Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 22, 2012

Road repair, maintenance projects continue across Mercer, McDowell counties

PRINCETON — Despite delays from the June 29 derecho, crews with the West Virginia Division of Highways are continuing road repair and maintenance projects across Mercer and McDowell counties.

Tom Camden, district manager for the West Virginia Division of Highways District 10, said many projects are now getting underway after the start of the DOH’s summer program on July 1, which coincides with the start of the state’s fiscal year.

“Our year begins July 1,” Camden said. “We have a spring program and a summer program. All of our spring program was completed by the end of June. We are now starting on our summer program. In Mercer County, we completed work on Stovall Ridge Road during our spring program and are working on projects on Horton Road, Nubbins Ridge Road, Skating Rink Hollow Road, Broadway Street, Surface Hill Road, and Sandlick Road as part of our summer program. In McDowell County, we have projects on Short Pole Branch Road, Right Fork Bull Creek Road, Trace Fork, Belcher Mountain Road, and Airport Road.”

Camden said road crews in District 10 are still working to repair road damage created by the June 29 derecho, but added District 10 did not suffer road damage as severe as many other parts of the state.

 “From a highway perspective, we were somewhat fortunate as far as damage in this area,” Camden said. “We had our share of trees blocking the road, but compared to some areas of the state we didn’t have as much widespread county. Out of the areas we cover, Wyoming County was probably hit the worst. We have spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars to do clean up and we are still doing some clean up in some areas. There were collateral damage to guardrails and signs, which will need to be repaired. That has put us behind a couple of weeks for routine maintenance work like cleaning ditches, pitching and repainting.”

According to Camden, the June storm did not impact contract work, which is often delayed during disasters such as flooding. As a result, several projects were able to go on as scheduled.

“Fortunately, this did not impact our contract work,” he said. “We have several million dollars planned for paving this summer, which is on track. This paving is mainly on our secondary routes. We are also hoping to get some paving approved for U.S. Route 460.

Additionally, Camden said road crews are working on several bridge projects in both counties.

“The Duhring Pony Truss bridge project is nearing completion,” Camden said. “We have several bridge contracts going on in McDowell County. There is one bridge down in Bradshaw and another in Panther that are coming up for replacement. We have several bridge projects on the horizon. Everything at the moment is still pretty much on schedule.”

Camden said he is proud of the DOH road crews in District 10 for the work they did ensuring roadways were clear during the storms as well as on continuing maintenance work.

“Our maintenance crews deserve a debt of gratitude,” he said. “They worked through the entire weekend of the storm and the following week to just keep the roads open. We all know when roads are blocked everything else quickly comes to a halt.”

— Contact Kate Coil at

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