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Section of U.S. 250 in Fairmont will remain closed

By Leah Nestor

Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Although it was scheduled to open Friday, West Virginia Division of Highways Geotechnical Unit found unstable rock and large trees above U.S. 250.

Because these are likely to slide onto U.S. 250, just south of Muriale’s Italian Kitchen and right before Wood’s Boat House and Power Sports, the road will remain closed, according to a WVDOH press release.

“The WVDOH will make every effort to expedite the slide remediation work. Maintenance of the detour route (Holbert Road to Marion Lou Retton Drive) will be a priority while this section of U.S. 250 remains closed,” the release reads.

Ray Urse said the WVDOH gets $2 million each year specifically for slides, but slides above the road are not typically addressed.

However, he said slides above a road are different than slides below the road.

Urse previously told the Times West Virginian that there have been slides at that spot for decades.

“One of the things that we take exception to is spending WVDOH slide money on slides above the road,” he stated.

He explained the reason for that being slides below the road “impact the integrity or the stability of the roadway.”

Urse explained that they have to immediately try to remedy those situations where “the integrity and stabilization of the road is compromised.”

The WVDOH does have an obligation when slides above the road occur, he said, and that is to remove the debris and make it safe for traffic.

The Times West Virginian previously reported that the WVDOH took precautionary measures Dec. 22 to by limiting traffic to one lane. Loose material and anything that appeared to be unstable were removed soon after.

Urse said previously that the WVDOH visually evaluates the area and that it has geo experts to evaluate the area as well.

U.S. 250 was first closed Tuesday.

Urse commented, “I have not received any complaints from any of the residents in regards to the stability of the property where they live.”

Email Leah Nestor at [email protected].

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