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Jim Gessler had the right idea

September 27, 2012 - Heather Ziegler
The late Jim Gessler, who served on Wheeling City Council a few decades ago, had the right idea. But everytime he brought it up, he was shot down. His words may be haunting some of us who remember Jim asking that the Manchester Bridge be replaced after it was deemed unsafe by bridge inspectors. The bridge spanned Wheeling Creek in East Wheeling and connected to the Rock Point Road area. You could leave downtown Wheeling, cross the bridge and follow Rock Point Road out to the Morningside area of the city. At the bottom of the road you could turn right and go toward Wheeling Hospital or hop on Interstate 70 and go east or west. Or you could turn left at the bottom of the hill and head toward Kroger, National Road, Woodsdale or back toward Fulton. That winding country-road-in-the-city has pretty much become an isolated and forgotten area, cut off in one direction because of the demise of the bridge. I used to love riding out that way from downtown. There were businesses along that road, homes and chickens. Yes, chickens. One family always had chickens roaming around. Where else could you find such uniqueness within the city limits? Rock Point Road also provided another escape from the madness along Interstate 70 or when there was a tie-up on Wheeling Hill. Sound familiar? The traffic nightmares of the past few days are proving a challenge for anyone who has to be somewhere at a certain time of the day in the Wheeling area. Yesterday, I didn't realize that the on-ramp to I-70 east near Kroger was closed until I drove out that way after work. Traffic on Wheeling Hill was backed up eastbound from Perkins to Wheeling Hill and beyond. I-70 eastbound was slowed to a crawl from the Wheeling Tunnels back beyond Bridgeport. I-470 was the same issue traveling east. National Road, both east and westbound was clogged with vehicles. Needless to say I did not drive out to Elm Grove or even begin to think about going to The Highlands as planned. I know these are temporary inconveniences but they appear to all be happening at the same time. Jim Gessler is sitting in heaven and doing his best to not say, "I told you so."


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