WEST UNION, W.Va. – With Route 18 stretching 54.7 miles through 3 counties, including Gilmer and Tyler, West Virginia Division of Highways District 4 has been working to fix its portion of the road that runs through Doddridge County.
“We are currently working on an extensive plan. We have some of the big oil and gas programs partnering up with the department of highways, trying to come up with the repair,” said Earl Gaskins, director of WV DOH.
With DOH officials trying to tackle complaints seen by the naked eye, Gaskins told 12 News they plan to fix the true issue that drivers may not see.
“There’s three layers of asphalt. You got two layers of base, and then the wearing course. Wearing course is generally a inch-and-a-half thick, and it’s a smooth surface for people to drive on. A pothole is generally when you lose one layer or more of that asphalt, and that’s what you see, like I said, on a typical pothole. What you are seeing on 18 North is, you’re losing all three layers of the asphalt down to the stone.”
During the last construction stage, officials confirmed more than 150 tons of asphalt were used in just a mile and a half, roughly consuming 25% of the division’s county budget in only 1.7 miles of roadway.
As the DOH is doing the best they can through temporary fixing to make sure all drivers are driving safely, Gaskins said the real permanent fix comes from an extended budget, and if that much money is going into the project, the DOH wants to make sure the work is done properly.
“This repair that we are working on is actually going to cost us one and a half times of what our county gets generally. So, that’s one of the reasons why it’s been such a hold up. You know, this is an extremely large project, and 18 probably hasn’t seen this kind of work in years,” said Gaskins. “If we are going to spend that money, we want to make sure that it is done correctly, and that it’s going to be a permanent fix that’s going to sustain for several years for the life of the road.”