by KATE SHUNNEY
A handful of county roads are still closed due to damage from a June 3 flood that hit a wide swath of Morgan County. State road crews have been working their way around the county to address problems like debris on public roads, unstable shoulders and sink holes caused by water undercutting the road bed.
According to Office of Emergency Management Director Dick Myers, the following roads in Morgan County are still on the closure list: Powerhouse Road and Rockford Road in Great Cacapon and Cold Run Valley Road. Bevans Industrial Boulevard and Paw Paw Road at Orchard Lane are still restricted to one lane, said Myers.
Cold Run Valley Road just west of Berkeley Springs remains closed from Spicy Cedar Lane to the Coolfont Mountainside community. A culvert beneath the road was dislodged and collapsed during flooding on Sunday, June 3. A substantial portion of the eastern edge of Cold Run Valley Road gave way there. Concrete barriers block all vehicle traffic through the area. Residents can access the area by taking Cold Run Valley from U.S. 522 south of Berkeley Springs.
Residents and homeowners in other parts of the county are still having to take alternate routes more than 10 days after the flooding.
Paw Paw residents who use Route 127 through Hampshire County to reach the Winchester area have been unable to go that way because a portion of that road collapsed a second time following the flood. Initial repairs to Route 127 held for several days, but state highway officials have said the road will have to remain closed for major work. The closure adds roughly an hour to the travel time of Paw Paw residents who work and do business in the Winchester area.
Highway officials said there is a possibility the Rockford Road bridge over the Cacapon River in Great Cacapon could reopen late next week, if work remains on schedule.
Ed McDowell, chief of a DOH work crew out of Burlington, said on June 15 that crews pulled two steel sections of the bridge structure out of the Cacapon River after the flood. Welders were repairing small dents and reinforcing one section of the steel structure while crews installed decking on another of the four bridge sections. Two sections of the bridge were still partially missing on Friday.
McDowell, who has worked for the state roads since 1985, said this is the fourth time he’s helped rebuild the Rockford Road bridge.
Full-time residents on the other side of the bridge have been getting out since June 3 by using a rugged mountain road on the west side of Cacapon Mountain that serves as the only other way out of their properties. Many of the properties cut off by damage to the bridge also known as “Sparky Dawson’s bridge” are weekend homes.
The bridge on Powerhouse Road remains under water, and the road itself near the bridge is still heavily covered with mud.