Washington Avenue included in paving list

PARKERSBURG – Washington Avenue residents are waking up this morning to a newly paved road.

Washington Avenue was one of dozens of area roads marked for paving this summer as part of the city’s annual paving process. The city uses a Micro-PAVER pavement management system, which rates roads by reviewing condition and volume of traffic. Based on those ratings, roads are prioritized for repair during the summer.

Mayor Bob Newell says the city expects to complete about $1 million in paving this summer.

Last year Washington Avenue was not included on the paving list and generated some debate after residents addressed council, asking for it to be included.

Councilman Mike Reynolds, whose district includes Washington Avenue, unsuccessfully attempted to add the road to a list of street paving projects last year at a cost of $80,000. His motion died for a lack of a second.

Opponents of the move noted Reynolds had voted against implementing a user fee, which generated funds used in road paving projects.

Newell said Washington Avenue was not originally included on the list because other areas inside Reynolds’ district were in greater need.

“I try to be fair and split the money evenly between the districts,” Newell said. “Plum Street and some other areas took up about $100,000 from that district. You have to go wherever the need is at.”

This year, Newell said, the need was on Washington Avenue.

“We have the veterans parade there every year. There are a handful of 3k and 5k races that originate in City Park and go up Washington Avenue,” he said. “There is a good amount of traffic through there. It is a well-used street and it needed done.”

Newell also said the city’s utility board had to make numerous repairs this year, which required numerous cuts in the road.

“Once you start making utility cuts, that’s pretty much the end of that road,” he said. “We asked them to get as much of that work done prior to paving so we wouldn’t be damaging a new road. But if a gas main starts to leak, you don’t really have a choice, you’ve got to get in there and fix it.”

Newell said last year’s disagreement over Washington Avenue had little to do with the road.

“It was an internal disagreement with council,” he said.

Reynolds did not return a call Wednesday seeking comment.