WALLACE, W.Va. — For this week’s Road Patrol, 12 News headed to Wallace in Harrison County for a trip on Gravel Run Road. Residents said that the road’s conditions have been deteriorating for years.
“I’m not sure about how often [the Division of Highways is] supposed to come down here, but they’ve never come down here before,” said Chelsea Bunnell, a resident of the road.
Gravel Run Road is narrow with not much room to either side. On one side, there is thick brush against a mountainside; on the other, a creek that regularly overflows and floods the road when it rains. Bunnell has lived on the road since she was 18, so she is no stranger to some of the issues weather can cause on the road.
“At one point, we were stuck down here for a month with no electricity,” she said. “Thank god we had a wood stove at the time, so we were able to keep the heat on, but no one could get down here to help us.”
Due to the road’s condition, Bunnell said family and guests are rarely invited over. She lives with her family on the road, so any gatherings with extended family beyond Wallace will take place at their homes. Gravel Run Road has beaten up their cars so much that she and her family have had to invest in new vehicles, all elevated off the ground, to make it easier to ride, but also to give them a warranty if something happened.
“We were paying thousands of dollars to fix old clunkers because that’s all we really ever wanted to drive,” Bunnell said. “We didn’t want to bring anything nice down here, but eventually, that starts to hurt the pocket.”