Some Carter Co. roads are still closed due to February’s heavy rain

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CARTER CO. Tenn. (WJHL)- More than four months after parts of Carter County roads were damaged by heavy rains, some roads still remain closed.

Back in February, a portion of Riverview Drive gave way after record rainfall throughout the region. Today the road is looking even worse compared to back in February.

Chief Administrative Officer for the Carter County Highway Department, Roger Colbaugh, says that’s because the road keeps on sliding down towards the river.

“Underneath the roadway, there is a solid rock that’s pretty deep into the ground. That’s causing water to run on it with the fill material on top of that, which is just dirt and it’s washing away and sliding down toward the river,” said Colbaugh.

Colbaugh said that Riverview Drive was one of 90 roads that were damaged in Carter County during the heavy flooding.

Norman Evans lives on Riverview Drive where his route to Hampton has been temporarily closed.

“I’ve lived here for about six years and I come through here about twice a day. The kids’ grandmother lives over there in Hampton. It’s a quicker back and forth to Hampton from Elizabethton,” he said.

The Carter County Commission voted to use $62,000 to hire a contractor or an engineering firm to design a repair plan for the road.

Vice-Chair of Carter County’s Budget Committee, Isaiah Grindstaff,  sending News Channel 11 the following statement,

After the tremendous amount of rain that fell in February, that caused severe flooding in parts of our county, we were left with several repairs. One of which, was the damage done to Riverview Road in the Valley Forge / Eastside Communities. What started as a small road washout has quickly turned into over half of the road falling down the mountainside. Our Highway Department was quick to respond and with their hard work was quickly able to contact Mattern and Craig and obtain pricing to begin the repair process. A contract for Engineering Service was approved at a cost of $62,000 by the Commission at our April Meeting. It is my understanding that this process will hopefully be finished by the end of July. This will allow for the Highway Department to put out an RFP sometime in August for contractor services to complete the repairs necessary. The cost to repair the roadway and sure up the mountainside are estimated to be between $300,000 to $400,000. However, we are expecting that up to 75% of those funds will be reimbursed by FEMA. We are hopeful that work will begin around the end of August, beginning of September timeframe with overall completion expected to be by the end of the year or early 2020 depending upon weather. I want to thank Roger Colbaugh and the Highway Department for diligently working on this road repair project.

Isaiah Grindstaff

Colbaugh hopes that by the end of July or early August they will have a contract and a design with work starting the beginning of September.

FEMA will be paying for most of the repairs to Riverview Drive along with roads that have already been fully repaired like Lick Skillet Road.

Other roads that are still needing to be repaired in Carter County are Andrew Phenyl, Riverview Road, and Whaley Town Road according to Colbaugh.

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