Editorial – September 29, 2021
According to the 2020 Infrastructure Report Card (you can Google it), West Virginia received a D-plus when it came to the state’s roads and bridges, putting them far below the national average. If you live in the Northern end of the state, the ranking could be much worse.
Everything from dangerous rock slides along Rt. 2, South of Paden City to the main Route through Sistersville, the roads to prosperity paid for by a 3.5 percent sales tax, has turned into the roads to poverty.
Just this past week, complaints have come in alleging a broken tie rod, three busted tires, a bent rim, and two needed alignments resulting from the nearly one mile of broken pavement that has plagued the community for over a year.
Residents have appeared before city council numerous times seeking answers to the problem, with the only hope for relief coming from an email from state delegate David Kelly saying he was promised the road would be paved by winter.
The speed limit has been lowered from 35 to 25 on that section of road because of the apparent rough conditions. However, complaints continue including those of large trucks exceeding the speed limit, causing more damage and covering homes and vehicles along the route in dust and dirt.
Compounding the problem has been the need to install new water and gas lines under the road prior to paving. However, winter will soon be upon us and paving plants will soon be closing. Resident’s patience are wearing thin.
At a recent council meeting, an engineer for the contractor who dug up the highway and installed the waterlines made the statement that the concrete patch was not meant for heavy traffic. For motorists, homeowners, businesses, and their wallet’s sake, let’s hope the pavement project is completed soon.
It would also be nice to see the hillside slips repaired before winter, as they are a major accident waiting to happen. Several paving projects have recently been completed in Tyler County, mostly where oil and gas well activity is ongoing. Those projects are good and well, but none are as important as the forgotten section of Rt. 2 through Sistersville.
Governor Justice said in 2017, they were going to fix old roads and potholes , so people don’t tear their cars up going to the convenience store. It’s a little late for some people who travel through this little part of Tyler County on a daily basis, and it’s downright dangerous as some drivers are literally driving in the middle of the road to avoid the roughness. Come on people, let’s get this done. It needs to happen soon and should be a top priority.