MASONTOWN, W.Va. – W. Herring Rd, in Masontown is one of the main roads leading into a neighborhood in Preston County. Residents have to cross over a one-lane bridge structure that has been there for many years. Since July 2019, a hole appeared and the bridge disintegrated, destroying the bridge completely.
Until three weeks ago, residents didn’t even have guard rails protects them from sliding off either side of the road. The temporary work done by the Division of Highways hasn’t helped the road become any safer for either drivers or residents along the road.
“It’s not just this road, its all the roads, this is just the worst one at this point,” said Tammy Lowdermilk, a resident on the road. “This is the fastest way in, and it’s actually the best way to come in here. It’s now one lane, my car barely fits across it.”
Neighbors number one concern is how fast cars are traveling across the bridge, because most people don’t see it coming because the blind turns on either side of the bridge. Especially for the elderly citizens living along the road, they are scared that soon emergency rescue teams won’t be able to get to them quick enouhg, and people may lose their lives.
“There’s a lot of older people that live out here, if they can’t get an ambulance through, then they’ll have to go around and go through 7,” said Debby Cress, another resident along Herring Rd. “This will prolong their journey another 20 minutes, people will die before they can even get there.”
Along with the danger of going off the sides, due to a mixture of the rocks and trash in the creek, there is always blockage under the bridge. This has lead to the creek overflowing and creating a slickness on the already dangerous road above.
Residents just want to raise awareness of the dangerous structure for drivers, and they hope it will be fixed correctly for the safety of the neighborhood, and residents living in it.
“I would tell them if it were you, or it was your family that needed the road fixed? Then wouldn’t you try to get it done,” said Cress. “You know if you don’t do it, then its only going to bring hardship, for some people.”
The last they heard about the bridge being fixed was by the end of April, but haven’t heard back since before Christmas 2019. Multiple neighbors have tried to reach out again for answers, but have only reached voicemails.