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Repairing Stone, Shannon Road

No doubt West Virginia Division of Highways officials sometimes feel as if they are under siege from hundreds of thousands of people, all demanding, “Repair my road first!” It can’t be done, obviously.

Give the DOH officials and workers credit. They are doing the best they can.

But occasionally, we hear of damaged roads that, perhaps, ought to be moved up on the DOH’s priority list for repairs. Stone and Shannon Road, in northern Ohio County, may qualify for such treatment.

As we reported this week, a section of the road not far from W.Va. 2 has been damaged so badly by a slip that it has been closed. That has had two undesirable effects.

First, people who live on Stone and Shannon Road and need access to W.Va. 2, sometimes to get to their workplaces, must take a 10-mile detour. Second, as resident Janice Stillwell pointed out, the road closure will result in substantial delays for emergency vehicles attempting to reach some people who live on the road.

Pursuant to Gov. Jim Justice’s orders, DOH personnel in every county have prepared priority lists for secondary road repairs. The governor hopes to raise $240 million or more for a massive program of correcting the deficiencies.

Ohio County’s list includes 36 separate priority projects. Having driven several of the roads on the list, we can vouch for the importance of getting them repaired.

Stone and Shannon Road is not on that priority list, even though many of the roads listed remain passable, if rough.

It is unlikely the DOH has the resources to tackle the slip repair work on its own. A private contractor may be needed.

If so, DOH officials should be looking into finding a contractor who can do the work. More important is finding money to pay the company, of course.

The first step is to view the road as a priority for repairs — and the DOH should do that.

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