GLADESVILLE, W.Va. – Sapp Weaver Road in Preston County is the kind of road that forces drivers to drive slowly because it is rough and in very poor condition.
It is a gravel road, with many spots missing gravel. There’s, essentially, no ditching, which means water pools on the roads and in the many potholes when it rains. Roger Brewer, who said he has lived on Sapp Weaver for virtually all of his life, said he thinks the state has neglected the road for far too long since taking it over a few decades ago.
“If it wasn’t for the neighbors and our equipment, it would be impassable,” Brewer said. “Because, at times, the road will have major holes, maybe, I don’t know, foot deep at times, like when a housing company brought out a 60-ton crane. It just crushed it, and then he was logging, it crushed the road.”
A lot of the time, Brewer said, his wife’s Lincoln sedan cannot come in and out of Sapp Weaver Road due to the poor road conditions. He said the front of her car gets dragged at the bottom and takes a beating from the big potholes and general unevenness of the road.
When asked how well maintained the road is by the state, Brewer said the following.
“Hardly at all,” he said. “I mean, they haven’t ditched it in, probably, I don’t know, 25 years or so, maybe longer than that. They literally do nothing to it, and last time they did, they brought a dump truckload and throwing, literally, shovels full of gravel into the hole, and then they went on. So, two days later, after a rainfall, the gravel left, everything was gone.”
These kinds of scarce, but only temporary, fixes, Brewer said, are what he and his neighbors have become accustomed to. That is why they rely on themselves to fix it.
Even when they turned to local officials, like State Senator Randy Smith, R–Tucker, all the state did was send another dump truck of gravel. None of the serious issues were addressed.
“They need to put some heavy gravel down, ditch it and bring it to part of where you can bring a decent vehicle in and out,” Brewer said.
There are more than a dozen homes on Sapp Weaver Road. That’s why Brewer and his neighbors don’t think it’s fair for the state to take over their road, just to neglect it.
“At one point when they turned it over, they called it an Orphan Road. But now, we’ve got so many homes on here, it needs to be a regular thing. And, it does have a route number, so it’s a state road. They need to fix it after the taxes we pay.”