The West Virginia Department of Transportation and Governor Jim Justice (R) recently highlighted the number of roadway projects completed via the $2.8 billion “Roads to Prosperity” passed by the state legislature in 2017.
[Above photo by WVDOT]
At a press briefing on November 8, Gov. Justice and WVDOT noted that out of the 1,263 bridge and highway projects undertaken through the “Roads to Prosperity” program, roughly 1,200 are now complete – with WVDOT also paving approximately 9,000 miles of road, more than at any time in the state’s history, over the last six years via that program.
In addition to “Roads to Prosperity” – funded largely by bond sales – Gov. Justice and WVDOT Secretary Jimmy Wriston said they convinced the state legislature to grant several supplemental budget appropriations to WVDOT; giving the agency additional money each year to address rural roads. Without the extra money, it would be difficult for the WVDOT to address these routes, the governor said.
“It is unbelievable what has happened in terms of taking care of our roads and upgrading our stuff,” Gov. Justice said in a statement. “It drives economic growth to this state like crazy.”
“The ‘Roads to Prosperity’ program saved WVDOT; it saved the state,” said Wriston. “It laid the foundation for all the growth that we’ve seen in every sector across the state.”
He added WVDOT right now has over $4 billion of active contract construction projects happening across the state of West Virginia. “We also have nearly a billion dollars of contract consulting engineering happening right now, to come right behind it with more projects,” Wriston pointed out.
The governor also noted that the “Roads to Prosperity” program has kick-started major progress on his “Big Three” surface transportation projects: Corridor H, the King Coal Highway, and Coalfields Expressway. All of these projects are intended to open up West Virginia to economic development, Gov. Justice said.