Almost $1.7 million allocated to help Eastern panhandle roads
Work is set on secondary roads, August 20, 2011
by Matt Armstrong - Journal Staff Writer
CHARLES TOWN - The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed a bill to allocate $15 million to the state's 10 highway districts on Thursday, and the Eastern Panhandle will receive almost $1.7 million of that.
Berkeley, Hampshire, Jefferson and Morgan counties are the counties in the Department of Transportation's Division of Highways district that will receive $1,694,646, and the money will be used at the discretion of the district manager, said Sen. John Unger II, D-Berkeley.
The money will be used for work on secondary roads in the four counties. Roads and highways such as W.Va. 9 and U.S. 340 are considered primary roads, Unger said.
"It's to help with repairing roads ... and bridges in the region," he said. "(It will include) repaving, also fixing drainage issues that may flood on the road ... strengthen bridges, things like that. The thing of it is our roads are deteriorating, they haven't had care.
"The road money will not be used for patching potholes, but instead will be used for repaving roads that need it, like roads with potholes," he said. "We want to do more than just put a Band-Aid on it. We want to invest in fixing our roads."
It's estimated that approximately $400 million would be required to fully repair the state's road system, Unger added.
"We need more, but it's a start. ... We're working with the governor to try to identify other funding sources to be able to bring in more money so we can maintain the roads that we have, but also upgrade the ones that we have," Unger said. "Some of our secondary roads, one could argue, could be considered primary with the amount of traffic on them.
"It's very expensive, repairing roads. ... We need to do more and we will do more," he added.
The amount of funding from the $15 million for each highway district was determined in part by the miles of road within each district.