WEIRTON - City officials are moving ahead with plans for landscaping work along a portion of Three Springs Drive.
Finance Committee Chairman Fred Marsh said there was approximately $200,000 remaining from the Penco Road project several years ago and after completing some upgrades along Three Springs Drive already - sidewalks that extend from the Holiday Inn north toward St. Thomas Drive - $28,000 now remains for additional landscaping enhancements.
City Manager Valerie Means said City Council originally had the money set aside to go along with a grant to complete the work along the street. However, the state grant -$315,930 in Federal Transportation Enhancement funding, which requires a 20 percent local match - expected to assist in the completion of the project by last fall was denied, and if the $28,000 is not used for something soon, the city will lose it.
Means said she filed for an extension to give council additional time to figure out what to do with the money. She said an extension was granted until December. She said several projects were submitted to the state to see if the money could be used for other things but after talking with Jim Sauer of HDR Engineering, who worked on the initial project, she said landscaping along Three Springs Drive is the best scenario.
"We don't want to lose the money or waste it," she said. "This will allow us to truly finish where we stopped."
Means said if council approves the project during Monday's regular meeting, the project can get moving as early as September.
The Three Springs Drive enhancement project began in the fall of 2010 with the installation of sidewalks from in front of the Holiday Inn Weirton to St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
Means said she intends to apply for the grant again in order to move into phase 2 of the project, which will call for sidewalks to be extended just beyond Burger King and include curbs and plantings across the street near the entrance to the former Wal-Mart location.
An eventual goal would include plans to extend the sidewalk on the north side of the road, part of which is already in place, to the shopping plaza near the Village Pharmacy. However, because of the cemetery located on the hillside, the sidewalks would jump across the street and continue onward to meet up with Penco Road and eventually tie in with the Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk expansion project.