Tom Warne Report, 24 February 2012
While some states look at raising tolls and adding new toll roads, lawmakers in West Virginia are looking at potentially eliminating toll collection in the state within eight years. With an $85 million annual revenue stream, the 88-mile West Virginia Turnpike will have repaid the bonds used to build the turnpike in 2019.
The Parkways Authority, which runs the 58-year-old turnpike, would also be prohibited from refinancing bonds or issuing new bonds once current bonds have been repaid. The bill states that once the roadway’s debt has been repaid and toll collection has ceased, the turnpike and its assets will be turned over to the state Department of Highways.
As a way to provide the department with funds to care for the four-lane road stretching from Mercer to Kanawha County, an amendment has been made to the bill which calls for “proper funding” to be secured before ownership is changed. The bill – HB4269 – is currently in the House Finance Committee.