Closure of a one-mile segment of W.Va. Route 10 between Logan and Man has prompted residents to set a meeting to voice concerns and ask questions of highway officials. The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 30, 2013, in the little theater at Man High School.
The West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) will have Communications Specialist Carrie Bly and District 2 Manager Scott Eplin in attendance.
Ms. Bly says she is looking forward to the meeting, which will give she and Mr. Eplin an opportunity to explain what is happening and why the road closure is necessary.
Some of the items she mentioned include:
- The contractor on the job says only 25% of each workday is spent on productive work, the remainder is spent moving material to let traffic through every 15 minutes.
- The unstable environment created by the excavation creates an high-risk work zone and puts motorists at risk. There has already been an incident where a truck was struck by falling rock and debris.
- Slips and slides happen in environments like this and the heavy rain and storms have created a higher probability of having slips and slides.
- The construction may be extended by a year or longer unless the road is closed.
- The costs for construction will also be increased significantly if the road is not closed and funding may be an issue
- Making an additional detour would take time and funding, which is not currently in place.
- Some suggestions for alternate routes include property that does not belong to the WVDOT and cannot be used.
The WVDOT is aware of the inconvenience and frustration being experienced by residents and others affected by the closure and Ms. Bly says they are taking steps to address issues that include:
- Having HealthNet on standby to pick up patients in an emergency
- Arranging for additional ambulance service on the Man side
- Looking at back roads people might use and graveling them, or making temporary repairs
- Making improvements to Kelly Mountain
“We will be at the meeting to have an open dialog and hear what the people have to say and have a chance to explain what is happening and why,” said Bly.
Work on Kelly Mountain is in progress and Bly said she and others will be in the area to review and take photos of the current work zone to have for the meeting.
When asked about the situation at Madison Creek, Bly said the focus right now is on the area of route 10 now closed. The contractors on the two jobs are different according to Bly, as well as the challenges for each job. She said once the meeting for route 10 ends, they may stay to discuss the solutions available for the slides at Madison Creek.
Madison Creek residents have been isolated by repeated slips and slides, the worst of which one resident claims took a day and a half to clear. The slides are not only rocks and dirt, but whole trees mangled in the mix.
Jennifer Smith and her mother Linda Wilson both live on Madison Creek and are also affected by the route 10 closure. The two have organized a community meeting with county and WVDOT officials hoping to find a solution to the problem.
They are gathering input and forwarding it to W.Va. Delegate Rupie Phillips, who will be looking for a way to respond before the meeting on Tuesday.
Some of the issues include health issues that need immediate response; the cost of the additional commute in terms of money and time, taking into account the economy that has cut hours and income for many; and, safety concerns for workers and motorists.