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Benwood: Bridge Plan Hopeless

Leaders also vote to raise garbage collection fee

July 24, 2013

BENWOOD — Councilman John Kazemka asked City Attorney Eric Gordon what to expect if Bellaire Toll Bridge owner Lee Chaklos can never afford to demolish the structure, which closed to traffic in the......

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Jul-27-13 3:50 PM

I had stated on here before that the Chaklos' do not have th emeans nor the ability to remove a bridge that size. They are con artists, getting people to believe that they are a legit company. The bridge span in Virginia Beach was moved with real workers that were hired to assist Chaklos' company. In fact his incompetence caused him to lose the second phase of the bridge project. The Chaklos' mismanaged the funds from Figg Engineering, could not meet timelines, and had a crew of nobodies working for him. Great job to the Mayor and the Chief for exposing this clown. I could bet that the money from private investors totaling 1.5 million is probably spent, otherwise he could have posted 500k, and had the other 1M to work on the bridge. He should get jail time!! he already got us in Va.

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Jul-25-13 10:09 PM

Maybe Benwood City officials should sue Ted Strickland, this brain trust is the reason they are stuck with the bridge! Congressman Bob Ney was trying to help & another deadbeat know it all Democrat screwed it up! We still have Manchin & Rahall, God help us!

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Jul-25-13 4:30 PM

Those two (the Chakloses) must have put on one heck of a dog & pony show to have bamboozled the Benwood 'city fathers' the way they did. Shame all those responsible for not peeking behind the curtain and finding two folks sitting at a card table named Whatchamacallit Investments.

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Jul-25-13 7:32 AM

"Horsemeat", love it ****

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Jul-24-13 6:52 PM

Lee Chaklos & his wife Krystal are shady to begin with, in my opinion. Shall we observe another case where they just wouldn't do the job? ***********mariettatimes****/page/content.detail/id/543292/Ballad-of-The-Becky-Thatcher--The-saga-continues.html?nav=5002

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Jul-24-13 6:39 PM

I believe Chaklos' plan would've worked. Remember when he first got the bridge he was removing bits of it, taking the media out onto the deck for tours, etc. The problem seemed to arise when Longwell and Benwood began making demands and throwing up roadblock after roadblock, demanding all kinds of paperwork, right of ways and permissions (some items on the list were valid, many were silly), and all of this cost the bridge owner time, which caused his "shareholders" to get tired of waiting and place liens against that property. If Benwood would've allowed the demo to proceed as planned, the bridge would've been down long ago, Chaklos' investors would've had their money and all this would've been behind us long ago. In other words, in some ways this city may only have itself to blame!

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Jul-24-13 5:33 PM

where is bob ney when we need him? thats right you dems put in strickland!! good choice. NOT! fed $ gone and will not be back.

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Jul-24-13 4:58 PM

Why doesn't Buttwood use eminent domain to seize the bridge, tear it down, sell the scrap to pay for the demo and move on?

And I would add:

4) They are grossly incompetent at managing a project of this size.

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Jul-24-13 11:28 AM

Use welfare workers that are currently unemployed and skilled to at least demolish the bridge down to the main deck. Those that are not skilled can be used as various helpers.

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Jul-24-13 10:45 AM

Sad part, its true, that WV actually owns the bridge as far as the 'property line' goes. Article said;; you cant get blood out of a turnip, that's true, but you can put the turnip in jail..

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Jul-24-13 8:42 AM

Isn't it about time for the feds to come in, take care of business, and bill Benwood and Bellaire each 25% of the cost, and the owner 50%.

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Jul-24-13 8:41 AM

Jay Leno could sure give this entire fiasco a boost.

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Jul-24-13 8:00 AM

Actually the problem with the bridge started with Ohio. When the Route #7 project was being completed. Merchants in Bellaire pushed hard to not have a ramp leading to the bridge so that people from Ohio would not go to WV to shop which was silly becuase there were more people from WV going to the shops in Bellaire than vice versa. Until Ohio cut off access to the bridge, it was a viable bridge that carried a lot of people on a daily basis. Notice that Bellaire slid from being a city to whatever it is now, a village. Benwood has grown. People from WV used to go to Bellaire to shop/eat and not just from Benwood, it was access to those great little shops that were there. They are not there anymore and its not because of the mall. So when the powerbrokers decided to not make a ramp to the brige on the Ohio side, Bellaire began the slow death march, not vice versa. WV did include the bridge ramp in its Rt #2 project, Ohio did not. Clever sometimes is not so clever after all.

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Jul-24-13 6:28 AM

When you start a project with incompetence you are doomed to failure.

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Jul-24-13 6:11 AM

Amateur writing, at best. The writer starts off the article having left out one or two opening paragraphs that would have explained to a first time reader just exactly what was being discussed in the article.

As for the bridge, where are the quotes from Horsemeat? No pictures?

This is not the Bellaire Bridge. West Virginia claims ownership of the Ohio River up to just a few feet from the Ohio shore. Since the bridge has been demolished on the Bellaire side for years, the remaining structure is in West Virginia.

Why doesn't Buttwood use eminent domain to seize the bridge, tear it down, sell the scrap to pay for the demo and move on?

1) Because they don't know how to do anything but complain.

2) Because Benjamins did not find their way into Horsemeat's retirement fund.

3) Because they like the publicity.

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Jul-24-13 1:58 AM

Personally i think we should rename it the Benwood Bridge. most of it is in wV and us in Bellaire are tired of being tagged with eye sore. It's not our darn bridge and never was. It was named the Bellaire bridge becauseBellaire at on etime was a bustling city and the span lead people from Benwood to Bellaire and visa versa. Benwood has never been a city. it was OK to travel over for the mini mall down there especially for christmas shopping but that has pretty much been dead since the OV mall opened. 90% of that bridge is in WV..not's your problem Benwood not ours. Tear it down before we sue you.

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