Gear up for the USA Cycling Pro Road National Championship coming to Charleston further underway

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A total of $2.7 million in paving work is currently in progress across the City of Charleston just in time for an inaugural USA Cycling championship event.

Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said on 580 Live with Dave Allen last Monday morning that 90 city streets are getting a fresh layer of pavement just in time for the USA Cycling Pro Road Nationals, which is now only one day away.

However, Goodwin said the city was pleased when USA Cycling representatives were already satisfied with the condition of the roads when they came to assess if Charleston was the right fit to host the re-occurring annual five-year event. She said it’s due to all of the work they’ve already put in on improving the city’s roads.

“It was last year when we got this, they said ‘your streets are great,’ I mean patching here and there, we’re doing Wertz Playground today, but infrastructure is always important, we’re keeping up with it,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin said it’s not just paving work being done to accommodate the projected 600 athletes and their entourages that will be coming into the Capital City for the event next week, May 14-19, but a host of other preparation work, too.

She said to watch out, as city workers will be out and about a lot this week.

“Be patient with us, our public rounds folks, you know, there’s a lot of planting, and mowing, and weeding,” she said.

Goodwin said she believes the event will be bigger than the five-day Sternwheel Regatta– which is also approaching for July 3-7– as the Pro Road Nationals covers one more day than the Regatta, and the projections of people are coming across a wider geographic range.

She said it’s too early to tell right now, but it may also leave a bigger economic impact on the city than the $37.2 million the Regatta brought in last year.

With various watch parties and festival-like events that will be taking place in conjunction with the cycling championships throughout the neighborhoods they will be riding through, Goodwin said the event will stretch throughout the entire scope of the city.

“It’s so fun because this will intertwine through our neighborhoods, this will be like little mini Regattas everywhere in the city, and that is just so cool,” she said. “Anytime a mayor gets to have their city on the national spotlight showcasing something as positive as this, it’s really cool.”

Goodwin said it took a lot of effort to bring the event to the city.

She said it was a lot of selling from a team of people, so she said she knows it will be well worth it.

“This could have gone to three other cities and it didn’t, and it’s because a team of really good folks who know what they’re doing put a package together and they sold it and they were aggressive about it, that’s how you get good things to happen in your city,” said Goodwin.

There will be a couple of Fan Zones set up for fans to cheer the athletes on during the event and celebrate with other fans. Those include:

. City Center at Slack Plaza

Enjoy DJ EJ Thursday, May 16 & Friday, May 17.
Check out the expo vendors.
Hang out and listen to WV artists at the Slack Plaza Stage on Saturday, May 18
Enjoy Charley West BBQ Fest on Saturday.
Vinyl Village spins tunes Sunday.

. Bridge Road Shops, Sunday, May 19

Enjoy DJ EJ.
Indulge in diverse food options.
Sip on a cold drink at The Beverage Market Beer Garden.
Let the kids bounce away in inflatables.

The Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority will be adding complimentary shuttle services from Downtown to Bridge Road on May 18-19. The schedule is as follows:

Continuous loop runs 8am – 4pm, May 18-19
Pick up location – City Parking lot – Smith St./Morris St. (Near 1320 Smith St.)
Drop off location – Bridge Road Shops – Near the old Bridge Road Bistro (915 Bridge Rd.)

Parking for the event will be available at the following locations:

. Summers Street Parking Garage – 166 Summers St. – Open during Criterium Thursday – Friday and during the Road Race Saturday – Sunday. Cars will be routed to enter and exit the building via Capitol Street.

. Park Place Cinema – 612 Washington St. – Open daily

.Municipal Auditorium Lot – 244 Virginia St. E – Open daily

.Town Center Mall Garage – 3000 Charleston Town Center – Open daily

.City Service Center – 915 Quarrier St. – Open May 14 – 17