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Some Putnam County residents blame a small culvert for road problems

Some residents living along Harmon's Creek Road say a small culvert can't handle the water from a creek, so the water go onto the road and damages the road. (WCHS/WVAH)

Recent rains appear to have made the problem of a crumbling road in rural Putnam County worse, and now a man living along the road is trying to bring attention to the problem to fix the road.

Driving on a section of Harmon's Creek Road in Putnam County is taking a toll on vehicles.

"It is zero miles an hour for the next three-fourths of a mile," said Harold Bowen who lives along Harmon's Creek Road. "It's very frustrating, and it's very costly if you hit those potholes hard because it will tear an axle out."

Another Harmon's Creek Road resident, Daniel Taylor, also has experienced trouble with the rough road.

"The car is damaged right now," Taylor said. "It needs repairs, and I can't afford to do it. Got two bent wheels."

Taylor said a lot of his neighbors have similar damage. He is now on a mission to draw attention to the condition of the road so it can be fixed. The issue is a small culvert that can't handle the water from a creek, and the result is the water gets on the road and stays on the road.

"The water crosses the road and eats out then the water gets under the concrete, and the weight of the vehicles they'll just burst it out," Taylor said.

During a continuing hard rain, the road becomes a stream in some places. In the winter, Taylor said, the water freezes, making a rough road dangerous.

"(Gov. Jim) Justice hollers he's got money for roads. We need some of the money out here. It's been this way for 18 years or better," Taylor said.

During that time, the road has gone from 20 feet wide to 8-feet wide. He is hoping repairs can be done sooner rather that later to keep that section of road from crumbling away even more.

West Virginia Division of Highways spokesman Brent Walker said highways officials know about the road and are planning to send someone to look at it to see what repairs can be made.

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