Route 3 news conference to update public

Local - 1/17/2014 6:25 PM by Rachael Cardin

SUN DIAL - As Route 3 remains blocked in Raleigh County, residents near the slide have gotten more frustrated as the days pass. The Division of Highways held a news conference on Friday to clear up why it’s taking so long.


Communications Specialist for the Division of Highways, Brent Walker, said, "we have the three Rs, we've got rock, we've got road, and we have river.”


Officials working on the slide knew just how extensive the process was, and safety is their number 1 priority .



"It's a very dangerous process and it has to be done in a controlled manner to be safe and to keep the people working on it safe, as well as the public safe,” said Alan Reed, the Assistant Engineer to the project.


Senior Engineer, Jimmy Wriston, also commented, and said, “no amount of money that we spend down here to make this safe for the traveling public would be one dollar too many if we could save someone from being injured."


The rock slide looks a little different than it did 3 weeks ago. Officials have been working hard to blast, remove and haul away this material; however they say they're unable to put a timeline on when the road will reopen.


"if it were as easy as breaking those rocks up and moving em out, we'd have been open...and that's what...we really, we had no idea what we were getting into but you know our first thought is; how are we gunna get the road open?” said Walker.


Local residents understand the magnitude of this project, although they want the road to be clear; their biggest concern is ensuring the area is safe for travel.


A neighbor to the rock slide itself, Donna Hayes, said, “oh ya it's frustrating, for everybody around here; but you gotta do what you gotta do and they're trying to do it the best and safest way possible, I mean that's all there is too it."


Crews have had to plan ahead and then work carefully so power lines that stretch down the road aren’t damager, and no harm is done to the river below.


Wriston said, “there's an army of folks working on this, there's hundreds and thousands of tasks that had to occur behind the scenes.”


Regarding the river, Reed said, “ a lot of issues with the material in the river it's the wildlife, certainly endangered species, not infringing on the flood plane to allow flooding to be worse.”


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