DOH in battle with potholes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox says the agency is in a battle this time of year.

“We’re in this window where two weeks ago we were fighting snow and clearing snow and ice. Now we’re fighting the epidemic of potholes around the state,” said Mattox on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Some of that road damage was located on Interstate 77 in Jackson County where a DOH worker was injured while patching potholes Tuesday. The man was operating a rolling machine near Kenna when a tractor trailer hit him.

“They had one lane closed down. There were signs that read ‘eight miles of rough road ahead’ and we lowered the speed limit to 55 (miles per hour),” said Mattox, “These accidents can be avoided. They must be avoided.”

Mattox said they need a long-term solution to end road problems in the country. He said they do not have enough money to operate the federal highway system and that they need more funding.

The DOH hopes to receive more federal money for their highway program once their current federal highway bill expires at the end of May. They also hope to have a stable six year highway bill from the federal government.

On the state level, Mattox said West Virginia has more road funding this year.

“We’re $50.6 million above what we had budgeted. We have $21 million that’s going to be available to us after July 1, but we are refinancing our road bonds that were issued under the Governor Underwood administration,” said Mattox.

Mattox said they plan to put $30 million toward resurfacing county routes, $20 million toward small bridge replacements, $12 million toward repairing winter roadway damage, and $10 million toward sliding repairs.

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