The state Department of Transportation is rerouting W.Va. 10 to the area above the collapsed hillside as part of a long-term roads project. It is also expanding the road to four lanes.
DOT officials say that it’s impossible to pin the slide on one cause, but that it was probably the combination of the construction and the consistent rain.
“I’m sure there’s a lot of people that had mixed opinions about that. You ask the people in the community and they’ll tell you straight up it was the result of the construction,” said Brent Walker, director of communications for DOT. “Four days of rain were enough to have concern about any hill.”
Walker said that there have been about 20 recent slides in the area.
A spokesman for Vecellio & Grogan, a Beckley-based contractor working on that stretch of road, declined to comment, deferring to DOT.
“We can’t really put total cause on one thing,” said Carrie Bly, a DOT spokeswoman. “We are working up there, we’re not denying that, but the weather that we had certainly contributed.”