FAIRMONT, W.Va. – “We have a creek bed for a road every time it rains, and there’s no way that putting gravel in a hole is going to fix that.”
Those are the words of Tom Hutchinson about Poplar Island Road, which lies just outside of Fairmont in Marion County.
He’s lived there 45 years, and he’s frustrated with how the road is treated.
“The road is in bad shape, and putting gravel in a hole is not going to fix anything. You gotta crown the road,” said Hutchinson.
He isn’t the only one frustrated. Several residents who live on Poplar Island Road voiced their concerns, including Brian King, who’s lived there 40 years.
“I counted 126 potholes from the mailboxes right there where that white car is, up to the main road. I can literally feel the wheels coming up off the ground when I go out through here,” said King.
The stretch of road he’s referring to is only around 1,200 feet long. But the potholes aren’t the only issue residents have.
Farther down, the road runs alongside the Tygart Valley River. Frankie Delapas was backing out of his driveway last winter and found himself almost going over the hill and into the river.
So, Delapas created his own safety system.
“My grandfather and I made a guardrail over the summer. So, I made a TikTok, and I recently got 8,000 views,” said Delapas.
You can see the full TikTok video here.
In the video, Delapas shows the guardrail, and then the condition of the road. The condition is also costing some of these residents as well.
“I’ve had to re-align my truck like three times in the last two years,” said Delbert Harker, a resident of the Poplar Island Road.
Above all, residents just want to Division of Highways to come out and fix the road correctly.
“Most of the work they do out here, they’ll be here half a day and think they’ve got it done. And that don’t get it,” said Melvin Willey, a 60-year resident of the road.