Work is scheduled to begin the second week of October on the nearly $32-million Wheeling Streetscape project. The project will widen sidewalks, add decorative brickwork, ADA-compliant curb cuts, decorative lighting and traffic signals, and plants and trees along Main and Market streets in downtown Wheeling between 10th Street and 16th Street.
"This has been needed for way too long," Justice said. "I could not be more excited to get the ball rolling on this project, which is tremendously important to the City of Wheeling and the entire Northern Panhandle. This is a vibrant, wonderful community that's important to our state. At the end of the day, I promised that we were going to get this done, and now we’re getting it done."
The City of Wheeling is contributing $1.9 million for construction work on the project and $100,000 toward design and engineering. Additionally, WVDOT has also been awarded a $16.25-million federal RAISE grant for the project.
Justice expressed his support for the project in June 2020, meeting with WVDOT officials, State Senator Ryan Weld, and Wheeling Mayor Glenn F. Elliot Jr. He then approved the bid for the project in August 2022.
“This is another perfect example of a really important project that was lagging during the development process,” said West Virginia Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E. “The Governor announced that we were committed to this project and that we had made sure the funding was there for the project. And lo and behold, here we are today, unveiling another crucial infrastructure project.”
Work on drainage structures has recently begun. As part of the streetscape project, storm and sanitary sewer systems will be separated. In addition to improving the looks of downtown Wheeling, the project will increase safety through redesigned intersections and pedestrian-friendly traffic signals.
"This project is the most exciting thing to happen in Wheeling in 20 years," Elliott said. "This wouldn't happen without the Governor stepping up to say it's getting done. When it's done, it's going to be the most pedestrian-friendly downtown in the state. This wouldn't have happened without the Governor stepping up."