NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. — Just than one month after declaring a “state of emergency” on the roads in Hancock County, Commission President Joe Barnabei says very little has been done and the county has not heard from any state officials.
“We’ve not heard anything from any of the departments about district six but we have seen some spot patching on a couple of roads that were supposed to be patched,” he told MetroNews.
Hancock County became the third county in West Virginia to declare a state of emergency when it comes to road conditions on May 9 at a commission meeting.
Barnabei said while the county requested three large projects to be put out for bid over a month ago, officials have yet to hear as to whether they were even put out for bid yet.
He added that Hancock County Delegate Randy Swartzmiller has even submitted 15 questions to the local Division of Highways office for District 6 in Moundsville, to the Secretary of Transportation Byrd White’s office and to Governor Jim Justice’s office but as of last week he has received no news in return.
“All we can do as our job as elected officials is listen to the complaints, return phone calls and basically we answer them as honestly as we can answer them,” Barnabei said.
“It’s not what they want to hear and we try to make them understand what we have been doing.”
Barnabei said that between the three county commissioners, they receive around a dozen complaints a week for the roads.
According to him, he tells the citizens that the county has met in person with road officials around the state in the early spring and declared a state of emergency, and that’s all they can do.
“When you go out in public and someone sees you there, the first question besides “how are you doing” is “when are our the roads going to get fixed,” he said.
“What are they doing about the roads? Can you guys do anything about the roads?”
Barnabei said some of the poorest conditions are found on Route 2 and Route 8 through the northern end of the county near New Cumberland and Route 2 and Pennsylvania Avenue that stretches through the southern portion of the county near Weirton.
He has said that Swearingen Hill Road, Kings Creek Road, Locust Hill Road, Culler Road, Pennsylvania Road, Cove Road and Weirton Heights are in need of massive repair too.
Barnabei welcomes any state official to Hancock County to take a drive on the roads.
He just really hopes major work is done to them them by the fall months.
“With each passing winter they just get worse and worse,” Barnabei said.
“If winter comes along before these roads are fixed, I hate to see what they are going to be like in the winter.”