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Roane County Road Slipping Away, Following Harsh Winter

Reported: Mar. 19, 2014 10:54 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 20, 2014 10:26 AM EDT
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WALTON, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- After the harsh winter that much of the state experienced this year, we're now dealing with roads that are in bad shape.

But in Roane County, the bad roads are now interfering with more than just coming and going from home.

"I think (the Department of Transportation) did a fantastic job this year. Nothing against them at all," John Kelley, with the Walton Fire Department, said. "A lot of roads need repaired, but this is a project that I think needs to be fast tracked."

People living on River Road in Walton have watched a once solid two-lane road turn into what they're calling a dangerous one lane road just waiting to give way.

"It's very bad. I'm scared to drive on it," Carol Keeten of Walton said.

River Road is slipping away after a rough winter.

Asphalt and concrete hanging over nothing with gravel put down to allow cars to pass through.

Keeten said three school buses travel the road twice a day throughout the week, and now she's worried about the safety of their kids.

"Buses are so much heavier than a normal car," Keeten said. "I don't see how the road is holding up now."
And buses aren't the only heavy vehicles that need to get through the area.

Kelley said he'd be hesitant to take a fire truck over the gravel. He said the ground is not very solid under the rocks, especially with a plastic drain in the middle of it all.

"If we go on top of it , it'll break it if it's plastic," Kelley said. "It's just that simple. These trucks are extremely heavy."

Kelley said if the fire department wasn't able to use the road, the detour would triple their response time.

"The state has cut into the bank to try to get to where the bus can go around it," Tim Morgan of Walton said. "But in the event that that would give out with a bus or a fire truck something like that on it, it could be detrimental."

Now people on River Road just hope for a more permanent fix.

"I hope they fix it soon. I don't think you could go for another flood," Keeten said. "I think it will destroy it."

The Department of Transportation said they have been working on the road. For them, the rough winter weather is certainly complicating the fixing process.



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