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Roanoke County residents still dealing with May flood problems

Stoneybrook Drive remains washed out almost a month after flooding

This is what Sugar Loaf Mountain Road looked like on Sunday, May 27, 2018 (Credit: Mari Addo)
This is what Sugar Loaf Mountain Road looked like on Sunday, May 27, 2018 (Credit: Mari Addo)

ROANOKE Co., Va. – The water from May's flooding is long gone, but there's still work to be done in one southwest Roanoke County neighborhood. A bridge closure continues to be a headache for people in the area and while the Virginia Department of Transportation said it will be resolved, it's going to be a few more weeks.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said the bridge project is a priority, and that there are ways around the closure. For many in the neighborhood, it's no long a question of when it's going to be fixed, but rather, just what is going on?

A swollen creek was the culprit of the problems after a late May deluge of rain was just too much.

"We'd also had a lot of rain prior to that and as you know with water, eventually it just doesn't have any else place to go so it's going to make its own path," Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jen Ward said.

That path was literally under Stoneybrook Drive, eating away at the road. The water caused problems to other streets in the area as well, but there were workarounds for those. Stoneybrook Drive on the other hand, remained closed to traffic. The rebuild is not easy.

"It's as if it was never there and we have start over and that's what's taking so long with that particular road, this was a complete washout, so the road, in order to bring it back up to spec, that's what we're going to have to do," Ward said.

The project requires time consuming permitting and environmental work. Mark MIller lives at the bridge, but he's not locked in. He's not hating his new cul-de-sac.

"We're kind of enjoying it because we can sit out here on the porch; it's nice and quiet, there's not a lot of cars, you'll see a bunch of cars and they'll end up turning around," Miller said.

Neighbors on the other side of the street, however, aren't as happy.

"We see the yellow tape up and we don't know what's going on. Are they starting? Are they not going to start? How long are we going to be out?" Steve Johnson said

Neighbors understand it's a long project but they just want to be in the loop. The Virginia Department of Transportation said it wanted to get everything squared away before it made any official announcements. It's almost at that point, and expects to start working in the next month.

"I think that's really been the inconvenience, we just keep waiting to come down this way, obviously, I still am over a month later coming this way, waiting for the road to open up," Nicole Wilkes said as she turned around at the closure.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said it will communicate the plans with the neighbors as soon as it can. Until then, they're asking for continued patience.


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