Eight months and roughly $350,000 later, Tower Road in Woodstock is open again as of Monday morning, according to Virginia Department of Transportation officials.
Ken Slack, a VDOT spokesman, said the final cost may shift off the $350,000 mark once the contractors submit their final bill but said the figure was a safe bet.
Crews from GeoStabilization Incorporated came into town earlier this month to stabilize the road and fill in a large chunk of the road that fell away amid poor weather last winter. The crew, in conjunction with VDOT employees, used more than 100 soil nails, foam-grout and shotcrete to reshape and repair about 90 feet of slope and about 20 feet of the road’s surface, according to a release from VDOT.
Most of Tower Road has been closed since March, though the eastern approach to the road from Fort Valley was reopened for hikers and paragliders, Slack said.
During the winter, VDOT will close the road when inclement weather rolls in because snow clearing equipment cannot safely maintain the winding roads. Slack said VDOT does not have a hard date for when it will close the road; it depends on the weather.
“We basically close the gate at the bottom of the mountain whenever inclement weather makes it unsafe to drive,” Slack said. “We’ll close it off until Mother Nature makes it possible for us to reopen.”
Repeated road failures in recent years don’t appear to recur, Slack said, meaning the road should be free and clear for use up until, and then after, the snowy season.
“We did some inspections in the spring and didn’t find any other spots that had the imminent danger in them,” Slack said. “We should be good to go for the foreseeable future.”