The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Editorials

February 17, 2013

Identifying funding sources for roads

 

State Senate minority leader Mike Hall from Putnam County is among a growing group seeking to address the state’s need for identifying funding sources to maintain and build roads and bridges across the Mountain State.

Last Thursday, designated Transportation Day at the State Capitol, Hall spoke about the need for having a broad-base of revenue streams to prop up the sagging state road fund. At the same time he issued yet another warning if something doesn’t change.

“Times are going to be a whole lot tougher if we don’t maintain roads. The public will have to buy in on the fact that roads are deteriorating,” Hall said.

Yes, those 36,000 miles of roads and 6,850 bridges are getting worse every day.

West Virginians for Better Transportation is a private group that was formed a handful of years ago to raise awareness. The group’s chairman, former state highways official Joe Denault, says there is no doubt additional revenues have to be found.

During the next 25 years, estimates to just maintain West Virginia’s roads and bridges is in excess of $30 billion. Monies from state and federal sources that are designated right now for that time period are in the neighborhood of $15 billion.

A third-grader can do that math. And we haven’t even talked about any new construction.

Ways being considered to boost road fund revenues within West Virginia include changing the flat-rate gas tax to a percentage-based tax, tolls, and raising the state sales tax and earmarking it for highways.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, as well as President Barack Obama, have pointed out the need for establishing more public/private partnerships to help.

Tomblin’s legislative director, Jason Pizatella, indicated that the governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Highways is exploring many options.

Factor all of that in with the ongoing gridlock in Congress, making federal funding a true uncertainty, and you can understand the depth and difficulty of the situation.

The only real constant is that there is a true need and it will have to be met if West Virginia is going to remain accessible.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Missing from the show

    If they attended, lawmakers would see strides made by TWV

    July 31, 2014

  • VA breakthrough

    Compromise shows Congress can put partisanship aside for the proper cause

    July 30, 2014

  • Doughnut holes

    Annexation benefits outweigh the taxes

    July 29, 2014

  • The play’s the thing

    TWV twins reveal local riches that can’t be found anywhere else

    July 27, 2014

  • Primary care

    DHHR program weans folks away from the ER

    July 24, 2014

  • Rain? What Rain?

    Community still enjoys auto fair despite uncooperative weather

    July 23, 2014

  • Do tell

    It’s hard to keep a secret in today’s here-a-camera, there-a-camera, everywhere-a-camera world. Whatever one does that is embarrassing is immediately posted on YouTube, Facebook or other social media of choice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Juvenile justice

    West Virginia nearly doubled the rate it sent youths to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, in contrast to declining rates of youthful incarceration elsewhere in the United States.

    July 20, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, July 19, 2014

    July 19, 2014

  • Do something

     Johnstown police have charged three men in the brutal murder early Sunday of a city academy student.

    July 18, 2014