**Williamstown Bridge Purchase Update**

April Fools 🙂

We are not buying the Williamstown Bridge, renaming it, and charging toll to West Virginians alone. We will leave that distinction to the Memorial Bridge.

But seriously, there is a quote in the article I wrote that I want to expound upon

 “For years we have been told that citizens of our region should see each other as neighbors and not adversaries, but quite frankly that is a load of bull. Ohio and West Virginia have been mortal enemies since westerners seceded from Virginia and laid claim to the river.”

It has certainly felt like that at times, and I cannot tell you how damaging that behavior is. Now, perhaps more than ever, Southeast Ohio and its friends in Wood, Jackson, Pleasants, Tyler counties need to be working in combination for the future growth of our region. With significant opportunities before us in regard to the Shale play, transportation logistics on river and rail, and overall willingness on behalf of our regional workforce, the time to build connections and have great congress is paramount. Too often we have let petty rivalries keep us from building agencies with combination efforts, ones that would otherwise lift the collective fates of all our citizens both Ohioans and West Virginians alike.

We at the Port Authority have worked tirelessly to share information with our friends at Wood County Econ. Dev, and we know they have done the same. Together we can be better than we were, and in the light of struggles to fund, finalize, and plan, doing so together makes everything else more feasible.

Let’s put away the petty rivalries and see each other as the neighbors we truly are and work in a spirit of collaboration. Together we can build the next great businesses, schools, projects that our grandchildren will enjoy.