MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Division of Highways can be counted among supporters of the October 7 road bond vote.
The election of the amendment is less than a month away. If passed, it will allow the state to begin $1.6 billion in road repairs and other infrastructure projects.
Don Williams of the West Virginia Department of Highways was on WAJR’s Morgantown AM speaking favorably of the bond, highlighting the road repairs that could be addressed in Monongalia County.
“There’s a lot of projects listed, a lot of roads to be paved and actual monies to go to paving based on priority list that would allow us to fix roads and get them in better conditions,” the District Engineer said.
Among the projects that are set to be fast tracked if the bond passes include a $100 million bypass project involving I-79 and Van Voorhis Road and projects along the Mileground and West Run Road. Those projects, along with other road repairs, will be a part of the bond. Williams says the money will allow for more projects be done faster.
“The bond would then take those projects, fund those projects and if you think, move them up and now it opens a big void that we can filled in with other projects that we would’ve doen under our normal programs,” said Williams.
Despite the road bond issuance receiving positive endorsements from most local officials, concerns addressing the final bottom line of the projects have been brought up, in particular an increase in taxes. Williams says, if the bond passes, taxes will not change.
“The bond doesn’t change one thing,” Williams said. “The bond just allows us to take the monies already being generated from those three sources and being utilized to purchase a bond in a series of 40 years up to $1.6 billion,” he said.
The three sources of extra income for the DOH include an increase in DMV fees, the gas tax, and the privilege tax involved in car purchases. Those changes were approved during West Virginia’s spring legislative session.
Early voting begins on the bond issuance on September 22nd. Election Day is October 7th.