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Discovery could slow Armory

December 8, 2012
By Melissa Toothman - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

Buckhannon officials were notified of three potential archaeological sites within the National Guard Armory project area on Brushy Fork Road.

The sites may be along the 15-foot right-of-way for the water line.

"We hit a little sticking point," City Engineer Jay Hollen said, adding that the three sites are a potential problem because of their close location to a water source. "It's a first. I've never had it."

Hollen told the city council at Thursday's meeting that the State Historical Preservation Office indicated because of the possibility of the archaeological sites, a Phase I archaeological survey must be conducted before officials can proceed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's preliminary engineering report and loan application process to fund the project.

The survey could be conducted as early as this weekend. Hollen said he solicited bids from archaeological firms and received bids from three companies. The lowest bid was from Archaeological Consultants of the Midwest of Wheeling in the amount of $2,094. The second bid was just under $4,000, and the third bid was just under $6,000.

Hollen said he thinks the reason the Archaeological Consultants of the Midwest bid was so low was because it is currently working in Barbour County. Because the field portion of the survey will only take the company about two or three days, it may be done through the weekend.

Hollen also updated council on the progress of the project to widen Route 20 South in front of McDonald's in Buckhannon. The project will allow the addition of a turning lane onto College Avenue.

"Although he's busy, the project manager talked to me yesterday and said he's going to keep things moving on this project," Hollen said.

The date targeted for the start of the project is May 28. Hollen said the time limit for the project is still unknown, and he is waiting for a revised preliminary design. Hollen said that Route 20 is undergoing an environmental section review with the Department of Highways.



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