Open letter to Gov. Joe Manchin: I hope that on your next trip to the Wheeling area you will take some time out of your busy schedule and drive through the newly reopened Wheeling Tunnel. In so doing, I think you will have to agree that the closing of this tunnel for six months and the amount of taxpayers’ money wasted on this uncompleted project is an embarrassment to your administration, the West Virginia Department of Transportation and the contractors who robbed us.
There has not been any comment, of which I am aware, of what any of our local state senators or delegates think of this fiasco, but I certainly hope that someone from our area has spoken to you about this and I hope some legal suits are being prepared and responsible persons in the WVDOT are being replaced. Why we West Virginians accept these foul-ups as business as usual is truly disappointing but I attribute our apathy to generations of elected officials who have lacked the leadership skills to lead West Virginia through and out of the 20th century. We are truly a sorry state of affairs.
I suggest convening a legislative panel, in Wheeling, with subpoena powers, and a public investigation be held to determine what went wrong with this project, where the money was spent, and who was responsible.
The Wheeling Tunnel, as it now stands, is a monument to the historical ineffectiveness of West Virginia government. With your leadership and bully pulpit, West Virginia can start moving forward. It is past time.
William H. Hefner