CARPENDALE -- As elected officials and residents filled the Carpendale town hall recently, it was the perfect opportunity to stress the need for the proposed bridge from Carpendale to Bowling Green, Maryland.

By Ronda Wertman
Tribune Correspondent
CARPENDALE -- As elected officials and residents filled the Carpendale town hall recently, it was the perfect opportunity to stress the need for the proposed bridge from Carpendale to Bowling Green, Maryland.
Preparing to head to Charleston for the upcoming legislative session, Del. Gary Howell of the 56th District House of Delegates and Senators Craig Blair and Charles Trump of the 15th Senatorial District met with their constituents, wanting to know what area residents need from them.
County Commissioner Jerry Whisner opened the discussion on the proposed bridge, noting that the county has businesses ready to move in.
The $5 million bridge project is aimed at commercial development, but also provides vital resources for the safety of the town and its residents.
“We’re working on it. We’re coming into what is going to be a better year,” said Blair. “We’ve got lots of opportunity to save millions of dollars. We’ve turned the state around, now it’s time to press the accelerator.”
Carpendale mayor Butch Armentrout expressed concern with only one way in and out of Carpendale.
“If we had an alternate way, tractor trailers could come down Route 220 and across the bridge,” he said. “Something is going to happen that will be catastrophic,” he added, noting that residents would be unable to exit the town with wrecks, fires or other obstructions to the main highway.
In order to get to the industrial area in Carpendale, tractor trailers currently exit the interstate and come through Ridgeley.
Ridgeley commissioner Tanya Ryan noted that cars and buses in Ridgeley often end up pulling on to the sidewalk to let the tractor trailers pass by.
Another issue in Carpendale is that when trucks miss the turn for the Kingsford Plant, they have trouble finding a place to turn around on the residential streets.
“That bridge will encourage people to move in,” said Carpendale resident and former mayor Casey Lambert.
Speaking of the recent infrastructure bond for roads, Trump said, “There are projects that need done everywhere in the state. The chances are as good as they have ever been for getting things done.”
Lambert expressed concern for paving on the state highway into Carpendale, saying that it hasn’t been paved for seven years and he was told at that time that it was “way past due.”
Most recently, patching was done in both lanes, but not in the middle to disrupt the existing lines.
Carpendale commissioner Diane Baker also expressed the need for street lights on Miller Road from the industrial park to Ridgeley.
In another local issue, resident Gary Clites shared the need to get involved with river development.
“We need West Virginia folks to get involved,” he said. “We need to work with Maryland on these things.”
“We have better access than they (MD) do,” said Howell, noting that he does talk to his counterparts in Maryland.
Howell urged residents on hand to contact him and his fellow legislators with concerns adding that they will do their part to facilitate meetings and solutions to local problems.