CHARLESTON – The Kanawha County Commission has filed a motion requesting a hearing and an update on the construction of the bridge at Crossings Mall.
The commission is asking the bankruptcy court to provide citizens with “a control date by which to obtain a clear status as to the progress of the bridge construction and the restoration of the shopping center.”
Kanawha County Commission President W. Kent Carper said the commission greatly appreciates the complexity of the matters before the judge, as well as the various protections provided to the property under federal bankruptcy law.
“However, on behalf of the citizens of Kanawha County, I believed it was necessary to reiterate to the honorable court the devastating impact the loss of the bridge has had on the Elk community,” Carper said. “Hundreds are without jobs and are desperately seeking information on when the shopping center will reopen.”
Carper said it has been more than nine months since the flood destroyed the bridge at the shopping center and the community has suffered tremendous pain.
“I am hopeful a final resolution is near and I am requesting that the court and the parties involved provide clarity to the citizens of Kanawha County on this very significant issue.”
Carper said the people of the area are fed up with how long is has taken.
“We’ve done everything we can to move forward,” Carper said. “It’s gotten very bad, so we decided to file the motion.”
Carper said the commission’s issue is not with the judge and that they appreciate the process, but that it has been nearly 300 days since the bridge was washed away during flooding.
The motion was filed March 24 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia in Clarksburg.
The motion states that the commission, as the secured creditor, is concerned with the devastating impact that the loss of the shopping center has had on Kanawha County and Elkview, including the current condition of the property being a public safety hazard and a public nuisance; that more than 500 people are jobless due to the continuing closure; and that it has been more than nine months since the destruction of the bridge.
The commission continues to receive calls on a daily basis from both the public and the tenants asking for the status of the bridge reconstruction and the progress on the repairs to the property as it is a matter of public interest to the community, according to the motion.
The commission is represented by Fabio Crichigno, Johnie R. Muncy and D. Carol Sasser of Samuel I. White PC.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 1:17-bk-00057