Highways Division designing fix for W.VA 72

ROWLESBURG — The State Division of Highways (DOH) received federal approval last week to begin designing a solution where a section of W.Va. 72 fell away earlier this year.

DOH Spokesman Brent Walker said Friday DOH District 4, which includes Preston County, had been waiting on the Federal Highway Administration Detailed Damage Inspection Report authorization  to begin designing the permanent repairs.

“The permanent repair will likely be a pile and lagging wall; however, the actual repair may vary once the evaluation/design is underway,” Walker said in an email. “Temporary measures in place to protect motorists include temporary traffic signals and the widening of the lane opposite of the slide to accommodate one-way traffic.”

District 4 can now, “proceed with the design of the permanent repair and subsequent construction. The estimated repair costs and construction timeline are undetermined at this time,” Walker said.

The road runs alongside the Cheat River. One lane fell away during storms in February.

Salt Lick Road and 18 other sites also were damaged enough for the DOH to seek a disaster declaration. All told, former District 4 Engineer Don Williams said at the time, damages topped $470,300 to Preston County roads, because of the storm.

School buses are still using the damaged section of W.Va. 72. Preston County Schools Transportation Director Tony Harris said that buses did not use it one morning because the situation appeared to be worsening.

The DOH went in and widened the drive-around area on the berm on the other side of the road that same day and buses traveled it again by afternoon. Harris said Preston County Schools will continue to monitor the area.

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