Merrick Creek Road Reopened; Road Slip Still There

BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One lane of Merrick Creek Road, also known as Merritt's Creek Road, is back open after a large slip in the roadway.

The road has been closed for more than a month. While the West Virginia Department of Highways is working to fix the slip, it currently does not have funding for the project.

In the meantime, crews have put stop signs on each side of the slip to keep drivers safe.

Carrie Bly with the West Virginia DOH says a man who lives near the slip may be responsible for making it worse. Bly says despite multiple requests to not dig near the slip, the man continued to do so anyway.

“After the slip happened, I called the state and told them about the slip,” Tom Lake said. "They told me not to dig the dirt out. I said the slip is there and I’m going to have to keep the dirt away from my building.”

Lake said he didn’t have a choice but to dig. The slip is going into his yard. He said if he had not removed some of the dirt, that his out building would have been knocked off of its foundation.

But that’s not his only reason. Lake said an exposed gas line is an even bigger concern.

The line is exposed, and the slip is putting pressure on the line. Lake is worried that, if the road continues to slip, that the line could be ruptured or explode.

Business owners in the area say the road closure has hurt their businesses.

"If they're a brand new patient and the road's closed, they perhaps think they're in the wrong place or there's no business left for them to come to," said Shari Messinger.

Messinger says her store is a specialty store that helps women recovering from chemotherapy get items like headbands, wigs, bras and bathing suits to make them feel good about themselves. She said her customers are already stressed, and without being able to get to her store, they may have nowhere else to go.

"Well, the biggest complaint is patients show up and they realize the road is closed and they become very distraught," Messinger said. "They don't feel well, things are happening. How can they possible get here? Some people even thought our business was closed."

Now that the road is open, Messinger is hopeful her customers will be able to find her shop.

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