Greene County Bridge Closure Causing Problems

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Minor problems along roads are expected during a snow storm, but what about after the storm has gone, especially when it comes to emergency personnel answering a call for help? There's one problem knocking rescue crews off schedule.

"It's a scary thought. I have kids, and my mom has a younger daughter," said April Williams, a Greene County resident.

April Williams, like many other residents in Greene County, feels a sense of worry as the road leading to her house is shut down.

"It's going to take them a little longer to get to us," said Williams.

The shut down is caused by damage to the Mutton Hollow Bridge from heavy flooding just two weeks ago. The concrete slab across the water acts as a connector between the two roads. The support underneath allows a person to drive across, but that support has been eroded.

"Before we can replace the eroded material with concrete, to fill in underneath the bridge, we're going to have to repair the culvert pipes," said Lou Hatter, with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The repairs have been scheduled several times over the past weeks, but have been delayed due to wintry weather. Residents have felt a slight inconvenience due to those delays.

"There's other people that can't get to us, or busses can't get through here. We have to take our kids to the bus at the end of the road, or either take them to school," said Williams.

While VDOT works against the wet and snowy weather to make repairs, it hasn't ignored the county's residents. VDOT and Greene County emergency officials have been in contact, and are co-operating with each other. Still, when minutes count, luck comes into play because of two ways into the neighborhood.

However, "it could take five to ten additional minutes to respond. In a cardiac call, or a fire call, those minutes matter. But we're also realistic- that they're working on it, but the weather hasn't helped them a bit," added J. Scott Haas, the Sheriff of Greene County.

While Mutton Hollow Road is closed, residents are able to get to their home by taking route 33 onto route 634, or route 810 onto route 634.

The repairs will be made as soon as better weather returns.

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