MORGANTOWN, WV (WVNS) – Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) hosted an event yesterday to announce plans for one of the most ambitious years of roadwork in state history.
This month marks the beginning of spring paving season for the WVDOT, and they took the opportunity to announce an ambitious 2022 project to refresh and repave 800 miles worth of roadways across the state. The announcement of the project was made earlier today, April 6, 2022 in conjunction with Governor Jim Justice.
“It’s off the chart what’s going on with our roads in West Virginia. West Virginia is the place to be. We are the destination in all the travel guides. But all this goodness wouldn’t be possible without how we continue to improve our roads.”Governor Jim justice (R-WV)
The announcement was made alongside Harner Run Road in Morgantown, which is among the first of 266 roads across the state that will receive fresh pavement as part of this year’s program.
The Governor and WVDOT Secretary Jimmy Wriston P.E. announced that over 800 miles-worth of roadways in all 55 counties across the state will be resurfaced as part of the project this year. These projects alone will add up to $208 million-worth of improvements to West Virginia’s roads.
“Those numbers are just for projects that are purely resurfacing projects. That doesn’t even include all the additional dollars for paving work that will be going into several other major projects through the Roads To Prosperity program.”Governor Jim Justice (R-WV)
According to the WVDOT, more projects will be added to the statewide project over the course of the year as more funding becomes available.
“We’ve got the best coach in the Governor, we’ve got the best players, we’ve got the best tools, we’ve got the best people. The revitalized West Virginia Department of Transportation is the best DOT in the country, and we prove it each and every day.”WVDOT Secretary Jimmy Wriston P.E.
In addition to the 2022 paving project, the Governor and Secretary Wriston also unveiled the WVDOT’s 2022 Statewide Interactive Roadwork Map, marking the fourth year that West Virginians will be able to access this online tool and see what roads near them are scheduled to be improved this year.
Despite asphalt plants only recently opening for the spring, the WVDOT’s Division of Highways (DOH) has already been at work on road maintenance through the winter months. Through just the first three months of 2022, a total of 6,429 road projects – spanning 6,698 miles – have already been completed.
“Today, there are 701 active construction projects going on in the state. That represents over $3 billion of active construction projects going on at one single time in West Virginia. It’s amazing, but we have even more that we’re planning to do. All of these numbers that we’re announcing today are only going to get bigger.”WVDOT Secretary Jimmy Wriston P.E.
The DOH has over 51,000-miles worth of maintenance projects scheduled to take place in 2022, which would break the all-time state maintenance record for the fourth consecutive year. In 2019, Gov. Justice gathered leaders and with the DOH, including district managers and engineers, at the State Capitol in Charleston to refocus the agency’s priorities on putting road maintenance first. That year, the DOH completed over 30,000-miles worth of maintenance projects; the most roadwork completed in any year on record in West Virginia history. In 2020, the DOH bested this mark, despite complications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, completing over 39,000-miles worth of maintenance projects. Then, in 2021, the DOH blew that number out of the water, completing over 47,000-miles worth of maintenance projects
“It’s been three straight years of record-breaking maintenance, and we’re going to break it again in 2022. Think about where we were in 2019. Our roads were all to pieces. We had sold all of our equipment and, over the course of several decades, our roads had gone to you-know-where and back. You can’t rebuild them all on day one, no matter how hard you work. But we’re making significant progress.”Governor Jim Justice (R-WV)
Since the Governor directed the DOH to put maintenance first, over 96,000 secondary road maintenance projects have been completed on over 124,000 miles-worth of roadways. All of these road maintenance projects are able to be attributed to Governor Justice’s Roads To Prosperity program.
“The Governor’s Roads To Prosperity program turned this state around. It saved the state. We were upside-down until we sold those road bonds. Now look at where we are today. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this department and how proud I am to be a part of the Governor’s team.”WVDOT Secretary Jimmy Wriston P.E.
“Roads To Prosperity and the other programs that Governor Justice has initiated have made such a positive impact for us and our communities. The members of my team show up to work, every single day, to make sure that our roads in our communities are better. And it wouldn’t be possible without the Governor’s programs and the positive changes that have been made in the Division of Highways.”WVDOH District 4 Maintenance Assistant Earl Gaskins
“We would never have gotten to the point we’re at now without a great team, built of strong leaders and dedicated workers all through our DOT. I applaud you. Now can we do more? Of course we can do more,” Gov. Justice continued. “Whatever we do, we always need to make sure we’re always pumping as much as we can to make our infrastructure better because, when you make your infrastructure better, more people come.”Governor Jim Justice (R-WV)