Click the DONATE NOW link above to make a contribution to Friends of the Cheat’s whitewater access fund. Join or renew your Friends of the Cheat membership by contributing $100 or more.
For the third year in a row, Friends of the Cheat will work with a local contractor to improve Friends of the Cheat’s Rockville and Jenkinsburg Access Points and improve the county roads. We need your support again. Help us replenish the fund so we can step in again.
The Rockville bridge over the Big Sandy.
Rebuilding ditches along the road.
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Everyone who paddles the Cheat Canyon and Lower Big Sandy Creek knows about the poor condition of the Jenkinsburg Access Road. This road has continued to deteriorate each year causing real problems for paddlers and outfitters running shuttle. Large potholes, muddy ruts, washouts, clogged culverts, steep drop-offs and high rocks are hard on vehicles, especially the smaller cars most of us are driving.
Although Bull Run Road is a county road and should be maintained by the state, recent budget cuts combined with severe winter weather damage to primary roads make it unlikely that hard-pressed highway crews will give it much attention. Friends of the Cheat received permission from the Highway Department to repair the road ourselves.
Kevin Ryan, Friends of the Cheat staff, completed an inventory of road conditions and lined up a contractor to do the work well before Cheat Festival Weekend. The contractor used a jackhammer to knock down the most troublesome rocks and fill in the worst ruts with stone. 72.3 tons of stone was applied to the road by the contractor in addition to the rock they ‘created’ by busting up existing rocks. In addition, the state supplied 140 tons of material. The road is still rough, but more easily passable by ordinary vehicles. Improvements were completed for the Bruceton Mills/Valley Point side only.
Friends of the Cheat borrowed $5,000 to get the work done fast before Cheat Fest weekend. We depended on you to pay off the debt and to send a message to the State of West Virginia that the river and road are valued by the paddling public. All donations will matter when we approach the Governor and Legislature to appropriate funding for more extensive improvements.