Monday, August 27, 2007

Record Sum Set Aside For State Paving

Provided is an article that was in the August 23, 2007 edition of the Charleston Daily Mail.

New laws that eased burdens on the state Road Fund, a renewed gas tax and some internal belt tightening have left the state Division of Highways with up to $95 million for road paving this year. That's a record. Typically, the state budgets about $50 million for a year's worth of road paving.

"This is the first time that the state paving program has been funded at this high of a level," said Brent Walker, highways spokesman. Beyond the paving money, lawmakers during the special session that ended Tuesday gave an additional $57.7 million for bridge repairs and smaller road projects ineligible for federal money. For the remainder of the summer and into the fall, Highways plans to spend $75 million for paving, Walker said. An additional $15 million to $20 million will be spent in the spring.

Over the past few years, Highways had scaled back its paving budget amid worries about the Road Fund, Walker said. Last year, the paving budget was kept at a low $37 million. At the beginning of this year, highways had only planned to spend $20 million during the summer paving season.

For the increased budget, Highways is crediting lawmakers and Gov. Joe Manchin for laws passed during the regular session that sloughed several programs off an embattled Road Fund. The costs of programs like the Courtesy Patrol, some State Police operations and state Public Service Commission weight enforcement were shifted to more appropriate sources. These actions freed up at least $10 million in the Road Fund.

Lawmakers also renewed a nickel-a-gallon gas tax that is expected to generate $55 million a year for the Road Fund.

A total of $25 million of the paving money came from a supplemental appropriation authorized during the second special session this week. This money will be provided to all the state highways districts equally -- $2.5 million each. That's worth about three miles of repaved road per district, Walker said. The appropriation was possible because of some cost saving programs implemented by highways, Walker said.

Also during the special session, lawmakers at Manchin's request put $37.7 million towards about 25 small projects like guardrails and road slips and slides, Walker said.

Another $10 million will go to other road projects that are not federally subsidized.

Small bridge repairs got $10 million.

Walker did not know how many miles of state roads would get resurfaced this year with the big paving budget.And whether the high amount of paving money will continue in the future remains to be seen. "We'd love to be able to keep this up," Walker said. "But there's no way to really gauge that at this point. We'll just have to wait and see."

New Partners

Provided is a list of new partners who have recently added their support to West Virginians for Better Transportation:

West Virginia Hospital Association

Mineral County Commission

Click here to see the entire list of nearly 225 WVBT Partners.

Upcoming WVBT Speaking Events

Over the coming months, representatives of West Virginians for Better Transportation will be speaking before these groups:

· Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce – August 29

· Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley - August 29

· W.Va. Chamber’s 2007 Business Summit (exhibitor) - August 29-31

· Wheeling Rotary – September 4

· Regional Meeting #1 (Beckley) – September 5

· W.Va. School Boards Association - September 14

· Regional Meeting #2 (Huntington) – September 19

Help Support WVBT’s Efforts

If your organization or company/firm would like to provide financial support to or get more information about West Virginians for Better Transportation, please send an email to Someone would be happy to contact you.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Tenative 2007-2008 Meeting Schedule

19 September 2007 - Hampshire County
21 November 2007 - Mineral County
16 January 2008 - Grant County
19 March 2008 - Garrett County
21 May 2008 - Preston County
16 July 2008 - Taylor County
17 September 2008 - Hampshire County
19 November 2008 - Mineral County

Friday, August 3, 2007

US 50 Structurally Deficient Bridges Clarksburg, to Virginia State Line

US 50 Structurally Deficient Bridges Clarksburg, to Virginia State Line
Bridge Name
County Mile Post
Replacement Estimate Cost
Estimated Replacement Year
Macomber Truss
New Creek
2005 (not started)
Ellifritz Run
2004 (not started)
Romney (South Branch)
2004 (not started)
Bad Curve Bridge
Pleasant Dale Bridge
2005 (not started)
Capon Bridge

Source July 2006 US 50 Needs Study, published by WVDOT