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Slide Repair Update: WVDOH District 10, McDowell, Mercer, Raleigh, and Wyoming Counties

CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) District 10, consisting of McDowell, Mercer, Raleigh, and Wyoming counties, has recently completed 25 slide repairs and has another 18 designed. What does the work consist of? Where are those, specifically? How can the public find out more?

What does the work consist of?
With every rain, water flowing down mountainsides causes erosion. When the mountainside itself washes away, everything attached to the mountain goes with it. To properly fix a slip or slide, WVDOH must evaluate each area for the most cost-effective solution which will function long term, providing the best value to taxpayers while keeping them safe on the roads.

No two mountains are the same, and no road curves, rises and falls exactly like any other road. Soil nails, piling walls, micro pilings, how tall, how wide, how deep, into what type of soil, for how many drivers per day, how many passenger vehicles, how many heavy trucks — site specific considerations are many.  While the information is being evaluated and each individual project is being developed, vehicles — from passenger cars to ambulances — still need to get through, so cones and signs are placed to alert drivers that work has started on each project.

Slide repairs are occurring in all parts of the state. Some areas, such as the northern panhandle and the southern part of the state, have more slips and slides happen than other areas. Taking a look at one specific slide prone area provides a look at a WVDOH approach that is being used statewide to complete projects of all sizes and types efficiently.

Slip repairs are just one type of project that WVDOH is tackling aggressively. Ditching, drainage, pothole milling and filling, paving, brush cutting, bridge maintenance — these types of work function together to address core concerns that deteriorate roadways, and WVDOH refers to them collectively as CORE maintenance. WVDOH’s approach to CORE maintenance work involves taking the best practices and amplifying those so that each District across the state is consistent in using the most efficient and effective processes, and no area is left behind as we work together to catch up long underfunded work.

When Governor Justice appointed Secretary Jimmy Wriston, and Secretary Byrd White before him, to their posts The Vision was stated clearly. Governor Justice instructed WVDOH to return to its roots as a maintenance organization, increasing a focus on CORE maintenance of secondary roads. From Secretary Wriston to Crew Chiefs on the ground, WVDOH is united in its commitment to The Vision. It takes time, but each day when hardworking crews — the folks who drive the steel into the mud — show up on the ground and each day when engineers dig a little further for a more efficient solution, results begin to shine through.

Where, specifically, are those McDowell, Mercer, Raleigh, and Wyoming County slide repair locations?
Slips and slides are repaired across the state every day. The 25 slide repairs completed in District 10 since July 2021 include:

(McDowell) US 52 MP 3.13
(McDowell) CR 5/6 Oozley Branch Road MP 0.70
(McDowell) CR 17 MP 5.22
(McDowell) CR 17 MP 5.25
(McDowell) CR 17 MP 5.26
(McDowell) CR 14 MP 0.25
(McDowell) CR 14 MP 0.53
(McDowell) CR 52/1 Old US 52 MP 1.93
(McDowell) CR 10 MP 1.52
(McDowell) CR 6 MP 0.95
(McDowell) WV 80 MP 10.98
(McDowell) WV 80 MP 11.03
(Mercer) CR 71/5 Surface Hill Road MP 0.11
(Mercer) WV 71 MP 10.70
(Mercer) CR 14/1 Unity Road MP 1.52
(Mercer) US 19 MP 21.12
(Raleigh) CR 13 MP 4.55
(Wyoming) CR 97/6 Walnut Street MP 0.13
(Wyoming) CR 8 Little Huff Creek Road MP 2.31
(Wyoming) CR 16/2 Stephenson Basin Road MP 20.05
(Wyoming) CR 14 Brier Creek Road MP 2.79
(Wyoming) CR 1 MP 8.27
(Wyoming) HA 933 Mountain Side Road MP 0.00
(Wyoming) WV 16 MP 2.52
(Wyoming) WV 971 MP 7.00

Slide repairs include both an on the ground phase which is visible to the public, and a behind the scenes design phase which – to the driver – just looks like cones on the ground. Eighteen additional locations in District 10 have been designed and are scheduled for on-the-ground work in the next few months. Those locations include:

(McDowell) CR 84 MP 8.44
(McDowell) WV 103 MP 2.03
(McDowell) CR 6 Burke Mountain MP 0.82
(McDowell) CR 52/19 Steam Engine Drive MP 0.18
(McDowell) CR 3/2 Panther Creek Road MP 7.33
(McDowell) CR 1 Panther Mohawk Road MP 6.54
(McDowell) CR 7 Loop Seven Highway MP 9.30
(Mercer) CR 71/3 Browning School Road MP 0.02
(Mercer) CR 10/14 Weyanoke Road MP 0.01
(Mercer) CR 9 Elgood Mountain Road MP 12.01
(Mercer) CR 9 Elgood Mountain Road MP 12.67
(Mercer) CR 9 Elgood Mountain Road MP 12.76
(Mercer) CR 9 Elgood Mountain Road MP 12.80
(Mercer) US 19 Princeton Avenue MP 3.78
(Raleigh) CR 29/5 Hensley Mountain Road MP 0.27
(Wyoming) CR 1 MP 15.66
(Wyoming) WV 10 MP 48.06
(Wyoming) WV 971 MP 8.85

Slide repairs are one of many types of work being completed statewide, and drivers should be aware that work zones — big and small — are everywhere in our state. From widening a lane on an interstate, to performing a bridge inspection, to clearing a ditch on a rural road, drivers should remain alert in every work zone, every time.

In a work zone, conditions can change quickly. Equipment is heavy, dangerous and in motion with limited visibility. Humans are small, fragile and are not iron clad. Other drivers may do unpredictable things. Workers may be operating on steep terrain or in difficult weather conditions. It’s important to remember that while good things take diligence and continuous effort to develop, bad things often happen fast. The work is being completed for the safety of the traveling public, and keeping each person safe as the work is completed is WVDOH’s absolute goal. 

Where can citizens find out more?
WVDOH understand that the roads themselves cannot talk, so we have employees trained in all parts of the state to answer every questions or concern every citizen has on any of our 36,000 miles of roadway. The phone number to call is 833-WVROADS, the email is [email protected], or citizens can visit the website at transportation.wv.gov and click on the Request Road Work tab to fill out a web form. Real people, friendly people, will answer the phone, take down details of the concern, reach out to the correct person within WVDOH’s network of employees to get the answer, and respond within seven days to let the caller know what’s planned for that specific road.

WVDOH takes pride in its employees on the phone, on the ground, designing at computers, collecting data in the field — these are the people who get the work done and their efforts are making a difference. While a phone call, or email cannot truly repair a slide, it can put citizens in touch with their fellow West Virginians who will provide a quick and accurate answer.