2017 National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week (April 3-7)
West Virginia Paving Crew Featured in an Oldcastle Materials Brochure - November 4, 2015
One of West Virginia Paving's crews was featured in an Oldcastle Materials nationwide mailing. A picture of one of our Elkins area crews was featured in the December 2015 Employee Involvement brochure that is distributed nationwide to all Oldcastle Materials companies. Foreman Dale Moore and his crew took place in a 2015 FFE Audit and performed very well. Thank you all West Virginia Paving Employees for making our safety culture an everyday improving process.
-Joe Burgess - West Virginia Paving Safety Director
Temporary fix to road fund woes could lead to long-term solution - Tuesday, January 20, 2015
by Joel Ebert, Capitol Bureau
The new Republican-led state Legislature will need to find a way to address more than $1 billion in infrastructure needs, says the head of a coalition focused on roads.
Joe Deneault was among hundreds of people who gathered and met with state lawmakers at the Capitol on Tuesday to call attention to West Virginia’s infrastructure needs.
“A lot has happened since we were here last year but I’m sorry to say, not in West Virginia,” said Deneault, before he introduced a group of speakers that included House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha; Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair Chris Walters, R-Putnam; and House of Delegates Roads and Transportation Committee chair Marty Gearheart, R-Mercer.
Deneault said West Virginia’s infrastructure is facing a major funding crisis that will leave the state’s roads in a continually deteriorating state unless new money is invested.
Although lawmakers have yet to see a final report from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways, Deneault said the infrastructure committee discovered it would take about $750 million a year to simply preserve the system in the state today. The committee also found an additional $380 million was needed in order address other major construction or expansion projects over the next 20 to 25 years.
“The legislature is really tasked with finding a way to come up with $1.3 billion,” Deneault said.
While he would like to see a long-term solution to fixing the state’s lack of infrastructure funding, Deneault said for now there may need to be a temporary fix.
“The most likely thing is to at least come up with a partial solution that will get us on the road to finding a final solution,” he said.
Following his public remarks, Deneault said it would be a bad idea to eliminate the state’s turnpike tolls — a topic that has been broached by Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson.
“Studies have shown if the tolls are taken off there would be a loss of about $83 billion of monies that are paid, by and large, by out-of-state drivers,” he said. If the tolls were taken away, Deneault said, it would require the highway department to have an additional $63 million in maintenance and renovation costs.
“It really doesn’t make sense at this point to take the tolls off,” Deneault said.
Carmichael said although the loss of revenue that would be experienced by removing the tolls would be significant, that doesn’t necessarily mean the task is impossible.
“We need to make sure that it’s backfilled with revenue,” he said. Carmichael said a thoughtful consideration how to find replacement money would need to be done.
“Everyone in this state recognizes that our highways are in the worst shape they’ve been in in many people’s lifetimes,” he said.
Carmichael said lawmakers have “put our foot in the water in terms of taking money from the general revenue” fund in the past.
“We need to do that to a greater extent,” he said.
Carmichael also said there were other areas, such as the tobacco tax, that could be considered in the context of broader complex tax reform, which could potentially generate additional funds for the state’s roads.
But Carmichael said Republicans would not be putting the state’s tobacco tax on the table outside of comprehensive tax reform. “We want to broaden the base and lower the rates for everyone. The people of southern West Virginia have paid that tax (turnpike tolls) for so long that we need to figure out a way to make that right,” he said.
- See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150120/DM01/150129968/1276#sthash.Tp7oBMP4.dpuf
Bob Wojcieszak/Daily Mail Transportation Day at the State Capitol - West Virginians For Better Transportation, a coalition of more than three hundred organizations gathered at the State Capitol Tuesday to tell lawmakers that the roads of the state need work. Here, a group of Operating Engineers gather in the State Senate Chamber.