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Plenty of new projects on tap for Tri-State in the new year

Dec. 31, 2012 @ 12:15 AM

Whether it is the expansion of a trail throughout Huntington or a project designed to provide newer affordable housing in Huntington, plenty of projects are in the works for 2013.

Here is a look at some of the projects on tap for 2013:

Paul Ambrose Trail for Health

After years of planning, construction on the Paul Ambrose Trail for Health will get under way in 2013. The trail system, better known as PATH, consists of 64 miles of existing or planned pathways and share-the-road routes which will eventually connect all of Huntington's parks and major employers from the West End to Altizer. Named for Dr. Paul Ambrose, a promising young physician who died Sept. 11, 2001, planners view the trail system as a tool to fight obesity and enhance the quality of life for Tri-State residents.

More than five miles of new trails will be built in 2013. In the West End, a trailhead with a kiosk, bike racks, landscaping and a wheelchair-accessible ramp will be built at the base of the earthen levee at 3rd Street West. The ramp will wind to a 3.5-mile trail that will run along the top of the levee to Vinson Road in Westmoreland.

In Guyandotte, another trailhead will be built near the boat launch ramp, which will serve as the northern end of a 1.25-mile trail that will run underneath the new 5th Avenue bridge and along the Guyandotte River side of the floodwall until Main Street turns into Riverside Drive. The trail then will jump across the road and run along Riverside Drive until it stops at the Washington Boulevard bridge.

And in Harveytown, a trailhead will be constructed at Harveytown Park. A half-mile trail will run from the park through a wooded area along the Hisey Fork of Fourpole Creek and connect to the existing trail in the western end of Ritter Park.

Northcott Court redevelopment project

A redevelopment project that could change the landscape of one of the main arteries into downtown Huntington will proceed in the coming year. The intent of the project is to provide more modern affordable housing and to open up the property along the busy Hal Greer Boulevard corridor for commercial development.

The plan is to tear down the aging 129 units at Northcott Court and replacing them with two 40-unit senior townhouse complexes in Fairfield West and adding 50 more affordable units for families throughout the neighborhood. The four acres where Northcott Court is now will be reserved for commercial businesses. Fairfield West residents have longed for a full-service grocery store in the neighborhood.

The Huntington Housing Authority recently purchased land to build the first 40-unit senior townhouse complex.

Prichard Intermodal facility construction

The long-awaited intermodal facility at Prichard is expected to start going up this year, after Mountaineer Contractors Inc., of Kingwood, W.Va., was awarded the contract in August. The new $27.4 million facility is planned for a 68-acre site off W.Va. 52 in Wayne County. Mountaineer's bid of $27,383,738.50 was the lowest of 10 submitted.

Don Perdue, executive director of the Wayne County Economic Development Authority, said the contractors will do what they can this winter. An engineering issue came up, but shouldn't delay the project, Perdue said, adding that expected heavy equipment should be moving in this month.

New HADCO president

The Huntington Area Development Council will be getting a new president in 2013 after council President Marc Sprouse announced his retirement in September. Sprouse became president in 2009, replacing Jerry McDonald. Prior to that, Sprouse had long been a member of HADCO's board. He's been active in West Virginia's banking community since 1972, and was one of the founders of Guaranty Bank and Trust in 1998.

New Cabell County ambulance station

Construction on the eighth and likely last ambulance station in Cabell County began in September and is expected to be completed in the spring. It is being built on 2.24 acres along Riverview Drive in Barboursville.

The station had been in the works for years, but there was difficulty solidifying a plan of action. A few years ago, building in Barboursville was a top priority, but EMS and Village of Barboursville officials couldn't come to terms on a deal for land. In stepped Milton with an offer to provide a piece of land, which bumped Barboursville to the sidelines.

The property, which is within a mile of U.S. 60, will fill a gap in service that results in longer response time to calls in the Barboursville area. Currently, that area is served by the stations on Norway Avenue, Ona or W.Va. 2.

The station will include two additional bays to accommodate mobile command units for the Cabell County Sheriff's Office and Cabell County 911. It is being built by MIRC Construction Services of Hurricane, which had the lowest of seven bids at $1.498 million.

The Point

2013 will be a busy year at The Point, a 500-acre industrial park in South Point. Work on a 60,000 square foot spec building will be finishing up early in 2013. A new road to the site also is being built for Intermountain Electronics. The company is bringing 35 jobs to the industrial park. Boone Coleman Construction was awarded a contract in December to build the road which should be completed by the end of February, according to Jeremy Clay, director at The Point.

Lawrence Economic Development Corporation officials who are overseeing development of The Point have permits and are in negotiations with an engineering firm to put a sheet pile dock out for bids as part of the $4.5 million project.

Scannell is continuing to work on a 75,000 square-foot building, the largest in the park, for a distribution facility that could open in March. The project could bring 112 jobs to the industrial park.

Negotiations are under way to have two more companies locate in the park in 2013, but final contracts have yet to be signed. "We hope to have 500 jobs at the park by the end of the year," Clay said.

Ironton-Russell Bridge

Work is continuing on a new, $81.3 million Ironton-Russell Bridge in 2013. Work on the approaches on the Ohio and Kentucky sides is under way and two large towers should be built starting this year. The project is scheduled for completion in 2015, and the old bridge is scheduled to be torn down in 2016. The existing bridge that opened in 1922 is scheduled to remain open until the new bridge is open.