CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The new year may bring corporate sponsorships to the West Virginia Turnpike.

The West Virginia Parkways Authority put out a Request for Proposals in November. Parkways General Manager Greg Barr said sponsorships on toll roads are becoming more popular across the country including on courtesy patrol vehicles.

“The insurance companies like State Farm, Geico, Progressive, will put a wrap on vehicles and pay the toll road or the state a sponsorship fee to promote their insurance business,” Barr said.

There are other services or items that could be sponsored including the Wi-Fi that’s provided at the travel plazas or a watermark on toll receipts.

The Parkways Authority explored the idea of sponsorships in 2007 but backed off after receiving several complaints. Barr said the issue has matured in the last 10 years with it happening more and more across the country. He believes the Turnpike could bring in up to $500,000 a year in sponsorships.

“That’s extra non-traditional revenue that could help offset and defray the cost of providing those services such as courtesy patrol and Wi-Fi,” he said.

The 88-mile West Virginia Turnpike from Charleston to Princeton is part of the federal highway system and any sponsorship would have to abide by existing state and federal regulations.

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