MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Just beyond the business of downtown Morgantown and the bustle on the campus of West Virginia University, Old Lock 12 Road hosts about 15 full-time residents. Reliant on the road to get in and out of town, residents went year-in and year-out without seeing the road maintained by the state
Old Lock 12 Road, like most of the roads surrounding it, deteriorated over the years. In its ideal state, there would be a gravel base on the road with well-dug ditches and cleaned brush. Instead, residents said the road had not been touched in more than a decade.
“Well, the road is,” said Ron Newcome, a resident for the last 20 years. “The road is really just a ditch.”
For the most part, the road was maintained by the residents. Newcome said that each resident took care of a different portion of the road, adding gravel to fill potholes, cleaning the brush from coming out onto the road and, in the winter, shoveling snow.
While most of the road was in rough shape, none of it compared to “The Gauntlet.” The Gauntlet is about a football field length of road with a steep drop off that prevents any cars from passing each other. Nine years ago, residents took it upon themselves to fix the area together. Since, The Gauntlet became nearly impassible during the winter months when snow, rain, and ice roll down the hill.
“With it being nothing but ice, you hope the good lord is with you going down the road, because if not, you’re not going to make it,” Newcome said.
12 News reached out to the Division of Highways but did not receive a comment on if there were plans to fix the road. Newcome said that he had spoken to the DOH, but was discouraged with the feedback he received. He said that he was told the state would come out to fix the road months ago, but so far, no progress or update on the timeline has been made.