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Night and Day  

The following narrative is uncannily similar toIt Was The Worst of Times". However, it is far shorter and less technocratic. It involves a much larger out of State Business Entity and a much weaker and older adjoining landowner. Overall; The Difference Between Night and Day.

What Is Going To Happen To Me?

My father already knew, but hoped I had a way to stop it. I provided him the same scenario, as I did a few other prominent individuals; "Your road is going to get blown out and they are going to lose their parking lot". He looked down at the floor, resigning himself to the inevitable. All of which occurs, shortly thereafter.

Massive amounts of storm drainage and earthen fill came down off of 109 & 113 Platinum Drive. All of which, entered McDonald's and Pizza Hut's storm drainage system, which stops it up. The drainage, having no where else to go, ran over said businesses parking lot area and then over their large lateral slope. My father is beyond concerned: "That damn water is going to cause a slip". It does, and so begins the drama that included my father's road collapse, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut's dealing with collapsed parking lot areas and major drainage issues, which also led to ice covered access and parking lot areas.

My father would give me his 1939 WV State Engineering Plans of the construction of what he terms, "New US 50". He had me make copies and then directed me to provide one to a Thrasher Engineer, who was surveying McDonalds damaged parking lot area. An Engineer, who states he had never seen said Engineering Plan before. I asked about McDonald's slip. What slip? The Engineer wasn't aware of any slip.

US Route 50

My father would contact the Department of Highways (WVDOH) about the drain under US 50. The WVDOH brought in an excavator, where's my father takes a young state supervisor down to the valley floor and points out the exact location of U.S Route 50's drain outlet's opening.

The excavator operator starts on the valley floor, then quickly changes course and drives the large metal track excavator up my father's blacktop driveway. The operator then starts at the top of the McDonald's slope and works his way down. The excavator hits drainage coming out of the slope, above the area of U.S Route 50's drain outlet. My father, who notes drainage is trying to find a way out, is also dismayed. Why didn't the WVDOH heed his initial directions, as the operator pushed more fill down the slope in the area of the drainage line's location on the valley floor. They even had his 1939 U.S Route 50 Engineering Plans which showed the drainage line's location.


A meeting was eventually held at the McDonalds Restaurant, whereas I was asked about the composition of the fill that McDonalds and Pizza Hut sat on. (They asked, because they didn't know). I informed them of my father's missives to have the drainage line under U.S Route opened up before "U.S. Route 50 Collapsed". A Young State Road Supervisor and a head nodding Thrasher Engineer stated that the drain was about 20 feet down from the surface area of Route 50. I informed the parties, that I played in the drain's outlet as a child. It was located further down on the valley floor. I asked if they could take a horizontal auger and go back into the drain outlet to and unplug it. They had considered it.

After 10 minutes or so, a McDonalds corporate representative said; I do not think you understand. "They", (The Young State Road Supervisor and the head nodding Thrasher Engineer), are saying that this is your father's responsibility. They would inform me that the placement of the earthen fill, which a Quick Lube business sat on, had closed off the drainage line's outlet below.

They knew better.
The WVDOH had already tested excavated the McDonald's Slope, which was far above the Quick Lube's location. What was going on?

Five Years:

I had amassed an unheard of level of documentation concerning the antics imparted on a wide geographical area. However, to listen to said parties attempt to place blame on my elderly father in the same way that Platinum Properties had attempted to place blame on us for 109 & 113 Platinum Drive, was staggering.

I thought how McDonalds, Pizza Hut's and U.S Route 50's drainage induced collapses, would not have occurred if Platinum Properties had followed their own Jackson and Kelly 2005 Agreement. One that would have taken their drainage back to its original pre-development route. As I sat stunned and considered the DEP agent's earlier words, This Happens To Older People, the young State Supervisor pats me on the shoulder as he leaves.

Once everyone exits the meeting, the McDonalds corporate executive and I take a short ride around the area. I inform him of my father's view. He could not understand why McDonalds would repair their drainage system without addressing their slip first. A slip area that also supported their utilities. The executive asked; What Slip? No one had told him of any slip. I showed him. He rubbed his head.

I called my father and asked him who placed the fill where the Quick Lube is located. He said the WVDOH, (West Virginia Department of Highways). He then gave me the dates from the 1940's to the 1980's. The last time was in the 1980's when the hill across the road fell into the highway. He then asked why I wanted to know. I told him. he then stated; I gave them, (Thrasher Engineering), my prints of New US Route 50's construction. Can't They Read? A later five minute call to McDonalds Corporate Attorneys and Frank Lacaria was never mentioned again. Actually, credibility switched from the government to my father.

Friendly Calls

Months passed and I was out of the loop. McDonald's and Pizza Hut's plans to start their corrective repairs was generally known. At the last minute, I am told that the City of Bridgeport's Attorneys threw a monkey wrench in at the very last minute. I would then receive a call from McDonald's Corporate Headquarters. Their representative and I spoke for a while, and then the gentleman asked: Do you know the cost McDonalds is entailing for these repairs? I said yes, and it’s not near the price I have paid over the years. He acknowledged the fact. He mentioned Platinum Properties and their role/s in McDonald's property problems; He held them totally responsible.

A few days later papers were signedMcDonalds and Pizza Hut replaced their drainage systems. The slope area was then fixed and in the process the old man's road was replaced. McDonalds incorporated a support wall that consisted of Metal "I" Beam Pilings and locked-in concrete blocks, which created a permanent engineered support wall.

Once the support wall was constructed, the West Virginia Department of Highways, (WVDOH) returned to address the drainage under US Route 50. My father took the DOH back down to the valley floor and pointed out the exact location of U.S Route 50's drain outlet. This time, the DOH quickly found the drainage line's outlet, where it came out under the McDonald's slope. The DOH then began preparing the area for the equipment that would be needed in their attempt at a horizontal cleaning of the drainage line under US 50.
The Process:

My father instructed the WVDOH Workers
 to stay away from the earthen slope that the Quick Lube sat on.
 He went into his home and the State workers did exactly what he told them not to do. They took out the complete toe area of the support slope which the Quick Lube business. Why would they do it? The drainage line's outlet and its drainage path was in the middle of the valley floor. He could not see the sense of it, nor could anyone who would view the video of it all.

The WVDOH workers cleaned the drainage line out and found the drains collapsed point far back into the McDonald's slope area toward Route 50, in the WVDOH's Right of Way. The DOH then took all their equipment and left.

My father went to their headquarters and brought them back to fix the bottom of the Quik Lube area Slope, which they had cut out. The WVDOH then placed a heavy rock support blanket at the base of the slope.

Note: The condition that the DOH left the area in would have resulted in a lateral support collapse of U.S Route 50. This would not have been good. As, during the same time periods: U.S Route 50 East, (just outside of Bridgeport) had collapsed. As did Route 131, (a half mile from the U.S 50 & U.S Route 131 Intersection).


@Copyright 2008

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