BLUEFIELD — Both Rt. 112 (Ingleside Road) and Country Girl Road will be closed indefinitely as a threat of another mudslide remains.
Joe Pack, design engineer with the state Division of Highways (DOH) District 10, said the site is the same location in Ada of the February 2019 massive landslide.
That landslide, after heavy rains, covered the road and also knocked a house off its foundation and moved debris down the mountain to the railroad tracks below. The road was closed for more than a month for the clean-up.
The road was closed again in July 2019 as a threat remained with an unstable mass of dirt and rocks above Rt. 112 poised to slide onto the road. But it was reopened for local traffic.
Pack said more had “broken free on top of the mountain,” near Country Girl Road. “It has not come down on the road, but it is moving slowly, with mud and boulders.”
On Friday, crews were cleaning up the mud across the road from the heavy rains last week.
But Pack said both roads will remain closed because of the danger.
“The entire area (on the hillside between Rt. 112 and Country Girl Road) has a huge mass of dirt and mud that is slowly advancing (toward Rt. 112),” he said. “We have to wait for it to move to start mitigating the area.”
Water sources under Country Girl Road is the main cause of the instability.
“It’s all interconnected and must be stabilized,” Pack said. “But that large mass has to move first before any work can be done.”
A lot of work will be required after that happens.
“This is a different beast,” he said of the mitigation process. “It is complicated and will take a lot of engineering work. It is a big project.”
The goal is to come up with an engineering design to get the entire area stabilized so there is no danger to the public when the roads are reopened.
No timetable has been set on when that will happen.
“The weather will make a difference,” he said, adding that more rain makes it likely the mass will move faster.
In the meantime, Pack said he understands it’s an inconvenience for residents who are impacted, but safety is the priority.
Those living on Rt. 112 east of the landslide will have to take Rt. 112 to Ingleside to access I-77.
Pack said some problems like sinkholes along Rt.112 from Ada to Ingleside have been repaired and residents do not have to travel far to get on the interstate.
“The work on I-77 has also been completed so there are no delays when getting on,” he added, referring to the rebuilding of the all lanes of I-77 that resulted in lane closures and backups last year.
— Contact Charles Boothe at email@example.com