TheNewsCenter | Parkersburg, West Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

Slip Sliding Away

The rockslide on Route 7 Saturday was a close call. The one Monday night wasn't. Area residents fear the next time a rockslide happens, the victim might not be as fortunate.

"I live in Oak Grove and it's the quick way to get to Parkersburg," says Melissa Schafer. "So, yes, it's a concern they spend so much money and it still isn't fixed."

"I think when it's raining and the weather gets cold, it's going to get icy," says Jessica Smith of St. Marys. “I would be concerned about huge boulders falling on the side of the road.”

The rock that fell Monday night came from the same location as Saturday's rockslide.

"It was an adjoining piece of rock to the piece that came down over the weekend," says George Collins, District 10 Deputy Director for the Ohio Department of Highways. "It came down and hit the boulder that was still in place and we think the top of it severed and got into traffic."

Work crews plan to do some blasting and hand drilling to loosen material from the Hillside.

"Hopefully, before we leave this time, we'll get everything that looks like it's soon going to come off there," Collins says. "How far back, we don't know."

It was hoped the landslide problem was repaired after eight months of work costing more $6 million. ODOT now knows it may take more time and money to achieve that goal.

Collins doesn't anticipate that for the time being the latest work on the hillside will result in any further lane closures on Route 7.


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