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Buckhannon City Council will have the final say in exactly what the former Chase Bank drive-thru on Madison Street will look like when it's redeveloped. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Redevelopment of former Chase Bank drive-thru to begin this construction season; Council to vote on final design

BUCKHANNON – The City of Buckhannon is planning to start developing the old Chase Bank drive-thru lot and North Kanawha Street this construction season.

Director of Public Works Jerry Arnold said the city has a preliminary budget and rough draft plan for the old Chase bank lot.

“It’s mainly a parking area with an increased green space in the center and I think I’ve seen there was an addition of a pavilion or two,” Arnold said. “There is a design in the works. We’ll have to have some meetings to finalize that design, but we want to have that out to bid sometime after the July 1 date, so we’ll be working on that in the next month.”

City council will vote on the final version of the plan.

Arnold said then the project should take about two to three months to complete.

“There’s not that much major work to do – there’s a little bit of infrastructure work to do as far as sewer, water and some electrical on the backside, but a lot of that’s there,” he said. “Most of it is going to be surface work and reconfiguring some of the concrete between the city parking lot and the Chase Bank lot; that transition has to be softened because the overall plan includes both of those lots together.”

There will also be additional power under the lot for vendors or other facilities, like the Public Safety Complex building lot. The city is also considering altering the Public Safety lot by potentially removing one of the exits.

“There’s a question about the entrance off of Florida Street. The fire and police want to keep that access, and the original design called for the removal and making that a pedestrian crosswalk to Jawbone [Park],” Arnold said. “We’ve talked about moving the crosswalk to the four-way stop at Madison.”

Arnold said the decision to remove the exit onto Florida Street hasn’t been made, but they hope to complete the work this construction season. The sidewalk project on North Kanawha Street will also be completed by June.

“We’re working on sidewalks on the west side — we’ve completed east side sidewalks, so now we’re working on the west side sidewalks all the way to Main Street from Willard Way, reducing the width of that sidewalk to allow for parking on the opposite side of the street as well,” Arnold explained. “We’re also incorporating new streetlights, and some of those will be sconce lights on the buildings, and then it gets paved along with Spring Street.”

When the new fiscal year budget begins in July, they will also work on the sidewalks and light fixtures along South Kanawha Street from Main Street to the intersection of Locust Street.

Another project slated for completion this construction season is the south portion of the Gateway West project.

“We anticipate to proceed on the south-side portion, which is sidewalks from Route 20, down to Riley Heights,” Arnold said. “That includes sidewalk ramps and things and at the last budget meeting, we were leaning towards doing a sidewalk project on Meade Street sidewalk, from Madison to the college.”

The Meade Street sidewalk project has not been approved and would aim to be completed before the July 2023 World Association of Marching Bands event.

The city also owns this plot of land adjacent to the former Chase Bank drive-thru. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

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