New AEP office coming

• Facility aimed at improving company’s customer service

T-L Photo/ROBERT A. DEFRANK A facility for American Electric Power’s transmission operations is being erected on U.S. 40.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — American Electric Power is working on a new construction project this summer that is expected to improve customer service.

Travelers on U.S. 40 may notice a major structure being erected in the area west of St. Clairsville where the former Gasber’s Fine Day Restaurant & Lounge used to stand. When complete, the building will serve as a hub for AEP’s transmission operations.

Scott Fuller, AEP spokesman, said the current service center facility is inadequate for the number of employees working in Belmont County.

“There’s an existing Belmont Service Center,” he said, adding that it is located at 47687 National Road. “That service center houses both transmission employees and distribution employees. That construction site is going to be a new service center for transmission employees.”

Fuller added that the station will be a 70,000-square-foot building and will house about 70 employees. The coverage area of those workers will include Belmont County, Steubenville and Moundsville.

“Other transmission employees will also be working in that new service center when it’s built,” he said. “Construction started in the third quarter of last year. It’s about 20 percent done now and scheduled to be done by the end of the year.”

Fuller elaborated on the work that will originate at the facility.

“That (will be) sort of a hub for employees doing line work. That’s where they’ll meet at the beginning of the day,” he said, adding that the central location is expected to be a benefit to customers. “This new location is going to be more centrally located so that all the transmission employees that’ll be moving there, they’ll have quicker and easier access to the job sites that they’re working on and responding to.”