HINTON, WV (WOAY) – The Groundbreaking Ceremony for Phase 5 of the Bluestone Dam Safety Assurance Mega-Project was held today at Bellepoint Park in Hinton.
Construction of the Bluestone Dam began back in 1942. With the Safety Assurance Project officially in motion, the Hinton community has more to look forward to as work on the dam continues.
“They have huge expansion plans for more recreational areas for the region,” said Senator Shelley Moore-Capito. “This will bring in tourists and improve the quality of life for those folks living here in Hinton and in Summers County. So it’s a win-win for the community. It brings in jobs, it brings in people eating in your restaurants, staying in your hotels. So I’m excited for the community.”
One of the purposes of the dam is to help maintain Bluestone Lake, which is 11 miles long. The lake and the land surrounding it is counted on to provide recreation at the Bluestone State Park and Wildlife Management Area. This is key for attraction to Southern West Virginia.
“Oh it’s so important,” said Congresswoman Carol Miller. “Tourism here, with these three beautiful rivers and we have to get the roadway coming through. That’s important too. The new river highway, get it moving. To bring people here, we are reinvesting in Southern West Virginia. We need to be very mindful of what we do in order to get more people coming here and living here.”
The dam is also important in reducing flood risks near river basins in West Virginia. This function allows development funds to be spent in other essential areas.
“These are very large projects,” Capito said. “The core, it’s amazing when you look and see how they plan so far ahead and the hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a $320 million contract here. So, you want to do it right. You want to be good stewards of the taxpayer dollars and this is about protecting life and property.”
Phase 5 of the Bluestone Dam Project is projected to be completed around 2029.