DOH considering repairs to Evansville Pike in Preston

SCOTCH HILL — The State Division of Highways  is considering whether to do stopgap repairs to a one-lane section of the old Evansville Pike.

A 110-foot section of one lane of the road  (County Route 60) slid away during storms in February. The road is tar-and-chip in some places but in many places has deteriorated to gravel and dirt.

The slip is near where the Pike intersects with  Scotch Hill Road, off W.Va. 92, north of Newburg. The old Evansville Pike runs from  U.S. 50 to Independence.

DOH Spokesman Brent Walker said last week,  the slip is “part of the FEMA declaration for that event and has been assigned an authorization number.”

For now, “The area will be reviewed to see if any maintenance work can be done to improve the roadway until the slip can be repaired,” Walker said.

After the slip occurred, the DOH put up signs, noting the one-lane section. Since then, the school bus that  traveled that section of road was rerouted.

“We have never went back in there,” Director Preston County Schools Transportation  Tony Harris said Friday. He said it has not caused buses to make lengthy detours.

Harris said the DOH is considering, “doing kind of what they’re doing at Rowlesburg, going over into the ditch and putting pipe down. But I know they’ve got to be careful there cause the city water line goes up through that ditch.”

He was referring to a slip along W.Va. 72 that also occurred in February, reducing a section of that road to one-lane. The DOH  widened the road over the ditch on the side that didn’t slide.

State Engineer Aaron Gillispie   said in June  the whole of District 4, which includes Preston County,   set aside $1.4 million for slide repair. There are 124 slides, including 13 in Preston County, he said at a meeting with state and county officials in Clarksburg.

That doesn’t go far, he said. Just  repairing the 20-plus slides on River Road in Morgantown would cost $6 million, the DOH estimated.

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