Earmark money for existing roads
We’re happy for our fellow West Virginians in Logan County.
They had every reason to celebrate last week. But their cause for joy is an illustration of why a substantial portion of the proceeds from a proposed $1.6 billion bond issue for highways and bridges needs to be earmarked for repair of existing transportation arteries.
After 20 years of on-again, off-again construction, a new four-lane highway linking Logan with Man was opened last week. Good. The new road was needed.
But the price tag was $350 million. Four more of those and the $1.6 billion is nearly gone.
Some state officials want to use the bond money for new construction. In some places, that would be appropriate.
Throughout our state, however, existing roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair.
Continued neglect will mean some will become unusable.
A major part of the bond program needs to be repairing existing roads and bridges, not building new ones we cannot afford to maintain.