Lincoln Co. Road Closed; Crews Fear It May Slip into River

LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A perfect storm of issues has now led the West Virginia Department of Transportation to shut down Little Coal River Road near the Lincoln-Kanawha County line. Factor in all the recent rain and flooding with a slipping hill, and then a water main break, and it all adds up to a road that's too dangerous for drivers.

"It's dangerous," Deb Taylor said. "I just want it fixed."

It's safe to say Deb Taylor is a bit frustrated. Instead of a quick trip to the doctor, she and her family are now forced to find another route around Little Coal River Road. It's a detour that Taylor says could easily more than double her drive.

"I can be at work in 20 minutes," Taylor said. "Now it's probably going to take me about an hour and a half."

For weeks now, Taylor and her son have worried about the road, which they say continues to slip down the hill.

"It's not just fear for my child," Josh Taylor said. "There's a lot of kids that ride on a school bus through here. There's a fear of a lot of kids going in this river, and that river is cold as ice."

Friday, the West Virginia Department of Transportation decided to close the road over fears it could quite literally slip into the river below.

"The last couple of days we've noticed the slip getting a little worse," WVDOT Spokesperson Carrie Bly said. "Then we had a water main break in the area. So, you have all that water coming. Then you have the rain water, and now it's just gotten to the point where it's too dangerous for us to let traffic go across that."

Crews spent the day repairing the water main break. They believe the only thing holding the road on the side of the hill is a big tree. The Department of Transportation says a full repair won't come anytime soon.

"It comes down to safety, and in the long run we hope people be patient with us," Bly said. "We will get that road fixed, and it will be safer for everyone."

The WVDOT does not have the funding to fix the road, at least not currently. The DOT says there are several detours for families now cut off from taking Little Coal River Road.

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