Main street in Oak Hill has seen better days… now the West Virginia Department of Transportation/Division of Highways is gearing up to change that.
With coal traffic having escalated through Oak Hill — District 9 has identified two base failures on Main Street that need repairing — in front of the hospital and right before Route 19.
“Couple of base failures come up on a paving project that we had done in 2021,” said district 9 maintenance assistant Michael Harper. “Our plan is to start next week and to dig ’em up, put base pot mix down and top it off with four inches of mix.”
The area is scheduled for general core maintenance activity — with the repairs due to be completed before the end of August.
“Damage to that up there is just base failure to come into the pavement,” Harper said. “We commonly have base failures in roads and a lot of times we catch ’em before they pave. And this one just come in after we paved.”
This type of distress to the roadway can be caused by many factors. According to the maintenance assistant, moisture seeped into the asphalt.
“The gravel and the rock underneath the pavement failed and that’s what makes the dirt and mud push up through the pavement; reason we call it a base failure,” said Harper.
The DOT gets many alerts about damaged roadways and must decide which to focus on.
“We do a daily/weekly check on all our roads,” Harper said. “We have people out on all the roads and when that one came in we started making a plan on when we’s gonna fix it and how we’s gonna fix it.”
Upon finishing the work, the DOT has to feel the road is up to par and residents must feel comfortable as well.
“Once we get done with it it’ll be back to a new pavement up there,” said Harper. “It’ll be a patch but it’ll be the same as a new pavement.”