CAWV announces opposition to governor’s Hobet mine site plan

ALKOL, W.Va. — The Contractors Association of West Virginia opposes Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s plan to spend $100 million to build over a 2.5 mile four-lane roadway at the reclaimed Hobet mine site in Boone County, the association announced in a release Thursday.

The association said it opposes the project until new sources of funding are made available to repair and maintain state highways and bridges.

“The CAWV is keenly aware that a good infrastructure of highways, adequate water and wastewater systems and suitable sites available for commercial and industrial development are vital to economic development and job creation,” said CAWV Executive Director Mike Clowser. “Our association is probably one of the biggest proponents of the ‘build it and they will come’ strategy, but we cannot support diverting money from an already distressed State Road Fund to build this project,” he said.

According to the release, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways concluded that an additional $750 million a year is needed just to maintain the current highway system. An expansion of the system would require $378 million, which would bring the requirement over $1 billion.

“The WVDOH has estimated the Boone County project will cost approximately $100 million with contractors being paid in 36 monthly equal installments,” Clowser said. “This is $33 million a year for three years that will have to come from other highway programs, including secondary road paving, repairing small bridges, fixing landslides and safety improvements such as guardrail and striping.”

The DOH ended FY ’16 on June 30 with total revenues of $691.5 million, a $51.5 million drop from FY ’15 actual revenues of $743 million.

“Until we can pass legislation to provide additional funding for West Virginia’s highway transportation system, the CAWV has to oppose the Boone County project,” Clowser said.

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