Bill Seaver

A member of the West Virginia Parkways Authority says he’s beginning to preach a six-year sermon and he hopes to convert many when it comes to the future of tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike.

Mercer County businessman Bill Seaver says it would be “crazy” to take the tolls off the 88-mile highway when the Turnpike debt is paid off in 2019 and turn the road over to the state DOT.

“For these fellas to think that they can do away with 80 million dollars in revenue, 77-percent which comes from out-of-state personal cars and commercial traffic is ridiculous,” Seaver said Thursday after the monthly Parkways Authority meeting.

The governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Highways is currently studying the cost of the Turnpike and other roads. It’s been determined it takes $59 million a year to maintain the four-lane highway from Charleston to Princeton. Seaver says there would probably have to be a five-cent a gallon gasoline tax increase without the tolls.

“They’re going to have to raise a revenue source somewhere, but they (lawmakers in favor of eliminating the tolls) feel like they need to punish everybody in the state (with a gas tax increase),” Seaver said. “When they do they cost us jobs and they cost us monies in every adjoining county that surrounds West Virginia and it’s wrong. We need to speak up and shout against it.”

Seaver says the Turnpike tolls have long been an unfair tax on southern West Virginians but he says that doesn’t mean they should go away in 2019. He says the money when it’s no longer needed to pay off the road’s debt–could then be used for other projects.

“I want that money, when these tolls are paid off, I would like to see that line drawn across West Virginia. I want it spent on this end of the state for road projects, especially the coalfields,” Seaver said.

Whatever agency is in control of the Turnpike in six years it’s estimated it will cost $59 million a year to maintain including $12 million for paving, $9 million for bridge work and $22 million for general maintenance. It’s also estimated it would cost $20 million to dismantle the three toll plazas.

 

 

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Comments

  • wvtd

    he knows it is easy to lie to low-info voters, they believe anything.

  • SHADOW

    This Country is going into a phase where you pay if you use it, baggage on an airplane, toll roads, etc. The folks that don't use the service don't have to support the ones that do. Seems fair enough to me. I am tired of supporting the "free loaders" who want me to pay for all their activities. As to the fee on the WV Turnpike, where can you get a better deal than the $2.00 you pay for its use. If you don't like that, take the local roads, it isn't as if you are forced to use it.

  • Jamie

    If the money stayed in southern WV that'd be fine.....it doesn't now, why would it in a few years?

    Just like the coal severance tax, where does most of the coal come from? Where does that tax money go?

    Put tolls on all or none.

  • ShinnstonGuy

    Did anyone ever notice that the Turnpike is maintained much worse than the other interstate highways in the state?

    Perhaps they should keep the tolls and use the money after 2019 to smooth out some of the dangerous curvy portions of the highway.

  • HMAALLTHEWAY

    "Sounds like someone pouring honey potion in your ear and screaming revenue, revenue!"

    Its in place and it allows WV to collect funds from out of state traffic to help in maintaining the Turnpike.

    I can also agree if they want to spread the $'s to other roads in need that might work after 2019. The focus though should remain on the maintaining of the Turnpike and if the WVDOH completely takes it over, where is the $'s going to come from to support the up keep? There is no extra money out there floating around to use for The Turnpike. Our highways are in much need of work as it is without putting undue burden on the already tapped WVDOH budget.

    God Bless WVTPA

  • Jim

    This is a fine example of what is wrong with toll roads in WV, they never want to get rid of the tolls. Once the bonds are paid off the tolls should be removed.

  • cutty77

    Keep the tolls on.Its very Stupid to take them off.At least it helps pay for alot damage that the out of State people to do it.

  • Rick Baker

    Put a toll booth between Huntington and Charleston and another between Clarksburg and Morgantown and leave one on the Turnpike and we'll see how much other people of this state enjoy paying tolls.

  • Big O

    Got to support that leach on the state........Tamarack!

  • mntnman

    He's right!