WV Governor: Preparing for Our Bright Future
Whether in our personal or professional lives, it is important to prepare for the future, today. As your governor, I take this responsibility very seriously, and I continually strive to ensure our state is prepared for the days, weeks, months and years ahead. If we are prepared today, we will be well equipped for the opportunities of tomorrow.
In preparing for West Virginia’s future, we must consider the foundation our communities and state are built upon—our infrastructure. In an effort to encourage economic development, we must have infrastructure in place to support our daily activities, long-term growth and ever changing needs. With West Virginia currently maintaining the sixth largest highway system in the country, our states roadways—over 36,000 miles—represent a significant portion of our infrastructure.
Earlier this week, I took a very important step toward making sure we are prepared to care for our roadways and address our state’s growing transportation needs. I issued an executive order creating the Blue Ribbon Highway Commission, which will bring together some of the greatest minds in the industry in an effort to develop a plan for the maintenance, construction and expansion of our state’s highways. The Commission will study the condition and needs of our state’s current system and develop a long-term strategic plan with funding recommendations.
I understand there will challenges as we prepare for our future.
A major challenge we face with our highways is the rising cost of maintenance and construction paired with a lower percentage of federal assistance. While our maintenance costs have risen, our aid from the federal government has remained the same since 1999. We must also prepare for future economic growth and the growth of our communities. I know this Commission will help develop a resourceful and innovative plan to ensure we have reliable and safe highways throughout the Mountain State.
I’m very grateful for the outpouring of support I received this week. In addition to the support by our Senate President Jeff Kessler and our Speaker of the House Rick Thompson, 32 organizations have voiced their support of this new Commission. We all agree, our infrastructure must be a priority, and I’m proud to say we are on our way to creating a plan for long-term sustainability.
I look forward to receiving the recommendations of the Commission and working with our legislature to make sure we prepare financially for our future. Strengthening our state’s infrastructure will not only benefit our communities today, it will further sustain development in the future—ensuring a bright future for all West Virginians.