Kanawha commission joins court request seeking to force building of Crossings Mall bridge

The Kanawha County Commission is joining a court request from U.S. Bank to force emergency action to rebuild the Crossings Mall bridge in Elkview that was destroyed by 2016 flooding.

U.S. Bank filed the emergency motion requesting the court to lift the automatic bankruptcy stay on the property, according to a news release from the commission.

If the motion is granted, it would allow the construction to begin on the bridge, the release said,

In the motion, the bank argues that Kanawha County declared the property as a public nuisance and safety hazard, the release said.

A letter written on Jan. 27 by Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper was entered Wednesday into the court record. The letter cites safety concerns of the Crossings Mall complex as the cause of the property being a public nuisance. Carper said fire, police and paramedic crews do not have a safe access site for various emergency calls that may arise from the complex.

"The bridge simply must be rebuilt," Carper said in the letter.

A public auction to sell the bridge was originally scheduled for Jan. 24. Fifteen minutes before the auction was scheduled to begin, a lawyer representing the owner of the complex said the owner had filed bankruptcy on the property.

Monday, the commission signaled its intent to file a claim against the mall's owner in bankruptcy court.

The bridge was swept away in the devastating June 23, 2016, flooding.

Read the commission's release, letter and the U.S. Bank court filing in the embed below.

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