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West Virginia Gov. Justice defends increasing highways construction costs, slams critics


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In what is becoming a familiar routine, a news conference by Gov. Jim Justice on Friday — this one to explain rising highway construction costs for the “Roads to Prosperity” projects — devolved into a tirade against critics, particularly House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison, and the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

“To think that it was brought out that I would deceive people or the secretary [Transportation Secretary Tom Smith] or these great people would deceive voters, not only is it not true, it is shameful,” Justice said to the governor’s reception room filled with Division of Highways employees.

Miley last week sent a letter to the governor raising questions after bids for the first major Roads to Prosperity project — on Interstate 70 in Wheeling — came in more than $100 million over original cost estimates and more than $55 million over a revised cost estimate.

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