Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

WV State News

April 4, 2014

W.Va. highway official: Rock slides inevitable

CHARLESTON — A West Virginia Division of Highways spokeswoman says there’s no easy way to stop rock slides on Interstate 79 near Mink Shoals.

Highway crews this week cleared several rocks tumbled onto I-79, injuring one driver. In February, a boulder fell onto I-79 and blocked traffic for several hours.

DOH spokeswoman Carrie Bly tells the Charleston Gazette little can be done to prevent rocks from falling from the sheer cliff above I-79. She says crews expect rock falls across the state because water gets between rocks and freezes during the winter, creating and expanding cracks.

In February, an automobile and motorcycle restoration business was destroyed by a rock slide in St. Albans. And in March, a fallen boulder shut down traffic for several hours on Route 21.

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