W.Va. Dept. of Highways making progress on backroads

OCEANA, W.Va. (WVVA) The state of West Virginia’s back roads is shaping up to be one of the biggest issues in Republican Gov. Jim Justice’s bid for re-election.

After several candidates took aim at what they say is a lack of progress on the issue, WVVA News hit the road to learn more about work being done behind the scenes.

“I think it’s great. It’s something we’ve needed for a long time and I think there’s a great improvement,” said Chuck Childers on paving work being done on Route 10 in Oceana.

Since Gov. Justice made West Virginia’s backroads a priority in March, the Dept. of Highways (DOH) said their crews have paved more than a thousand miles of secondary roads, put down 92,000 tons of asphalt patching potholes, and completed ditching working on 13,000 shoulder miles.

“More money is there. We can bring in contractors to do some of the paving. In house, we’re doing paving. There’s more money and more asphalt to be bought,” said Highway Admin. 4 Sam Gardner.

While anyone can find a pothole if they look hard enough, Gardner pointed to the magnitude of the project.

“The roads did not go bad in a year and it will take more than a  year to fix them. I know getting stuck in a traffic zone is tough. But be patient. It will get better.

In fact, despite West Virginia’s small size and population, according to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, West Virginia operates the 6th most state-owned roadways in the country.

To learn more about completed projects and projects in the work, visit https://transportation.wv.gov/Pages/Secondary-Roads-Maintenance-Initiative.aspx

Annie Moore

Annie Moore

Multimedia Journalist

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