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WVDOH piling wall crews to begin Sissonville’s Martins Branch Road guardrail project Thursday

CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) heavy maintenance crews are scheduled to be on site Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, pending weather and other conditions, to begin pile wall work on a section of Martins Branch Road between Sissonville and Cross Lanes in Kanawha County.

A tractor trailer recently lost its trailer in a sharp turn on the road, ripping out guardrail and compromising the road shoulder. Martins Branch Road is prominently marked as not suitable for the passage of large trucks, and drivers are strongly urged to follow these guidelines.  
“While we can’t tell truck drivers that they can’t use the road, those yellow caution signs are there for a reason,” said WVDOH District 1 Manager Arlie Matney. “We are asking drivers to take note of those signs and use caution in the area. Slow down a little in that turn, it’s not worth the risk.”

Matney said cars and school buses negotiate the turn with ease, but tractor trailers can easily get their trailers too far out onto the shoulder, tearing out the guardrail and possibly even going over the hill.  Yellow caution signs are used in situations such as this, to convey to drivers who may not be familiar with a road important information specific to driving in the area.
District 1 heavy maintenance crews will begin construction of an approximately 150-foot-long micro-piling wall in the turn this week. The wall, consisting of concrete slabs held up by steel pilings sunk about 15 feet into the ground, will allow the WVDOH to widen the shoulder and install backfill to allow installation of new guardrail. 

Recently, WVDOH has been using its own crews, in addition to its contracting partners, to reach more slide projects more quickly.  As Secretary Wriston and WVDOH work to make Governor Justice’s vision for West Virginia’s roads a reality, obtaining drills and training crews on this type of work makes it possible to reach projects which would not otherwise be completed this year.  

“Right now, there’s not enough of the shoulder left to secure the guardrail,” Matney said. “Motorists are warned to be cautious through the area while we complete the project.”

The work is weather dependent, but by using WVDOH’s own crews the piling wall is expected to be finished by next week and guardrail installation can begin on solid ground.