WV National Guard seeing changes to 130th Airlift Wing - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

WV National Guard seeing changes to 130th Airlift Wing

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CHARLESTON, WV -

The 130th Airlift Wing in Charleston will be seeing some significant changes.

In 2005, the Federal Base Realignment and Closure Committee (BRAC) recommended closing the unit for security reasons. But with the help of several partners, there is now enough funding to address the cited deficiencies.

Right now, there are various security concerns surrounding the National Guard base in Charleston. Coonskin Drive, the road that leads the public to Coonskin Park, runs right through the base leaving it exposed to the public.

"It just isn't acceptable to the military, to have people strolling through the middle of a military base," said Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper.

Jeff Hutchinson, the executive director of the Parks and Recreation Commission, said a new entrance will resolve that issue. A bridge will be built leading directly into Coonskin Park.

"It'll actually enter the park here on the Mink Shoals side. It's probably about a mile from the interstate." he said.

The new bridge is expected to boost the number of visitors to the park by as much as 50 percent.

"It'll take a little time for people to get use to, but it'll be quicker getting in from the city and exiting off of exit one," said Hutchinson.

The West Virginia Division of Highways will bid out plans for the construction of the bridge this week. The actual construction is expected to last for roughly 16 months. Work has already started on a short field take off and landing runway in Logan County.