Yeager officials to hire new engineering firm to stabilize hillside

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A selection committee at Yeager Airport will interview four engineering firms Thursday in an effort to stabilize¬†what is left of the hillside that collapsed in March.

Airport officials originally hired S&E Clearing and Hydroseeding last month to do the job, but waived their contract instead, due to an un-stamped set of plans.

The four firms include Terradon Corporation, Terracon Consultants, Inc., Potesta & Associates, Inc. and Schnabel Engineering, who will present their design proposals to the committee.

Rick Atkinson, the airport’s executive director, said the proposals should include short term mitigation efforts and long term repairing plans for the slope.

“It will be very interesting to see tomorrow how their approach is to this project,” said Atkinson, “Then we’ll negotiate with them, the top one, for a fee-based arrangement and move forward from there.”

Atkinson said they plan to hire the top firm by Friday. He said the firm will then need to submit their plan to the committee within three weeks.

Concerns are still high following the March 12 slope failure that damaged homes and displaced many residents along Keystone Drive in Charleston. Atkinson said stabilizing the hill won’t be an easy fix for the engineering firm, since dangerous work is involved.

“It has to be done in a manner that keeps people safe,” he said.

Once a firm is chosen, he said they’re hoping to have crews under contract by July 4, so work can begin this summer.

The airport plans to pay $150,000 to demolish seven homes damaged by the collapse.

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