WOODSTOCK – Work to repair Tower Road may begin as early as the end of August.
Ed Carter, the head of the Edinburg residency for the Virginia Department of Transportation said Wednesday that nothing is definitive yet but he is in talks with a contractor and is waiting on a schedule from the contractor to see if work can begin before the end of August.
“We appreciate the public’s patience with this process,” Carter said.
He said his department is working with several agencies to ensure the work can move ahead. VDOT and the contractor will also have to work with the U.S. Department of Forestry as the road runs through the George Washington National Forest.
Carter said the agency estimates the cost of repairs to the road at between $300,000 to $350,000.
The money will come from the residency’s existing maintenance fund.
The agency is looking at a technique called soil nailing to repair the road. Soil nailing is a construction method to treat unstable natural soil slopes.
In February, the Virginia Department of Transportation closed down Tower Road due to snowfall. The agency was preparing to re-open the road and had employees drive the road to ensure that it was safe and free from obstacles such as trees. Crews were about two-thirds of the way up Tower Road, in the George Washington National Forest, when they came across an eroded portion of the road.
Tower Road is built on a shelf that parallels the ridgeline. A portion of the roadway, about 10 feet, had collapsed and sent stone, asphalt and dirt about 50 feet down the embankment.
The park and its hang gliding opportunities bring tourists into the region and into Woodstock, where that town's manager, Angela Clem, recently noted: “We have expressed an urgency (to VDOT) in getting the road back open."