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Planning Ahead For Paving Work

Nice new layers of asphalt or concrete on city streets are a delight to the motorist’s eye, as well as to his or her vehicle — for as long as they last, that is. Sometimes that is not as long as many people would hope.

As we reported a few days ago, the section of Chapline Street between 33rd and 37th streets in Wheeling was repaved several months ago. Not long after the project was completed, Mountaineer Gas crews tore up a portion of it to replace a gas main.

Like other reputable utility companies, Mountaineer repairs holes and trenches created by such work, and seems to do the repairs well. Unfortunately, however, once a length of repaved street or road is torn up for gas, water, sewer, electric or phone work, it is never quite as nice as it was immediately after a full-scale repaving initiative.

Wheeling Public Works Director Russell Jebbia told our reporter the city attempts to stay in communication with utility companies to avoid such situations. Somehow this time, perhaps because of the COVID-19 epidemic, lines of communication broke down. “The gas company had this project going on, and we were not aware of it,” commented Jebbia.

That should not be permitted to occur in relation to Wheeling’s $25 million “streetscaping” project. It is intended to resurface streets and sidewalks in the downtown business district. Other improvements are slated, too.

Utility companies with underground installations in the affected area should be asked what plans they have for work during the next several years — if such communication has not occurred already. Surely city officials and the companies can coordinate projects so that once “streetscaping” is completed, local motorists can enjoy the new look and feel, undisturbed, for a few years.

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