CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) is accelerating the permanent repair of a piling wall on State Route 34 near Liberty in Putnam County.

On Wednesday, WFXR News’ sister station, WOWK, spoke to citizens who drive the road daily. They say the road has been a problem for quite some time and advise others to “say their prayers” when driving through.

(Photo courtesy of WVDOH)

According to WVDOH, the slipping piling wall was already scheduled for repair this construction season, but the repair has been accelerated due to heavy damage in rainstorms on May 6. WVDOH is now back-filling with gravel so drivers can travel through the area while repairs are completed.

“We are rearranging our drilling schedule based on the heavy rains that further damaged this stretch of roadway,” said Kathy Rushworth, P.E., WVDOH District 1 Maintenance Engineer. “We’re trying to see how quickly we can get a drill in there to build a pile wall.”

The WVDOH owns four machines for drilling holes to sink the massive pilings into the ground and hold up a piling wall. They will be used to get WV 34 repaired as soon as possible. 

The WV 34 slip is among dozens of projects scheduled for repairs this construction season in District 1, including piling walls on Leon-Baden Road in Mason County, Spruce Laurel Road in Boone County, and Riverbend Road in Kanawha County.

To properly fix a slip, the WVDOH must evaluate each area for the most cost-effective solution that will function long term, providing the best value to taxpayers while keeping them safe on the roads.

“No two mountains are the same, and no road curves, rises and falls exactly like any other road. Soil nails, piling walls, micro pilings, how tall, how wide, how deep, into what type of soil, for how many drivers per day, how many passenger vehicles, how many heavy trucks — site specific considerations are many.”

West Virginia Division of Highways

The WVDOH gives all West Virginians a chance to report damages and ask for roadways to be repaired in their area. To make a report, visit the WVDOH website.