Highway funding focus of Monday summit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will join U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller and Third District Congressman Nick Rahall in Charleston Monday for the West Virginia Transportation and Infrastructure Summit.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the state Culture Center. Much of the discussion is expected to focus on the possible insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund.

West Virginia Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox said there are some in Congress who support reducing funding for highways but Mattox said federal help is becoming even more vital.

“Roads go from state to state so we do need a strong federal program as far as I’m concerned in your highway and bridge infrastructure,” Mattox said.

The trust fund will run out of money Aug. 1 unless Congress acts. An $11 billion funding fix was discussed last week. Mattox said the federal funds are vital in West Virginia.

“We fund about 80 percent of our highway construction work through the federal program, so it’s very important to us,” Mattox said.

Some of the summit discussion will be aimed at public-private partnerships for construction funding.

“I think you’re going hear more and more discussion about public-private partnerships in the future,” Sec. Mattox predicted. “We’ve got to look at new methods of funding whether it be tolling or increases of fees.”

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