during the meeting it was announced that around $400,000 awaits a vote at Monday’s City Council meeting. That money would go toward a survey for the road.

“I never thought we were gonna have this type of an ending and all the people that came to show up for Blaine Boulevard -- it feels good, it feels really good,” Charleston City Councilman Pat Jones said.

The city tried working with the Army Corps of Engineers. However, due to the project costing more money than what the federal cap allows for, they’ve had to find other options.

At Thursday’s meeting, it was announced that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., secured a provision that would increase the allowable federal investment to $10 million from its current cap of $5 million to allow more critical, emergency projects to move forward. This still has to move through Congress.

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