WSAZ Investigates | Scenic State Road Causing Issues

A sign between Queen Shoals and Clay in Kanawha County calls on state officials to fix the scenic Elk River Road.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 7:49 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A sign between Queen Shoals and Clay in Kanawha County calls on state officials to fix the scenic Elk River Road.

Teddy Osborne has watched the road he drives daily crumble in front of his eyes.

“It is absolutely horrific. It is terrible. I mean, people are bending their rims and busting their tires. You see them by the road changing tires until they patch them and then they just eat out real fast. It don’t do any good to patch them,” Osborne said. “There are holes 3-feet wide into the hard road.”

State Route 4 is also known as Elk River Road. Neighbors said it is heavily traveled by semis, school buses, log trucks, area residents and tourists.

John Kelley does not travel Route 4 much. He said he was in the area to scout out a kayak trip and couldn’t help but notice the big sign and the road’s condition.

“The other day it was terrible, it was like a minefield there was you could not dodge the potholes,” Kelley said. “If somebody is kayaking or coming here from out of state it is very beautiful scenery and to see a sign like this. This takes time and effort that means these people are tired, that means it has been a long time, so that is not a good impression to give to visitors.”

Kelley posted about the road on social media, and WSAZ reached out to the DOH to see what could be done.

WSAZ sent a spokesperson a list of questions including, ‘What projects are being done to fix road conditions or issues on Route 4?”

A DOH spokesperson responded saying in part, “There are numerous projects planned to improve Route 4 in that area including a resurfacing project that was let for bid on April 11.”

WSAZ checked the bid letting and did not see any projects listed for that area.

The spokesperson also said crews plan to repave across the county line in Clay County, but that project is not scheduled to happen for another two years in 2025.

WSAZ followed up and asked the spokesperson why the project in Clay County will not happen until 2025 and if they could provide more information on the project on the Kanawha County side of Route 4 since it does not appear on the website.

Neighbors like Osborne and Kelley say something should be done sooner than later.

“So yeah, I thought it was pretty interesting that somebody in the local area has had enough of it and they made a giant billboard,” Kelley said.

Residents said the sign has been up for about a month along state Route 4.

WSAZ will continue to reach out to the DOH for more information. Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest.