Yeager officials anticipate hillside work soon

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officials at Yeager Airport will receive bids from contractors Friday, so work can begin on the airport’s overrun area, following a massive hillside that collapsed in March.

Airport Director Rick Atkinson said they had 13 contractors at the pre-bidding earlier this week. They hope to break ground on the project by next month.

“We want to get it started soon,” said Atkinson. “Our prime concern remains the safety of residents in the impacted areas and the construction and engineering personnel who will be working on the project.”

On Tuesday, Atkinson said 13 property owners of homes that were damaged by the slide, located in the Barlow and Keystone Drive area, indicated they are willing to sell their properties, as part of the airport’s runway protection zone project.

“On all the properties that were damaged by flood waters have been settled and purchased; we’ve agreed on one. We haven’t closed on it yet. It’ll be sometime next week,” he said.

Airport board officials approved to refinance its existing parking garage bond on Wednesday to receive an additional $12 million to cover expenses related to the landslide.

Atkinson said if they get settlement money from its insurance companies or from the lawsuit they filed against companies in connection with the work on the slope, then they can repay the bond without being punished.

“We’re dealing with making sure all parties to the lawsuit have access to the testing protocols cause the Earth itself is evidence in this case.”

The lawsuit that was filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court is still waiting for a judge’s action.