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Road Patrol: A bad road receiving little attention forces homeowners to take care of it themselves

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REEDSVILLE, W.Va. – Imagine what you would do if you and your neighbors had to fix your road because no one else would do it. Well, that’s what residents along Zinn Chapel Road in Preston County have had to deal with.

Zinn Chapel Road has many potholes, it’s narrow and has a poor drainage system so when it rains, water has nowhere to go and just sits on the road. That is according to Mike Adams, who has lived off the road for 25 years with his family. Adams said there has never been a full repair done on the road in all the time he has lived there.

He said he and his neighbors have talked about the quality of the road many times. Adams said a road repair crew stopped by for a short period in the summer to fix the road but only worked on a portion of the road before leaving.

“I think they came in one day and patched about a quarter of the road and that’s the last time we’ve seen them,” Adams said. “Sometimes we’ve done it ourselves, just going in and patching holes and trying to make it so it’s at least passable.”

He said a lot of his neighbors, himself included, have machinery at their disposal and that is what they use to put some gravel and in the potholes.

Adams said the big concern for him was how narrow the road is, meaning every inch of it is valuable to its residents. He said there are pull-offs along the road, where one car can rest while the other passes. He said most people know their neighbors so they know where the pulls-offs are and what to look for.

However, Adams said traffic on the road had changed because of a construction project for a dam in the neighborhood. This means big trucks are going up and down the road constantly, making the narrow road very difficult to get through at times.

He said that in conjunction with the potholes and other poor conditions takes a toll on homeowner’s vehicles.

“The cost to vehicles is numerous, these potholes, and again secondary roads, it’s not like you’re speeding on the road but our vehicles are beat up all the time because we travel a lot,” Adams said. “We are lucky to have a 4×4 vehicle to run around in but at the same time those people that have small cars, some of these holes are 8-10 inches deep.”

Adams said he and his neighbors would like to see something done about the road conditions.

“First of all it would be nice to have some maintenance done on the ditching part of it so the water stays off of it,” Adams said. “And then we are a secondary road so I think most people would accept the tar and chip road and something that is smooth.”

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