Opinion

What about the state of our state roads?

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram 

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s State of the State address on Wednesday evening had a huge, gapping hole in it — or, in more appropriate terms, a gaping pothole — because he didn’t even mention addressing the State Road Fund.

By the end of this legislative session, it will have been three years since the governor first appointed the Blue-Ribbon Highway Commission to identify issues, needs and recommendations to address West Virginia’s rapidly deteriorating roads and bridges.

It has been over a year since the Blue-Ribbon Highway Commission’s findings were made public. The commission identified the need for the state Legislature to increase current funding levels by a staggering $1 billion a year just to maintain the current roads and bridges, plus finish highway projects already in progress such as Corridor H.

The scapegoat for the past two years has been Congress’ failure to approve new funding for the federal Highway Trust Fund. Congress finally did so in August, and West Virginia fared well, receiving $2.3 billion over the next five-year funding cycle.

Without that obstacle, all eyes were on Gov. Tomblin’s office to develop and propose a solution for the under-funded State Road Fund.

State residents and legislators alike fully expected that the governor would finally address this issue during his 2016 State of the State address, as well as in the 2017 fiscal-year budget proposal he delivers to both the Senate and House leadership at the conclusion of his speech.

Sadly, it didn’t occur…

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