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Residents concerned over road slip in Buffalo

People living in one Putnam County town fear that an entire road is going to fall apart if the problem isn’t fixed soon. (WCHS/WVAH)

People living in one Putnam County town fear that an entire road is going to fall apart if the problem isn’t fixed soon.

Those who live along Jim Ridge Road near Buffalo said the problem is now affecting bus routes. They said Putnam County school buses for Buffalo High School and Buffalo Elementary School will not travel on part of their road because of a slip that started nearly 10 years ago.

"If they drive over too close to where there is no dirt under the blacktop, they're going to break through,” Barbara Landers, who lives across from the slip, said.

Landers lives right across the street from the slip and said on the first day of school for Putnam County, the bus driver stopped her bus and looked at the slip. She said that bus no longer drives part of Jim Ridge Road.

"They have to turn around; it's about a mile and a half, two miles out the road. The people have to take their children out there to get on the bus,” Landers said.

The West Virginia Division of Highways said the school bus can safely travel this part of the road, but said a property owner put up a barricade to make it harder for the bus to get through.

Landers’ son, Wesley, said he has even offered up part of his driveway to make more room for drivers.

"I tried to get them to come out here and just asphalt a strip though here where the public could get through here,” Wesley said.

Wesley said since the slip really started to get bad about two years ago, the road has fallen off several feet. The DOH said repairs have been made to this slip in the past and repair plans for the future have been turned in and they hope to put the project out for contract, but there is no time frame for that right now.

"Every time it rains, it washes out underneath and another big slab of blacktop goes,” Landers said.

The DOH said it has not stepped in to tell school buses to stop driving that road. The decision is up to the bus garage.

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