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.

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  • NCWV

    It seems strange that all the roads went to pot at the same time and there's suddenly no money to fix them. Might Mr Mattox be using the opportunity like the NYPD use the 'blue flu' to extort more taxes from the people? We were initially told that the budget problems would mean that new road projects would have to be postponed and now the budget is so bad that we can't even fix potholes?

  • WVU1

    You only need to know a few people working for the DOH to know the failure on all levels. As taxpayers, we are being tricked by these people.

  • McD

    County routes I drive regularly are pretty close to having no pavement at all. Sounds like "surface treatments" means a return to the days of gravel and that doesn't usually stay in place longer than a couple of months if that long.

    And if the surfaces being repaved were not built to stand up to today's traffic and load weights, it is unlikely polymer additives, recycled asphalt, or anything else will last any better.

  • Bad Leadership

    Most of you are correct! The leadership at the DOT is horrible! When you have leaders who are political employees, combined with those in charge who are retirement age but just stay to pad their pockets, you end up with bad results. The ones that have the great ideas and true leadership skills are being cast aside and not given the chance to advance. It starts at the top!

  • WV Hillbilly

    WV has a leadership vacuum, especially in DOH. Corrupt and/or inept decisions waste what money we do have. It does no good to cut down thickness when what you have been using lasts no time as it is. You need to find materials and specifications that actually lead to longevity, not simply a temporary feel-good, but the vote job! The repairs done by contractors would be considered a scam and a crime if done by an individual on some resident's driveway!

  • charles

    ???? How do you swallow up $31million with $13 million????

  • ChangethepeopleORchangethepeople

    What????? the research, we have tried crumb rubber before, yes that is the name for recycled tires in asphalt. Does not work. Also, please do your research, polymer modified binders are 60% more expensive than regular asphalt cement. So reducing the thickness by 25% will still equate to a 35% increase in the cost of construction. The problem is simple, quit building new roads when you don't have the funds to properly reconstruct and maintain existing roads. In 2014, it is a tragedy that citizens are still driving on pot holed roads, and some roads are still gravel and dirt. If you want well maintained roads to travel, then you must be willing to pay for them. The mindset of cut taxes and increase spending is the logic of the well un-informed. Instead of thinking outside of the box, lets take the current administration, box them up, and send them to D.C., because that is the logic that works well to try and spin this kind of rhetoric. Fix our roads the way we did in the '90s and bring back Joe Denault to the DOH.

  • DWL

    Looks like the DOH and Mattox contract kickbacks will be smaller than anticipated. Fewer shovels to lean on, more than one person to a state vehicle, maybe even some layoffs. What to do, what to do? Eliminate the bridge to no-where leading to the 130th AW to start with.

  • Randy

    Here's a novel idea. Especially since we already have one if the highest road taxes in the country. Try doing those things and then let's say the legislature and the gov get together and reduce the corporate tax rates or whatever it is that is stopping business from coming here and maybe then do like the Texas gov and go sell moving here to big business and get some major job building done and the funding issue will take care of itself. The answer isn't raising taxes! It's more jobs, more people working = no need for higher taxes. Do your friggen jobs!!!

    • Eric

      What stops business from coming here is that we have a poorly educated, drug addled workforce. We have a broken down infrastructure with an excessive number of road miles per capita, and throw in a chemical spill that wipes out the water supply for the largest metro in the state. Nobody wants to relocate here, save for maybe the far eastern part of the state near I-81. Been that way for decades, it's just that Sen. Byrd had the power to drag jobs into the state, but he's gone so now WV is the Detroit of states.

  • Eric

    In the immortal word of Homer Simpson--

  • ViennaGuy

    - “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. -

    If it's cheaper, why didn't you do it BEFORE now???

    Sheesh, intelligence at work.

  • cutty77

    Sounds to me Paul has been hiding in the box the last 12 years. What a Joke.

  • P B and J

    "13 million overage in snow/ice removal and pothole repairs from the winter". That's pathetic. Instead of outside the box they need to think outside the DOH brain trusts.