Sandy Myers 540-332-9201

Ken Slack 540-332-9264
Cellular: (540) 414-5670

May 1, 2009


STAUNTON – The Virginia Department of Transportation will reopen the closed portion of Route 39 in Rockbridge County at approximately 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. However there will be periodic lane closures with flagger traffic control over the next month to allow trucks to enter and exit the slope repair area below the road surface.

VDOT closed Route 39 from Route 252 to Route 729 on April 20 due to a slope failure.

The slope failure took place on April 20 and is located .5 mile west of Route 252. Heavy rain occurred on the morning of April 20 in the area of the slide.

The repairs are being accomplished in two phases. Phase one is complete and began on Friday, April 24. Crews from contractor Soil Nail Launcher Inc. of Fruita, Colo., worked on the top part of the road embankment. The contractor drilled holes under the road and drove steel into these holes under the road. The steel, which is referred to as nails, knits the soil together. The nails extend about a foot out from the soil.

A wire mesh will be hung from the nails, extending down the slope approximately 15 feet from the road bed. This wire mesh will be used as reinforcement for a shotcrete concrete wall which will be constructed parallel to the roadway.

VDOT Staunton District Materials Engineer Chaz Weaver, P.E., said, “Shotcrete is lean concrete sprayed through a hose at a high velocity onto a surface, which allows placement of the substance in hard-to-reach areas. Essentially a wall of concrete will be built on this slope to help stabilize the area where the road sits.”

Several days after the wall is built phase two of the repairs will begin using a separate contractor. The operations will include removal of mud and debris and then construction of a rock buttress to assist with the slope’s long-term stability.
Weaver estimates all the repairs to cost $330,000. This figure is subject to change as the work progresses.

All work is weather permitting.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. In areas where 511 is unavailable, dial 1-866-MY511VA (866-695-1182) (TTY/TDD users, call 711). Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at

Highway safety is everyone’s responsibility. Virginia’s highway safety partnership — the Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and Virginia State Police — challenges you to help prevent highway fatalities. Buckle up. Avoid distractions. Share the road. Drive drug- and alcohol-free. Obey speed limits. For more information on the Highway Safety Challenge and things you can do to avoid becoming Virginia’s next traffic fatality, visit


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012