Homeowner says vibrations from road are ruining houses in Sistersville

Tyler County

SISTERSVILLE, W.Va. (WTRF) Amy Byard says her century-old home is being ruined by vibrations. She says the city is in the midst of a water line project that has torn up Route 2. 

When trucks drive over the damaged pavement, it sends shock waves through the houses like an earthquake.

“It wakes me up in the middle of the night,” Byard said. “Things move. The house cracks like crazy.”
Bottles of water vibrate on the kitchen counter.

“When I set down my coffee cup, a lot of times it will start moving, just from the jarring,” she said.

One morning, she was doing her makeup and the mirror went flying.

“A truck went by and jarred it clear off the wall,” she recalled. “I tried to grab it but it was heavy.”

The house shakes so much, she installed extra jacks in the basement.

“It sways, it moves,” she said. “On the second and third stories, it’s worse.”

She says it’s not occasional, it’s constant. The torn-up road causes passing trucks to bang, crash and roar. Byard is not opposed to the water project.

“The water system will be a betterment,” she said. “But you also have to maintain a project as you’re doing a project.”

Byard is a pipeline inspector, working long hours and also restoring her home.

“Basically it’s made of wood and nails,” she said. “Basically those nails vibrate their way out of the wood, and it actually causes structural damage.”

The worst part is that Byard is afraid to have her granddaughter visit, and that’s heartbreaking. The Sistersville mayor confirms Route 2 is rough due to the water project. Mayor Bill Rice says they convinced the Department of Highways to lower the speed limit to 25 for the duration of the project. And he says when the project is finished, Route 2 will be paved.

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