The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

State News

July 7, 2013

Drilling trucks pound roads

CAMERON — Cameron Mayor Julie Beresford says roads around her city are taking a pounding from natural gas drilling-related truck traffic.

Both Beresford and Marshall County Delegate David Evans say they support the Marcellus Shale drilling boom. But they told The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that they’re concerned about the effects of constant truck traffic on roads.

Cameron, with about 1,000 residents, is at the heart of the drilling boom, which has both positive and negative effects, she said.

“I just want to see the people’s way of life respected,” she said. “With the number of oil and gas sites escalating, our infrastructure is truly being affected.”

The roads are really getting beat up because of the constant truck traffic,” Beresford told the newspaper. “Even when the trucks are not overweight, it is the constant pounding that the roads take from multiple trucks that go one right after the other.”

Evans, R-Marshall, said that he will continue to push for the state to do something to ensure that roads damaged by drilling-related truck traffic are repaired in a timely manner.

“I am for the gas industry, but something needs to be done to help the people out here. These roads are terrible,” Evans said.

Evans said U.S. 250 from the area between Fort Beeler and the new Cameron High School is particularly bad.

“Part of the problem is the DOH is running short on people right now,” Evans said. “The funding is also going down because collections from the gasoline tax are down.”

Beresford said that a more structured monitoring of roads is needed to ensure they are repaired.

He said he recently followed five drilling industry water trucks traveling through Cameron to see where they went.

“They went to a drilling pad over in Pennsylvania,” he said. “When I got over there, I saw five more water trucks leaving the site to come back through Cameron.”

U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va. and a civil engineer for many years, told residents during a recent town hall-style meeting in Cameron that he would do what he could to help.

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