SUNDIAL, W.Va. — Repairs to a hillside slip in Raleigh County continue to be a challenge for the West Virginia Division of Highways a week after the massive fall.

Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox said it is unlike anything he or any employees of the agency have ever seen.

“Those were 25 feet tall or better and just as wide and deep,” said Mattox. “I’ve never seen rocks that size.”

Mattox added it was a miracle no cars were travelling Route 3 when the rocks tumbled off the hillside Friday afternoon Dec. 27.

“We were lucky nobody got injured in that,” he said. “You don’t expect to be driving down the road and encounter anything like that.”

A contractor has put off several shots in an effort to minimize the boulders into a workable size to be hauled away.  The task is proving to be a tall order.  Officials say the work to remove the debris, repair the road, and shore up the hillside is still 10 days to two weeks away.

“Our engineers have been there and assessing the situation,” said Mattox. “My advice to them was while we’ve got the contractor there and the road shut down let’s take the time to do it right so it won’t happen in the future.”

Until the repairs are complete Route 3 is closed and those who use the highway have to take a detour which in some cases adds an hour to their trip.



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  • Andrew Reinschild

    I was wondering where Mr. Mattox got the idea that nobody was traveling rt 3 at the time. The rocks fell right before we got to the site. The cloud of dust was so thick you couldn't even see the rocks/boulders at first. If my co-worker and myself had been thirty seconds earlier on our way to work, than we would have been under the slide. We travel that road everyday to work and back. We work at a surface mine around the corner. Maybe someone can tell me why a surface mine can't be fined and or shut down over a high wall in the same or even better condition than those along a state maintained road? Maybe the government needs to turn their attention towards the true danger!