State Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox says his agency came out of the 2013 Regular Legislative Session with two important pieces of legislation intact.

The first makes the design-build construction model a legitimate consideration in replacing infrastructure.  “It’s no longer a pilot program. It’s now a tool in our tool box,”  Mattox said.

“We can use it in situations where we have an emergency or something we need to build quickly.”

Design-build cuts down the time on a project by eliminating the need to have design plans in place before any work can get started.

Mattox says the other key legislation lawmakers approved is the allowance of public-private construction projects.

“That will allow us to work with the private sector and be more collaborative and innovative in the way we go about designing, constructing, maintaining, operating, and even financing our bridges here in West Virginia,” Mattox said.

Always on the front burner at the Transportation Department is how to pay for building new highways and maintaining the existing roads and bridges.  The Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission is studying the idea and will come back with some recommendations later this year.

Mattox says toll roads are a consideration, but they are highly unpopular in West Virginia .  He also says the state doesn’t have roadways with the volume of traffic it would take to make them effective.

“The state of Virginia has looked at the consumer sales tax.  The state of Ohio has looked at leveraging their existing Ohio Turnpike to be able to bond for projects throughout the state,” Mattox said.

“I”m anxious to see what the Blue Ribbon Commission recommends.”

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  • WV Worker

    Bill, you are right, I wasn't thinking. The State can never ,ever remove the tolls on the turnpike. That is guaranteed money day in and day out 24/7. The State budget has relied on lottery money, not thinking the times would change and people wouldn't buy tickets, but the budget didn't change, relies on casino money not thinking that the others state was building bigger casinos, but the budget didn't change, that the EPA would stop giving out mining permits and that stopped servance tax, but the spending didn't change, that people would retire and not pay into personal taxes, no revenue there, or that people would go to VA to buy gas because its cheaper. People cut back on their spending when times get hards, but the State didn't. So yes we need the Turnpike and its money.

  • Yeah Right

    WVDOT needs a change in leadership ASAP. Changes are needed from the top all the way down to the bottom. Can't fire anyone because of civil service unfortunately.

  • Bill

    WV Worker,

    The truth is if you lift the tolls on the Turnpike it will become a pothole filled rut like most of West Virginia's roads. It costs about $70 million a year to maintain the road. Where is the money lost from removing the tolls to come from? Making the other roads in the State worse? Like most unthinking folks you just imagine you get things like roads for free. As far as tolling up north, the only roads with enough traffic to support tolls are the interstates and Federal law won't allow you to toll them. If the State adds lanes to those roads they could be toll roads. I'd support that.

  • WV Worker

    Mr. Mataox your quote," toll roads are a consideration, but they are highly unpopular in West Virginia . He also says the state doesn’t have roadways with the volume of traffic it would take to make them effective" If they are not effective why do you and the rest of your pals in Charleston keep fighting to keep the WV Turnpike tolls open? Why not tell the truth you know that if you and your pals place them up North, your butts are gone. The Blue Ribbon commission audit is going to be the same as the State Education, watered down and hire more people.(in Charleston of course with high salaries). Can't let them live on poor state workers income now can we.Why can;t any of you tell the truth.

  • Bob

    Hopefully we will be granted a GPS by our leaders and given a oil painting of Earl Ray to hang in all our vehicles and houses.

  • Cooter

    When in doubt, create a Blue Ribbon Commission to study a topic to death...