Long-awaited repairs to Tower Road are around the corner, just in time for it to shut down again.
Every winter, the Virginia Department of Transportation shuts down Route 758, Woodstock Tower Road, because maintenance crews cannot get snowplows up the hill, VDOT official Sandy Myers said Tuesday.
Before opening the road again, Myers said VDOT sends a crew to inspect the area and check for hazards such as downed limbs or erosion. When they checked earlier this year, crews found sections of the road wiped away, preventing VDOT from re-opening the road in the spring.
Now VDOT’s on-call contractor, GeoStabilization International LLC (GSI), of Denver, is finishing up another job and will be coming to Woodstock later this month.
Myers said she didn’t have a more exact timeline than “mid-October” because the project is contingent on GLI finishing its other work first. If the weather holds, Myers said the Tower Road project should be finished by early November.
Repairs will involve crews drilling soil nails into the slope and covering loose rocks and sediment with a net to prevent them from falling onto the road. The second step will include re-paving about 20 feet of the roadway, Myers said.
The repairs, which will cost about $350,000 are paid for by the state, Myers said, and will not include any new improvements over the previous road but will repair damage and make the road suitable for vehicles again.
“If you went up on the road, you probably wouldn’t see much change there,” Myers said.
In all, GSI will be repairing about 90 feet of the slope, including the 20 feet of repaved road, she said.
Although the repairs are expected to take a couple of weeks, Myers said VDOT will have to close the road again shortly after they are finished as they prepare for winter.
“We will have to close it again this winter because we can’t plow up there,” Myers said. “We do have that timeline to consider as well. The weather has been fairly decent lately so, hopefully, we will continue to have good weather so we can get in and out of there in a few weeks.”