CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – If you ask any West Virginian about the state’s worst problem, many will cite bad roads. Now Governor Justice wants to join with the Legislature in fixing bad roads.
It could get very expensive, but Governor Justice is pinpointing three sources: the state’s road bond funds, money from the state general road account, and, more dollars from this year’s projected budget surplus. But he warns, not every road will get fixed.
“Let’s just be fair. But we are now shifting real live dollars and really live focus and real live manpower, into doing something,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R-West Virginia).
While Many Democrats agree on the need, some wonder about the money.
“Hopefully the reality comes that we actually get some work done on our secondary roads. And the governor gets his math worked out that we have some money to put in those positions,” said Del. Andrew Robinson, (R-Kanawha).
There are bad roads in every county, but one Preston County lawmaker says that led to a recent fatal accident in her community.
“Very critical. And we’re trying to get on top of things so that we never experience that again,” said Del. Terri Funk Sypolt, (R-Preston).
Even with a focus now on secondary roads, the Governor still says big projects like the I-70 bridge rebuild in the Northern Panhandle will happen.
“We’re going to find a way to do the projects. The people in the Northern Panhandle rightfully so, are concerned about those bridges and I am, too. For crying out loud, we’ve got to fix those bridges and everything,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R-West Virginia).
The governor says many secondary road projects can start, with the annual spring maintenance program.
The Governor believes all this new road work could create hundreds of new jobs. The problem is, the state is already having trouble filling all the job openings it currently has in the Division of Highways.