HINTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, as well as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today returned to Bluestone Dam to participate in the Groundbreaking Ceremony for phase 5 of the dam’s rehabilitation project. As a member of both the EPW and Appropriations committees, Senator Capito has played a key role in supporting this project.
“The work done by the men and women of the Army Corps to protect our communities from flooding benefits tens of thousands of West Virginians. That’s exactly why projects like the Bluestone Dam rehabilitation are so important because it will help ensure West Virginians and their communities are safe from future natural disasters. Through my committee work, I’ve been successful in helping to secure key resources to ensure this protection continues and help make progress on infrastructure projects like this one. I look forward to the day when we are all gathered here again to celebrate the completion, but in the meantime, I will continue to be a strong advocate to ensure West Virginia has a seat at the table and that priorities like this aren’t left behind,” said Senator Capito.
“Summers County and the City of Hinton have significantly benefited from the Bluestone Dam Safety Assurance Project,” said Summers County Commissioner Jack David Woodrum. “This project has energized our local economy especially within the City of Hinton while reducing the risk of flooding to our neighbors and their communities downstream. Our economy here in Summers County is tourism-based, and this stage of the project will create some challenges in the spring during high water events that will be magnified locally by the construction project for the next eight years. I am confident that local and state governments working with their partners in the federal government—like Senator Capito—will be able to find a way to mitigate these high water events necessitated by the construction project so that this sector of the local economy will continue to flourish.
Construction of the Bluestone Dam started in 1942 and was operational in 1949. The Bluestone Dam reduces flood damage throughout the New and Kanawha River valleys by an estimated $85 million annually and by $5.9 billion since it was completed in 1949. These are the largest and most populous river valleys in West Virginia. As a result, the dam protects 160,000 people and approximately $20 billion in infrastructure.
Today’s groundbreaking is for the fifth and final phase of a rehabilitation project that began in 1998, known as the Bluestone Dam Safety Assurance Mega Project. Phase 5 will rehabilitate the dam’s stilling basin, which is a structure in front of the dam designed to reduce the turbulence of the water passing through the dam. Senator Capito has been involved in this project throughout her time in Congress. As a leader on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Capito helped secure significant resources in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 for flood management and repair projects that will help keep West Virginians safe and protect communities throughout the state from future natural disasters. In July 2018, Senator Capito announced $690.2 million in federal funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for supplemental storm projects. $574 million of this was allocated for the Bluestone Dam project.
Photo highlights from today’s visit are included below:
Senator Capito greets members of the Boy Scouts.
Senator Capito participates in the Groundbreaking Ceremony for phase 5 of the Bluestone Dam rehabilitation project.
Senator Capito speaks with members of the Army Corps of Engineers and others during today’s event.
Senator Capito elbow bumps with Col. Evers, Commander of the Huntington Army Corps of Engineers.
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