Webster Springs residents concerned over bridge safety

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 6:14 PM EDT
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WEBSTER SPRINGS, W.Va (WDTV) - People in Webster Springs say a bridge is in desperate need of repair. Of top concern, the bridge is part of a key bus route for the area.

A bridge along Grassy Creek Road is covered in metal plates.

Neighbors say the Department of Highways has been using those plates to cover holes in the bridge for over a year, but they say the bridge still isn’t safe.

Patricia Simmons grew up on that road and is worried about her family that still live there.

“That was their band-aid, but what are they holding to; the same rusted beams that are warped and wood that’s busted and rotted, how is that fixing it?” said Simmons.

Other bridges along that road have been fixed and maintained in the past, but neighbors say this one has been too far gone for too long.

Loretta Perrine lives along the road and says she doesn’t want her grandkids on the school bus when it goes over that bridge until there’s a new one.

“They have to ride the bus out of here and right now I’m worried about their safety, I don’t care what state roads says about it being safe to cross, that’s a heavy bus going across there with our precious children,” said Perrine.

Neighbors are now saying the Webster County Board of Education will no longer be sending busses over the bridge, instead moving the bus stop further up the road.

Perrine says it’s only a matter of time before a serious incident happens and first responders will have to detour to get to the emergency.

“People are afraid to come across there now -- that metal might hold you up for a little while, but how long is it going to hold before it busts completely through and the plates will go with it when it goes,” said Perrine.

Simmons says this has been an ongoing issue and after a recent incident sought help from the governors office.

She says she got a response Monday morning giving her hope that help may soon be on the way.

“I grew up on that road and those people up there are wonderful people and if something happens they are all bound together and try to take care of each other, if trees come down they’re all out there cutting them up to get them out of the way -- this is something they can’t fix on their own,” said Simmons.

5 News reached out to the D.O.H. and the Webster Board of Education for comment, but did not get a response.