AASHTO News, 9 September 2011
(Washington, DC)-In a new a Two-Minute State DOT Update video, Paul A. Mattox Jr., secretary of the West Virginia Department of Transportation, outlines the critical need for additional investment to preserve and maintain West Virginia’s aging transportation systems.
“West Virginia is a beautiful state but, unfortunately, over the past few years, the needs for our road system have fallen short of where they need to be,” stated Mattox. “We simply do not have the financial resources we need to properly maintain and preserve the highway system in West Virginia.”
Known as the Mountain State, West Virginia’s approximately 3,100 cities, towns, and small communities are linked by 36,000 miles of highways and more than 6,600 bridges, which are maintained by the state. A recent study by Wilbur Smith and Associates determined West Virginia would need an additional $700 million annually just to preserve and modernize these surface transportation systems.
“We need to realize that there is an issue with crumbling infrastructure,” Mattox said in the video. “Our interstates are more than 50 years old and, while no one likes new fees or taxes, it’s going to take an additional investment by the American public into these resources to enable us not only to preserve but to expand them where needed.”
Mattox says while his department will never compromise on safety, current revenue shortfalls are forcing his agency to prioritize projects and programs in an effort to “do more with less.” “This is the reason why I’m hoping the general public will be open to additional forms of investment,” said Mattox.
To watch this and other Two-Minute State DOT Update videos, go to www.TransportationTV.org.