CSX, W.Va. DOH attempt to work out deal for bridge replacement

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
CSX has said it wants to pay for 20% of cost of bridge, but that cost is on the rise.
David C. Lester

The cost to replace a bridge in West Virginia has gone up, which means the portion promised by CSX also has elevated.

The West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) now wants the Class 1 company to provide $1 million to replace a railroad bridge in Terra Alta that has been out of commission since 2017. CSX said it was committed to paying for 20% of the original cost, which came out to about $600,000.

The original estimate was $3.12 million, which is the figure CSX originally used. However, since the first price tag was determined costs have elevated to in upwards of $5 million. Twenty percent of the new estimate is $1 million. The DOH wanted CSX to pay as much as 32% of the $3.12 million cost.

CSX said it is committed to the 20%, and will look over the new estimate. The first proposal also noted if the DOH paid 80% of the cost it wanted CSX to remain owners of the bridge. The Class 1 insisted that the new span be owned by a public entity, and the DOH said if CSX provided $1 million in funding the agency would assume ownership.

The goal is to have the DOH, CSX and the town of Terra Alta sign an agreement, but currently there are too many question marks. The bridge holds one lane of traffic, and the DOH wants to make it two lanes, which would increase the cost of replacement.

CSX was looking into just repairing the existing bridge, but after further inspections it determined that cost would be too high. Officials are wondering if CSX would add the cost of repair to the 20% portion for the new bridge.

CSX and the DOH are supposed to report on negotiation progress by Nov. 8.

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