Blue Ribbon Commission for Highways Could Develop a Vision for Roads
The Treasurer for West Virginians For Better Transportation says he thinks a newly formed Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways could make a difference on the roads in the Mountain State.
“There’s no question that we’ve looked at a lot of issues around this question,“ Joe Denault said.
“But I don’t know that we’ve ever really, comprehensibly, put together a group like this that can look at the needs and, based on that, start looking at how we’re going to meet them.“
Last week, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced the creation of the Blue Ribbon Commission charged with studying the conditions and needs of the transportation system in West Virginia and forming a long term plan of action.
That plan will include funding options for maintenance, expansion and construction.
“We’ve got to really have a vision of what kind of transportation system we want from West Virginia now and five years from now and ten years from now, 20 years from now,“ Denault said.
A report from TRIP, a national transportation research group, determined 36% of the major roads in West Virginia are in poor or mediocre condition. A third of the bridges are considered “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.“
“I think it’s probably a case that we’ve just got too many needs for the resources that we’re putting towards it,“ Denault said of the reasons for the bad shape of the roads.
Over the next 25 years, West Virginia officials say the state will have about $15 billion in state and federal money to spend on roads. Denault says that is nowhere near enough. The actual amount of estimated need is close to $40 billion.
In all, West Virginia has 36,000 miles of state maintained roads and 6,850 bridges making it the sixth largest road system in the United States.
Members of the Blue Ribbon Commission are working on a deadline. They will present a report to the Governor before the start of the 2013 Regular Legislative Session in February.
•Three members of the Senate
•Three members of the House of Delegates
•West Virginia Department of Transportation
•West Virginia Department of Commerce
•West Virginians for Better Transportation
•West Virginia Chamber of Commerce
•West Virginia Business & Industry Council
•West Virginia AFL-CIO
•Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation of WV
•West Virginia Association of Counties
•County Commissioners’ Association of WV
•West Virginia Municipal League
•West Virginia Trucking Association
•West Virginia Manufacturers Association
•West Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association
•Contractors Association of West Virginia
•American Council of Engineering Companies of WV
•Three (3) citizen members, one from each congressional district
This 24 member panel is just another example of bloating the bureaucracy and denial of how badly tax dollars have been mismanaged over the years.
It is evident through unfinished highway projects that funding has not kept pace with the needs. What kind of budget is in place for this “blue ribbon” group to spend? When you appointed Plymale did that cover academia as well?
Corridor H was estimated to cost $15 million per mile. Let’s not waste money we don’t have for the same people to study an old problem.This is not a blue ribbon study. Where are the national experts and advisers?
Comment by We Can Do Better on 08.22.2012
You see possible funding for infrastructure from federal job stimulus down the pike but what about today? Highway problem? ADA problem? Do a study, create a commission. What about education? We are failing the children today! Where’s the blue ribbon study on that, Governor? The children can’t wait another 25 years.
Comment by FGC on 08.22.2012
As long as people keep allowing it, the crooks keep doing it. Just like the Gilmer schools CEFP committee: all teachers, ex-teachers, principals, school staff which is absolutely against the rules. And guess what? The state officials and their appointees chose to even violate their own rules by forming this committee. People have to get off their butts and take America back.
Comment by Definitely on 08.22.2012
This will turn out EXACTLY as has the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION !
It WILL be STUDIED to DEATH. Then NOTHING.
We have 3 or 4 COSTLY reports and nothing, NO fixes and NO HOUSE CLEANING with the States educational mess.
Comment by anonymous on 08.22.2012
The newly formed Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways was formed so new roads can be built or repaired in WV? Really??? Is this so the present administration in Charleston WV and Washington can say “you didn’t build that business, we DID”? With all the other people on “our” payroll in Charleston, I would think there would have been one or two that would have been smart enough to figure this out without creating new jobs in the government that is already over employed as it is. So,how many are on this new commission and how much are the ones serving on this new committee going to be paid from “us” the taxpayer or are they volunteering their time to save the rest of us???
Comment by really??? on 08.22.2012
Have you ever noticed when the government (ANY government, local - state - or federal) wants to avoid an issue, they create a study commission? Has anything ever been improved by one of these? And to put the present federal Department of Justice in charge of corruption, complaining to them would be a joke! Taxpayers are getting a HUGE serving of taxation without representation, at all levels.
Comment by Karen Pennebaker on 08.22.2012
As much funding as possible will go to increased hiring of employees based on politically motivated cronyism and nepotism as recently done yet again at the High School. Such irresponsible and self serving acts leave public boards wide open for pending litigation. The qualities of experience, education and ability will matter in a court of law.
In the meantime, as we are experiencing,austerity will decrease public services. Businesses are supposed to beg for payment of services requested and rendered as though they should work as a favor.
We have made ourselves no more than pawns to a weak, unethical, leadership who takes full personal advantage of any situation. They find it amusing if anyone asks what they will do for the “people”. Those in control do not know care to know who “the rest of us” are.
Comment by Enough is Enough on 08.22.2012
Who do you talk to about putting a guard rail along Sycamore Rd. that connects to Rt. 5.
There has been four or five wrecks on this road, they go over the hill into the creek and it is a good way down to.
The road isn’t wide enough to start with and you get off the road to let someone pass you, and you are in gravel and slide.
A guard rail is really needed on this road if nothning else.
It would be interesting to see if anyone thinks the same way as I do.
Comment by Betty on 08.25.2012
If you go to WV Department of Transportation website home page, under citizens click on road repair. You can put the location and a full description of the problem and submit it from there.
Comment by FGC on 08.26.2012
Thanks FGC, I wrote to them and haven’t heard a word from them. Guess we are not important enough.I have news for them, we are all equal, you are not any better than the next person.
Comment by Betty on 09.05.2012
I heard from the highway department. And they were real nice. They are going to see what can be done about this road. They know the road needs to be widen and a guard rail put in. But it is a matter of how much money they will get to improve this road. There is no promise, but at least they are aware of the problem and are checking in to it. Seems no one has ever called them about any roads, but the people need to talk to them and tell them what the problem is. They can’t work on it if they don’t know what the problem is.
Comment by Betty on 09.11.2012
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