Published December 2008 — Download PDF of the original newspaper column
Byrd's-Eye View By U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd 2008 – A Year of Accomplishments for WV 2008 has marked the completion of many major federal construction projects that have been top priorities of mine for years in the U.S. Senate. The projects that have come to fruition this year include:
• The new Marmet Lock on the Kanawha River is the culmination of a ten-year long effort. The finished product will allow West Virginia's products to get to market in a much more timely and safe manner.
• The Blennerhassett Bridge in Parkersburg; which also marked the completion of ADHS Corridor D and the beginning of enhanced safety, reduced commutes, and new economic development opportunities for West Virginians. Work on Corridor D in West Virginia began all the way back in 1965.
Medical and Research Facilities
• The new Biomedical Research Center at West Virginia University; which will allow WVU to recruit faculty scientists of national caliber, better compete for research funds, and make huge strides in helping those inflicted by lifethreatening diseases. This project began in 2005.
• The Health Sciences Learning Center at WVU; which is serving students in the four health professions schools of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center. I have proudly supported this project since 1999.
• A new clinical center at Marshall University's Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health, which I have supported since 1993, will be the new home for clinical training for students/residents; primary and specialty care clinical services for the region; and a new heart institute.
• A new WVU clinical teaching center within the Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) Memorial Hospital campus that will improve health care education and services in the Kanawha Valley region. I funded this project in a 2004 Appropriations bill.
Expansion of Federal Facilities
• A new Firing Range Complex at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advanced Training Center in Harpers Fem. The new complex is more important than ever for the law enforcement officers who guard the nation's borders because it allows them to receive specialized training to help them succeed in their critical homeland security mission. I have been supporting the CBP's efforts for over 8 years.
• Three new centers at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center. These investments will provide the Department of Defense with an improved capability to support U.S. military forces now and into the future. I have supported the ABL facility dating back to 1985.
• The Technology Support Facility in Morgantown, which will support the National Energy Technology Laboratory's (NETL) mission of advancing science and technology for a clean, secure energy future. Over several years, I have added over $36 million for this project.
After years - in some cases, decades - of hard work, it is wonderful to see these projects become a reality. They will not only serve the public good, but also help to create jobs and strengthen West Virginia's economy for years to come. 2008 has been a banner year. Rest assured, in 2009, there is much more to come from this United States Senator!
December 24, 2008