MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice and workers with the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) announced plans for one of the most ambitious years of roadwork in state history.
“It’s off the chart what’s going on with our roads in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “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.”
The event was held alongside Harner Run Road in Morgantown, which is set to be resurfaced with state-owned paving equipment and state crews. It is among the first of 266 roads across the state that will receive fresh pavement as part of this year’s program.
Over 800 miles worth of roadways will be resurfaced in 2022, with projects taking place in all 55 counties. The paving projects be $208 million worth of improvements to West Virginia’s roads.
“Those numbers are just for projects that are purely resurfacing projects,” Gov. Justice said. “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.”
Additional paving projects may be added to the program over the course of the year as funding becomes available, according to a release from Gov. Justice.
Earl Gaskins, WVDOH District 4 Maintenace Assistant said in just one month his district has already completed paving in Doddridge, Harrison, Marion and Taylor Counties. They will now move onto Monongalia County.
“After the winter season, after the treating our roads are usually in horrible shape … so now we need to get out there as quick as we possibly can to try and get things repaired. We want to make sure that while our children are going to school that the roads are safe for our kids to travel on, and we also want to make sure our road system is up to par when tourism comes for the season of travel and vacation. We want to make sure our state represents who we really are,” Gaskins said.
Resurfacing and paving are separate projects from filling potholes on roads. Gaskins said, this year, they are still on track to fill every pothole before Memorial Day per the Governor’s request.
Gov. Justice 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. The map provides real-time statistics on how much roadwork has been completed across a variety of categories. It can be accessed here.
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.
Justice also thanked WVDOH workers and spoke about how tourism in the state can’t happen without the roads they are fixing.
“Instead of being the state that the roads were all to pieces and the schools were terrible and we were backward and poor and all those bad jokes told about us, we’re not that anymore are we? We’re now becoming, we are the destination on all the travel guides that says ‘West Virginia is the place to come to.’ Would you have ever, ever thunk it?” Gov. Justice said.