Residents Frustrated by Deteriorating Roads
Several members of Tyler County have becoming increasingly frustrated with certain conditions that have come along with the recent gas drilling increase. Residents of Wick Road have been dealing with an increase in poor road conditions that have resulted from the heavy truck traffic. Several gas trucks run up and down the road every day which is causing the road to break down in several locations over several miles. It has gotten to the point that there is a great potential for vehicular damage with dragging of vehicles, flattening of tires, or just being run into a ditch. With the roads being so poor, it has caused people to crowd each other when driving in an attempt to avoid some of these holes. Also, with the edges of the road being so jagged, it causes people to crowd the inside of the road to avoid flattening a tire.
With the road wearing away, and the trucks aren’t getting any smaller, it has also forced people off of the road in several situations. A resident of Wick Rd. said that “he has been run off the road three times by the big trucks that won’t get over and once he had to back up on the bridge going to Bearsville so that one of the big trucks could cross the bridge without creating a collision.”
In fact, there is a large section of bridge missing from the Bearsville Bridge where it was hit by a gas truck. In fact, There have been multiple bridges hit within the last few months out towards Wick and one lane bridges have become especially dangerous.
There have also been several complaints of the large trucks driving too fast for that small winding road. Residents fear for their childrens safety and the safety of their pets. In fact there are several signs posted along the road warning drivers to slow down. However, that has not seemed to help the situation.
One residents stated that they take away peace of mind. He mentioned, “I like to sit on my porch in the evenings and talk with my neighbor. When he comes over, we can’t get a word in over the load roar of the trucks.” There are complaints that the drivers will drive far too fast down the road and then power on their “jake brakes” going into the turns at all hours of the day and night.
Another resident stated, “Because of the poor condition of Wick Road, we have to allow extra time when going to appointments.” She continued, “Also, it’s costly in that we have to have alignments done or risk wearing out our tires. Just in general, it is a real hardship on us people that live on and travel this road. Also, the big truck traffic has taken over! We are the ones that have to move out of the way! I understand that this is progress, but at what cost to the locals?”
One set of landowners along Wick Rd. signed a permission sheet months ago for Antero to be allowed to step foot on their property so they could survey to make a new road, which hasn’t been done. Instead, some guys were on the property surveying back to the old state road to see if they could use it for their purposes of hauling stuff back there. Also, they told the landowners they would chip the wood where they cut trees for the pipeline. Instead, they burned it causing the landowners home to be enveloped in smoke. Allegedly they are even are burning brush when the do no burn laws are in effect.
The question is who is responsible for upkeep of these roads? One resident stated, “One gas company blames the other gas company who blames the other gas company and the state road won’t do anything about it because it is the responsibility of the gas companies.”
It was suggested that there be more pilot cars used on the roads, especially if this traffic continues after school starts back. Also, signs could be placed in highly destructed areas to at least warn drivers of the oncoming road damage. There are certainly some precautions that could be implied to better assist the residents that deal with the traffic on a daily basis.
Another resident mentioned that she had talked with a representative of Antero who claimed that Antero was going to repave the whole road bigger, wider, and replace all of the culverts along the way. The representative claimed that he needed the weather to warm up to start making asphalt. That was in May and now July is almost over and it hasn’t happened yet.
Residents may call the Antero public relations telephone number at 304-842-4500 for more information.