CHARLESTON, W.Va. – State Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox told state lawmakers Monday that unless some significant funding source is identified revenues coming into the state Road Fund look flat for the foreseeable future.
“It has been pretty much flat the past 12 years. Looking forward for the next six, from numbers we get from the state Tax Department, it looks flat for the next six years,” he said during a legislative interim committee meeting at the state capitol.
Mattox said he challenged his maintenance engineers at a recent meeting “to be innovative and look outside the box.”
The transportation secretary is talking about things like rubberized asphalt and using polymers in paving. He said the DOH will have to like to reduce the thickness of its resurfacing jobs.
“We currently put an inch and a half of asphalt down on our roads–we’re going to have to start putting three-quarters of an inch or an inch but increasing the strength by using the polymers which is still cheaper than putting down the inch and a half like we’ve done in the past,” Mattox said.
The DOH also plans to reduce the use of asphalt in the repaving of county routes. Mattox said more cheaper “surface treatments” will be used.
There are also things like recycled asphalt that can be used. Mattox said that could cut costs by 40 to 60 percent.
Sec. Mattox also told lawmakers that unless Congress comes through with new funding some federally funded projects would have to shutdown later year.
The state Road Fund is up in revenues about $31 million this fiscal year but that’s been swallowed up in a $13 million overage in snow and ice removal and pothole repair from the winter.