Bankruptcy Judge Patrick M. Flatley held a hearing April 6 in Clarksburg to listen to testimony and arguments on several pending motions, including the property owner Tara Retail’s proposed financing plan to rebuild the Crossings Mall bridge.
The financing plan proposal must be approved by the court before the bridge construction can begin.
The Kanawha County Commission appeared by counsel, and made the court aware of the public's frustration with the repeated delays and argued that if the judge approves the plan, it must include a committed firm date when construction of the bridge will be complete.
The bridge contractor anticipates 60 days, or possible faster, to complete construction once the proposed plan is approved by the Bankruptcy Court.
Flatley made clear he wants to move as expeditiously as possible and will be prepared to announce his final ruling very soon.
A telephone hearing is to be scheduled to announce the decision.
“The County Commission believes it was necessary to stress again today to the Court that a clear, certain date for the start and completion of the new bridge is absolutely necessary,” said Kanawha County Commission President W. Kent Carper. “We have stated over and over that hundreds have been without jobs for almost 10 months and are desperately seeking information on when the shopping center will reopen.”
Carper said any final court decision needs to provide a clear definition to Elkview citizens on the bridge construction timeline.
The bankruptcy case was filed by the owner of Crossings Mall in Elkview earlier this year.
The commission filed a motion requesting a hearing and an update on the construction of the bridge on March 24, after Carper said they were getting phone calls daily from citizens asking about the bridge construction.
The Crossings Mall has been closed since flooding washed out the bridge leading to the plaza on June 23, 2016. Since then, nearly 500 people have been out of work.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 1:17-bk-00057