Jefferson County

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Graham selected as BHJ Chairman

Updated: Wednesday, January 22 2014, 08:44 PM EST

By Jon Rudder
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio - The Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission introduced Dr. Tom Graham as its
new chairman of the board Wednesday.
               
Graham will serve in the position for a year and; this is the second time he has served as the board chair.
 
With the BHJ serving all three counties, Graham said that the collaborative effort from all officials involved benefits each of these three counties in different ways. Andhe already sees a number of projects on the horizon.
 
“I’m hoping that the transition down at the bottom of University Boulevard in Jefferson County, and with Route 2 in West Virginia,” Graham said. “Those are two big projects that need immediate attention.”
 
One of the items on the agenda for Graham's first meeting-- the results of a significant impact study on a new bridge to span the Ohio River.
 
“The impact study was the first step. Then you get the federal government behind you on that as well and they're  OK,” Graham said. “So it's going to happen and now we can go to step two in terms of the design phase.”
 
The clearance of this hurdlemeans the end of just one part in the lengthy process.
 
“There's been a lot done in that time frame and the document itself probably took about five to six years to complete,” transportation study director Michael Paprocki said. What this does is it ties down the exact alignment of where it's going to be.”
               
While the bridge will connect Brooke and Jefferson counties, its benefit will be spread across all three, which is what Graham and the BHJ hope to maximize in the coming year.
 
“The entire area, anything that happens locally in the Hancock, Brooke, Jefferson counties, the entire area benefits from that,” Graham said.
 
Graham's term will expire next year and the BHJ  will select someone to replace him.
 
Typically, commission members like to alternate representatives from Ohio and West Virginia for the position.  

Graham selected as BHJ Chairman


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