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Overbrook Road fix may be about to start

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Repairs to a closed section of Overbrook Road could start soon, assuming City Council members approve a contract Monday.

But residents who normally use the lower section of the road near Hickory Road may have to wait months before the repairs are finished and the road reopens.

Contractors also plan to install a retaining wall along Lilly Drive in North Charleston, where water seepage threatens to undermine the road, said Tony Fish, assistant city engineer.

"They're two separate projects but they both [happened] at about the same time so we combined them as a single contract," Fish said. "We became aware of them in late autumn, a little before Thanksgiving."

City employees closed the lower end of Overbrook more than two months ago after a section of an old retaining wall that supports the edge of the road collapsed.

"It's near the intersection of Stone Road. It pretty well took out the road for about 200 feet. People were veering up along the hillside to get around it. You could see the tire tracks. We don't think that's safe.

"The major portion [of the slip] is about 40 feet. There are very old existing retaining walls. There was a section of old wall that failed, but we decided to address the entire length of the old wall. There's a guardrail involved. It's lost support."

On Lilly Drive, city workers overseeing some of the road work related to the Kanawha Two-Mile sewer project noticed a problem, Fish said.

"Lilly Drive was recently repaved. The good news is there hasn't been any road failure. There was a water line leak. It caused some erosion of the embankment."

City engineers plan to shore up both roads with new retaining walls made from vertical steel beams and horizontal panels of reinforced concrete. It's a common system and can be built within the city right-of-way, he said.

Thaxton Construction of Sissonville, the low bidder, is in line for the $198,999 repair contract this evening. "He's just waiting to proceed," Fish said. "He's already ordered material."

Thaxton has the option of choosing which project to start first, he said, but the Lilly Drive project could be delayed until a utility pole is moved from the site.

Lilly Drive should stay open throughout construction, but the contractors plan to keep Overbrook closed because the road -- barely one lane wide -- is too narrow to provide room for vehicles to get past the drilling rig. In the interim, residents can access the road from the upper end, off Oakwood Road.

Thaxton has until May 31 to finish the project, Fish said. "I would anticipate it wouldn't take that long."

Reach Jim Balow at balow@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.


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