CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The road bonds were approved in October 2017 and were designated for major new highway and bridge construction projects as well as work on the state’s main highway systems.
But in his State-of-the-State Address last week, Governor Justice said some of the money needs to be used to fix secondary roads around the state. Many lawmakers agree.
“The need is very critical. I mean the roads have been left, not taken care of for many, many years. It’s just becoming a crisis,” said Del. Amy Summers, (R) Taylor – Majority Leader.
“The biggest complaint I receive from my constituents in Wayne County are the roads. Our roads – the further you get out in the county – the more rural areas, are deplorable,” said Del. Ken Hicks, (D) Wayne.
But some worry that might go against the original intention of the road bonds, even though help on secondary roads is badly needed.
“I know when the Governor was promoting that he was promoting new roads and fixing up existing roads, but it wasn’t for secondary roads. They haven’t even been able to come up with the money to do what they said they were going to do,” said Del. Randy Swartzmiller, (D) Hancock.
The governor said in his State of the State Address, that his administration has been talking with the road bondholders to make sure moving some money to secondary road repairs would be okay. Delegates say the need is stark.
“Well I think every Delegate here has always talked about is one of the biggest issues we face, is the roads in our counties. But not just our main roads, but also our secondary roads,” said Del. Patrick Martin, (R) Lewis.
The road bonds were to raise $1.6 billion.
Details on the proposals to fix secondary roads across the state will become clearer once the Department of Transportation budget is delivered to both the House and Senate Finance Committees.