Random (but not really)

Sunday, June 23, 2019

WV Roads

I’ve talked about WV roads before, and I truly don’t think most people really get it.

US Route 50 stretches from the east coast to the west coast. It was constructed in the mid 1920s. So it’s been around for awhile and used to be a major thoroughfare.

West of I79, US 50 in WV is relatively straight, and for the most part a divided highway. East of I79 it is two lanes, 7-11% grades, and hairpin turns. The GPS often loses signal along the more winding stretches and has us either inside the mountain or floating above the gorge. (“Damnit! You’re off-roading again!”)

When I talk about reasons why WV has trouble getting jobs because of lack of infrastructure, US 50 East of I79 immediately comes to mind. No one in the right mind would bring production into an area where you cannot drive large trucks.

So in an effort to try and explain WV roads, here is a small section of US 50, taken over approximately 5 minutes, up to and then down one of my least favorite stretches of US 50. (This is NOT the section with the switch backs.) I named the pictures with the date and time, and all should have GPS coordinates.

Ready? Here we go!

18-55-00. Coming up to the top of the mountain, there are multiple signs warning trucks about the hill. “Trucks must stop 1/4 mile”

18-55-16. “Trucks must stop 1000 FT”

18-55-27. “ALL TRUCKS”

18-55-39. “Trucks. 20 MPH Curve Bottom of Grade.”

Oh yeah, this section of downhill ends in a sharp curve.

18-56-03. Here we go!

18-56-20. “Rough Road”

Because of course the road is subsiding.

18-56-55

18-57-12.

18-57-15. “9%”

18-57-27.

18-58-46. “30 MPH”

18-59-12.

18-59-23. “9%”

18-59-45.

19-00-13. “9%. 1/2 MILE”

19-00-39. “20 MPH”

That’s the final turn and now you’re down in the valley.

Five minutes. 9% grade. And it you mess up you’re smashed into the side of the mountain or plunging into the gorge.

These is a US route, not a county road. THIS is why we can’t get jobs in WV. Not because the people are unwilling to work, but because businesses can’t GET to the areas where jobs are needed.

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