On Nov. 2, RT&S reported on a Norfolk Southern derailment that occurred on October 30 near Salem, Va., spilling coal into the Roanoke River and destroying the rail bridge over the river.
According to a report in yesterday’s Roanoke Times, repair work on the bridge is continuing, but has been delayed by minor flooding. For example, on Wednesday, crews worked to install four large footers at the edge of and in the river, but the some of the work area was under water yesterday morning.
According to a Norfolk Southern statement Wednesday, it may require a few weeks before the work can be completed and service restored to the line.
While the derailment did not create severe disruption in the area, some frustrating and inconvenient measures were required afterward. For example, authorities have discontinued stocking trout in the portion of the river affected by the accident. In addition, the city of Salem has been using wells for water, as well as purchasing water from the Western Virginia Water Authority. Also, this line hauls residential and municipal trash to the Roanoke Valley Resource Authority, and trucks have been required to provide the service while the rail line is out.
Greg Bilyeu of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality said that no wildlife has died as a result of the coal spill. He added that regular inspections are made of the river’s water, sediment and stream bed, all of which have remained normal.