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Road erosion threatens passage to Bedford County neighborhood

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 9:34 PM EDT
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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Residents on Pineybranch Road in Bedford County have grown used to driving very cautiously through their gradually eroding passage.

Now, they’re pleading for construction experts to help before an accident occurs or they become trapped.

Del Sprinkel has lived on Pineybranch for 20 years and remembers when he couldn’t drive his vehicle to and from his house.

“It had gotten down to where we just had a walkway to get across,” recalls Sprinkel.

He says in 2002, the original pipes guarding the edge of the street washed out from flooding, and were replaced with concrete.

Since those tumbled down last year, it’s only gotten worse.

Sprinkel fears the inevitable will occur and the road will continue disappearing.

“Just to be very careful and hoping it doesn’t wash out any further than what it is... otherwise we’ll have no access or entrance into here,” says Sprinkel. “It’s about 35 feet deep. If somebody drove off into it they’d definitely injure themselves or get killed.”

Sprinkel points out the construction barrels placed to help drivers navigate the cliff past dark, which were knocked into the ditch the night before.

“Widowers up here have health care that comes to their homes, they would no longer have that. If someone had an emergency, an ambulance getting in or out, it would be a real problem.”

The land is a private subdivision, so it’s not VDOT’s responsibility, or the county’s to fix it.

“When the county allowed this community to be set up, they didn’t allow sufficient funds to be collected to take care of it,” comments Sprinkel, who is also the road fund manager for the neighborhood.

The subdivision’s funds only add up to about $4,000, asking for $75 per year from each residence.

Sprinkel says he’s contacted multiple construction companies pleading for something to be done pro bono, but those that would consider such a project are backed up with work as it is, due to the pandemic, leaving residents waiting for a miracle or higher fees.

If you want to help the residents on Pineybranch, you can reach out to Del at 540-556-8324.

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