WE HAVE crossed this bridge before. Many times in fact.
The saga of the Bellaire Interstate Toll Bridge again came to the forefront this week. The deteriorating span’s demolition has taken on a life of its own.
Deadlines for razing the long-dormant bridge have been numerous and all broken. The latest is this coming Monday.
The latest stumbling block is an escrow account between the city of Benwood and the bridge’s owners — Krystal Chaklos of KDC Investments and Lee Chaklos of Delta Demolition.
Benwood officials were seeking to have Chakloses place $500,000 in escrow to ensure completion of the bridge demolition once the project begins. That didn’t fly with the Chakloses, as they wanted their name on the account.
Thus, another demolition stalemate.
To their credit, Benwood officials have offered up a proposal to remove the stumbling block. It is one that we believe is workable.
Benwood is calling for an independent arbiter to have final say over a $500,000 escrow account. City leaders, however, say they still have yet to hear back from the bridge’s owners whether they will accept the deal, which says if there is a problem with bridge demolition than independent arbitrator would mediate.
Weirton attorney Dan Guida was agreed upon as the arbitrator.
We believe such an agreement is equitable to both Benwood and the bridge’s owners. It is a deal the latter should accept, as it is fair and it will expedite the project.
Should Krystal Chaklos of KDC Investments and Lee Chaklos of Delta Demolition do their work properly, no third party will be needed. But should a problem arise, an independent arbitrator is the best route to go.