The Chairman of West Virginians for Better Transportation says everyone will have to pay more for better roads.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that there are going to have to be additional revenues found from existing sources and, perhaps, new sources found,” Joe Denault said on Thursday’s MetroNews Talkline.
Thursday was Transportation Day at the State Capitol.
Members of West Virginians for Better Transportation and those with 33 other groups were in Charleston to talk with lawmakers about the state’s transportation needs now and in the future.
They were also getting an update on the progress of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways.
West Virginia has 36,000 miles of road and 6,850 bridges to maintain and will have $15 billion in state and federal money over the next 25 years for road work. Estimates indicate it will take more than twice that to keep up with all of the needs.
West Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Steve Roberts says a faster growing economy in the Mountain State would help fund needed road improvements.
Without that growth, he says it may be time to look at a higher tax rate for tobacco. “We have a lot of money on the table in tobacco that is going untaxed in West Virginia,” Roberts said.
Those with West Virginians for Better Transportation say driving on roads needing repair costs West Virginia motorists $292 million a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs, about $229 per driver.
You can find out more about the organization and its goals at www.keepwvmoving.org.