Road Repair Funding to Affect Local Communities

Federal funding soon will assist several West Virginia counties in improving roads damaged by severe weather last spring.

Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced in December that West Virginia will receive almost $7.4 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration to help finance federal road and bridge repairs in 19 counties to repair flood damage and other weather issues from spring and summer 2015.

More than $6.5 million is being awarded through FHWA's Emergency Relief program and more than $800,000 is from the Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads program. Almost $5.27 million will be set aside to aid Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, Mingo, Pleasants, Wayne and Wetzel counties.

According to Carrie Bly, communications specialist for the West Virginia Department of Transportation, the money will be distributed equally to each of those counties. She did not have information on specific projects planned.

"The funding will cover a combination of things. Some projects will be for soil adaptations and correcting the slope of hillsides. The money will also just help to fix guardrails damaged by flooding and tree removal," Bly said. "It is great to get the emergency funding. Without it the repairs would come from our general maintenance fund so we've received a lot of assistance."

Capito and Manchin said the assistance will be vital to improving safety and economic growth around the state.

"This funding is important to West Virginia communities that were struck by severe weather earlier this year," Capito said in a statement. "Roads, bridges and highways play a vital role in a mountainous state like ours, and this financial assistance from the Federal Highway Administration will help put these 19 counties on the road to recovery."

"The severe weather earlier this year took a toll on communities throughout West Virginia, impacting our businesses, highways, roads and our homes," Manchin said in a press release. "Over the past couple of months, I have heard from numerous West Virginians about the dire road conditions caused by the severe weather. I am glad this funding will help repair the damage while also creating an environment for economic growth.”

By:  Drew Parker
Source: The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register