The John Henry Park Steering Committee, in cooperation with the Summers County Commission, seeks to develop a park at the Great Bend Tunnel, site of the legendary man verses machine battle of John Henry and the steam drill. The 26 acre parcel, formerly owned by CSX, has been purchased by Summers County, for the park’s development. The land is located in the community of Talcott, at the east entry of the Tunnel, between the active CSX railroad track and WV Route 3.
The Steering Committee retained E.L. Robinson (ELR) in 2005 to assist with the development of the master plan, provide environmental review, funding request and provide an accurate topographical survey of the park parcel. The major park elements called for an access road and parking for both cars and buses, a visitor center/ museum, rail trail, nature & interpretive trails, railroad exhibits, amphitheater, Relocation of the John Henry statue closer to the Great Bend Tunnel opening, picnicking, shelters and several overlooks on State Route 3 and within the park. The park would also be linked via trails/sidewalks with the Town and the elementary school.
In 2011 the first phase of the park consisting of an access road and parking, connections to existing nature and interpretive trails. Relocation of the John Henry statue closer to the Great Bend Tunnel opening, and locations for picnic shelters within the park.
ELR prepared the construction documents, coordinated the bidding and construction administration. Prepared the WVDEP NPDES permit for stormwater managment, the WVDOH encroachment permit, performed the topographic and boundary survey and coordinated the archeological survey prior to construction.