CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For decades, a short stretch of the Big Coal River beneath the Corridor G Bridge between Southridge and the Lincoln County line has been a landing zone for scrap tires flung off the bridge deck by fly-by-night tire shop operators and other unscrupulous individuals.
On Monday, a small army of Coal River Group volunteers, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps participants, Department of Environmental Protection interns and state REAP program workers used an armada of eight canoes and jonboats to launch a three-day attack on the streambed eyesore known to Coal River kayakers as the “Valley of 1,000 Tires.”
“Once those tires are thrown off that bridge, they get silted in fast and stay put,” said Chris Cartwright of the DEP’s REAP program. “I bet a lot of them have been there for 20 or 30 years. We went on a float trip that went past the bridge not long ago to look for places to put boats in and get the tires out. Someone asked me how many tires we saw, and I said ‘Too many to count.’”
“There are at least 1,000 tires there…