Through a priority setting consensus of the BHJ Commission and the BH Council, limited funds are designated on a documented need basis. Building blocks such as formal resolution adoption, preparation of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and corresponding in-house need studies set the stage for our investments. In the case of a legacy of land slides on Ohio Route 7, as illustrated in attached slide, the Ohio Department of Transportation has targeted $43 million for slope redesign at Rush Run. Ohio Route 7.
Key projects for Fiscal Year 2015 are as follows. In most cases, BHJ is a lead partner or collaborative resource to complete these projects.
- To assist the Ohio Department of Transportation and West Virginia Department of Transportation in substantiating and confirming a funding resource for the proposed new Ohio River Bridge between Brilliant, Ohio, and Wellsburg, West Virginia. The project FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) was completed in November 2013. While the West Virginia Department of Transportation spent $16 million in FY 2012 to sustain the integrity of the Market Street Bridge, the Market Street Bridge, as a 1904 bridge, has a limited life-time. With the demolition of the Ft. Steuben Bridge in early 2012, the Ohio River Bridge remains the region’s #1 regional transportation priority.
- To complete final design plans for the projected $9 million access improvements at Veterans Bridge. Project construction is expected in summer 2014.
- To collect and disseminate traffic counting information. In 2014, BHJ completed counts at over 400 locations. This activity provides a factual and objective building block to alter or construct highway, bridge and road improvements.
- To develop and maintain a geographic information system (GIS) and other transportation-related models to advance BHJ’s Long Range Transportation Plan and fiscally constrained four-year capital improvement program.
- To provide commuter information and services through CommuteInfo, a partnership of management agencies, businesses and non-profits in Southwestern Pennsylvania and the BHJ Region.
- To monitor and participate in the Jefferson County Community Investment Plan. Acclaimed by the Ohio Department of Development as a roadmap for local county priority setting, this Plan continues to evolve and set a course for future investments.
- In partnership with the Brooke-Hancock Regional Counci’s (BH) West Virginia communities, carry-out its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.
- To support the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle (BDC) in its implementation of priority recommendations from the Brooke-Hancock strategic action plan.
- To identify and assess strategic moth-balled commercial-industrial sites. Called “brownfields”, these sites are located near existing infrastructure and roads are offer significant cost savings and geographic advantages.
- To aid localities through grant writing. From energy grants to sidewalk programs to infrastructure investments, as established grant writers, BHJ frequently writes grants for local constituents.