Blame it on Mother Nature, said Ohio Department of Transportation District 9 spokesperson Kathleen Fuller.
Fuller said intense rains in February and March – especially in February – caused the failure of roadside piling helping hold up State Route 335 in Pike County near the 16-mile marker.
“We’ve got some pretty serious cracking going on,” Fuller added.
A portion of the roadway between Township Road 520 (Walkers Ridge Road) and County Road 56 (Carrs run Road) was closed April 18 and will remain closed at least through April 26.
Fuller estimated that stretch of state route normally sees somewhere between 750 and 800 cars daily. While the route is closed, motorists will be detoured via U.S. 23 and S.R. 32.
She added the plan is to install a new retaining wall. While ODOT hopes to have the work done by April 26, that schedule is weather dependent. The work will not be contracted out, but, barring any unforeseen circumstances, will be completed by ODOT in-house.
Fuller did not have a cost estimate on installing a new retaining wall. She did say ODOT conceivably could ask for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance in paying for the repairs as this area was cleared for FEMA assistance because of the heavy rains over the last few months.
The project site is located immediately south of T.R. 519 (Simmons Hollow Road), eight miles north of Beaver.