Roads Will Be Repaired
Residents in rural areas of Wetzel and Marshall counties may see their roads repaired after months of complaining to state and gas company officials.
Silver Hill, Blakes Ridge, and Hohman Ridge, along with several other roads in the counties, have become what residents describe as “totally impassable.” Residents in recent weeks have reported mudholes that extend the entire width of roads in sections over 30 feet long.
According to West Virginia Division of Highways District 6 Engineer Robert Whipp, his department and gas companies that are drilling in the area are scheduled to begin repairing the damaged roadways. On March 17, Whipp and officials from Chesapeake Energy took a tour of multiple roads to survey the areas with the most reported roadway damage.
“The roads were in very bad shape,” said Whipp. “I explained to gas officials that it is their responsibility to maintain the roads their trucks are driving on every day.”
Whipp said he was aware of reports that some elderly people living in the area were unable to leave their homes, but he had not received any complaints directly from residents.
“I did tell gas officials Wednesday the roads should be in good enough shape for a regular car to get through, not just an SUV or ATV,” added Whipp.
“People who live in the area should be able to get in and out of their homes without any problems.”
According to Whipp, an agreement was made March 17 that the gas companies would repair the main roads and the Division of Highways would maintain side roads being used by gas company employees, as well as helping to repair ditches in the area.
In recent months, the relationship between gas company employees and residents in the area have become strained due to bad road conditions and increased traffic in the area.
“The combination of a harsh winter, melting of snow, and large trucks has made these roads fall to pieces,” said Whipp Friday. “We definitely agree they (roads) are in bad shape, and we are going to make sure they are fixed.”