HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va. – A tale of two counties, freshly paved blacktop on the Taylor County side of Route 76, but its a different story on the Harrison County side.
Earl Gaskins of the West Virginia Division of Highways understands the confusion some drivers are expressing over the difference in road conditions from one county to the next, but explains that in this instance the size of each county plays a factor.
“What that involves is different funding sources and different priorities in the counties themselves, and how there’s a big discrepancy in road miles one county has compared to the other, and how many miles get paved,” Gaskins said.
More miles to pave in Harrison County means the DOH’s maintenance department will be taking steps this summer to make sure Route 76 stands up to the wear and tear.
“76 right now has seen a lot of oil and gas traffic,” Gaskins said. “There’s a lot of activity out in that area. We’re gonna make sure those patches are smooth to the traveling public, try to restore some of the shoulders, just check on things and get things mowed. And make sure it’s a nice safe way to travel for the public.”
DOH maintenance crews were out Thursday, ditching parts of the westbound lane of Route 76; an important step in keeping water off the roads.
“One thing water does, especially if you take a road that’s getting heavy traffic, it starts cracking and breaking down the asphalt,” Gaskins said. “Once the asphalt gets cracking, the water gets down there, and then you go through the freeze-thaw process, that creates potholes and road failures.”
Gaskins said crews will monitor Route 76 throughout the summer and asks drivers to be patient when traveling through that area.