MOUNDSVILLE - Officials with the West Virginia Department of Transportation said Thursday there is no lead in the paint being removed from the 12th Street Bridge in Moundsville, despite rumors and documents to the contrary circulating in the community.
Flyers and door hangers have been circulating in the city, warning residents that their water may be contaminated by lead from the paint being removed from the bridge. Although there is no indication who is providing the inaccurate information, it caught the attention of Moundsville City Council members at a recent meeting, prompting city officials to look into the matter.
On Thursday, Brent Walker, spokesman for the WVDOT, said crews from Panther Industrial Painting tested the paint on the bridge before beginning sandblasting last fall. He said that while initial plans called for the removal of lead-based paint, those tests showed no signs of lead.
Photo by J.W. Johnson Jr.
As a painting project on the 12th Street Bridge in Moundsville continues, officials with the West Virginia Department of Transportation said this week rumors of lead-based paint being removed from the bridge are untrue.
"It really is a non-issue," he said. "Those rumors are not at all accurate."
Walker said though the job does not call for lead removal, Panther has a containment plan in place as a precautionary measure. He said that containment plan is above standard, as has been the case with all jobs Panther has done for the DOT.
"We've had a good working relationship with them, and they've done good work," he said.
Similar rumors of lead paint have come up in other areas where similar bridge painting has been done, Walker said.
Much like those projects, Walker said the 12th Street Bridge project is not a health risk to community residents and they should have no concerns.
The project, which calls for sandblasting and repainting of the bridge, is scheduled for completion in October, although Walker said it could be finished sooner.