Oakvale residents concerned about lack of response regarding decaying road

OAKVALE, WV (WOAY) – Some Oakvale residents are concerned about the lack of response regarding a road in desperate need of repairs.

Cumberland Road in Oakvale has been having issues since at least this February. Pressure from train tracks located above the road is causing cracks to form and the road is slowly falling apart. Kimberley Ballard, a resident of Oakvale, says it’s a danger for anyone living on or beneath the road. 

“Because of that pressure, it’s also putting pressure on the road and the land underneath it. So it’s pushing out walls that have been there and it’s also pushing out land beneath the roads.”

That pressure may eventually cause the road to collapse, threatening anyone living beneath it. Kimberely has tried contacting numerous agencies to get help. She says the Department of Highways has visited the road and has a plan to fix the issue, but there haven’t been any permanent updates from the DOH in months. 

“The Department of Highways and everyone that’s wanting to say it’s safe, they take gravel trucks up there to put gravel down for their temporary fix. But they can say it’s safe all they want, but they’re not the ones traveling it.”

The road itself is narrow and hard to navigate, especially for larger vehicles. Kimberely and other residents are especially worried about what might happen when school starts in a few weeks.

“There’s a school bus that’s supposed to be travelling this road when school starts. It’s the small handicapped bus that has to drive up this road. And when this first started back in February, the bus could barely get through there. And September’s coming, and I don’t know what they’re gonna be able to do with that.”

Roughly 40-60 people live on Cumberland Road. According to Kimberley they’ve had to deal with tree falls and other issues stemming from collapsing hillside. She says the road desperately needs a more permanent fix soon.

The town council and county commission are aware of the issue, but the road is the considered the responsibility of the DOH.