CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – President Joe Biden signed the one $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal into law on Monday. West Virginia is expected to receive around $6 billion of that funding.
Half of the $6 billion will be invested in what can arguably be considered one of the biggest complaints to Mountain State residents: roads & bridges.
Some residents say they would like to see it go towards road maintenance.
“Definitely the roads, they’re just in really bad shape and I live near the interstate and I can hear everything, bumping as they go along the trucks and cars and so forth,” said Linda Eggleton, a South Charleston resident.
“I live in St. Albans, and some of the roads I’ve seen, ya know, the kids could play hide and go seek and never be found,” added Marion Washington of St. Albans.
West Virginia Secretary of Transportation, Jimmy Wriston says they plan to use this money for exactly those reasons and to complete started projects in a more timely manner. “We worked 27 years building route 10 the four lane between Logan and Man. 27 years. That’s not going to cut it. And this funding is going to help us move the ball significantly,” said Wriston.
According to a report from the White House, there are more than 15,000 bridges and over 3,200 miles of highway in poor condition in West Virginia. According to that same report, on average, each West Virginia
driver pays $726 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair.
“Bridge rehabilitation, bridge renovations, bridge preservations, bridge replacements that’s going to be a big priority in this program. There is actually a considerable amount of money in there dedicated to our bridges,” added Wriston.
Residents say, they just want the money to go where it’s most needed.
“With this money, I hope the right people that are in charge of spending the money will do the right thing,” said Washington.
“We’re going to continue to be better and we’re going to deliver this program and give the citizens the highway and bridge infrastructure they not only want, but that they deserve.”Jimmy Wriston, Secretary of Department of Transportation & Commissioner of Highways
Wriston adds some of the first projects they will be spending money on are completing Corridor H and the King Coal Highway.