Representatives from the West Virginia Division of Highways met with Monongalia County Commission and the public on Wednesday to detail the Roads to Prosperity Program.
If West Virginians vote yes in the special election on October 7, it would authorize the sale of up to $1.6 billion in road bonds.
Monongalia County would receive around $271 million to fund major projects.
District 4; which includes Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston and Taylor Counties will receive more than $450 million.
“It’s just not what’s beneficial to Morgantown or beneficial to Preston County, it’s an investment into the entire state,” said Senator Bob Beach, D – Monongalia.
The DOH hopes voters keep this in mind when they head to the polls.
“This is an opportunity to do more work on our infrastructure than I’ve ever seen in 30 years,” said WVDOH District 4 Manager and Engineer Don Williams. “It’s going to take projects that maybe 10 or 20 years out the road, move them into the next three of four years, increase our roads, replace bridges, new interchanges, and increase safety.”
The list of projects includes improvements to major areas such as Van Voorhis Road, Beechurst Avenue, West Run and 1-79 access to Morgantown.
“Being a major employer, the way the road is structured to get here is of extreme importance,” said Monongalia County Commission President Ed Hawkins. “The issue that is being done is for the betterment of all. Not just for Monongalia County, but Preston County, Taylor County, Marion County, Harrison County, we’re all going to benefit from this in the long run.”
The DOH said voting for the bond will create additional jobs to complete the projects and won’t increase taxes.
It will also free up money so that smaller projects can be completed faster.
“By passing this bond amendment that frees up that current pool of money we have that we’re trying to do everything with,” Senator Beach explained. “If we take out all the new projects that leaves us maintenance on the other side and we can start addressing some of those common concerns we have in our community just to mow weeds, fix drainage and patch roads.”
If the public doesn’t vote for the road bonds, the projects on the list will still be funded, eventually.
“If it doesn’t get funded, it’ll get funded somewhere else but it may take 10, 15, 20 years to get the money to trickle down out of our regular program,” said Williams.
A list of all the proposed projects can be found at transportation.wv.gov.