The West Virginia Department of Transportation has determined it can pave more miles of roadway at a lower cost by training its own road crews to conduct that work alongside its highway contractors in all 10 of its West Virginia Department of Highway districts.
[Above photo by WVDOT]
Consequently, the agency said in a statement that it plans to initiate more in-house pavement training for its road crews going forward.
WVDOT noted that, in 2022, state workers paved 349 miles of roadway at a total cost of $44.9 million, averaging $128,547 per mile. That compared to 88 paved miles of contract paving at a total cost of $63.7 million, which averages $728,814 per mile.
Through the first six months of 2023, WVDOT said its crews paved 48 miles of roadway for a total cost of $7.4 million, averaging $154,354 per mile.
Contract paving completed in the first six months of 2023 totaled 105 paved miles at a total cost of $34.9 million, which averages to $333,923 per mile.
WVDOT said its highway crews initially received road paving training in 2020 following the purchase of new equipment.
To date, some 49 highway department employees around the state have received paver equipment training over the last three years.
The agency added that paver training is conducted through the WVDOH Equipment Operator Training Academy, with factory representatives from the paver manufacturer as well as various WVDOH maintenance experts leading the sessions.