Hospital Hill in Kingwood will close Feb. 1; fire department asks for public’s help

KINGWOOD — Hospital Hill will be closed to traffic on Feb. 1, while the Kingwood Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD) continues lobbying for the State Division of Highways (DOH) to resume maintenance.
“This isn’t something we wanted to do, it’s something we had to do,” KVFD President Tom Robinson said Monday. “For the safety and liability issues, we just had to shut it down.”
For as long as anyone in KVFD or Kingwood city government can remember, the DOH maintained the lower end of South Price Street, from where it intersects Brown Avenue to Showerbath Road. The 0.3 mile from the intersection with the former Preston Memorial driveway to Showerbath is known locally as Hospital Hill.
In fact, the DOH painted lines on the street last year and ordered the city not to paint a crosswalk there.
But when Robinson went to the Preston DOH headquarters in August 2018 to request repairs before the Preston County Buckwheat Festival, he was told it’s not the state’s road. And, since  land on either side belongs to the fire department, the road was suddenly its problem to maintain.
“We just assumed all along that it was a state route,” Robinson said. While the DOH has politely answered all questions, “they just haven’t given us the answer we wanted.”

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