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Tomblin forms new commission

Board to address transportation needs, economy

August 14, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

SAINT ALBANS - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today issued an executive order forming the West Virginia Blue Ribbon Highway Commission, a group tasked with studying the condition and needs of the state's transportation system and developing a long-term strategic plan of action. The plan will include funding options for the maintenance, construction and expansion of the state's roadway system. Joined by West Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox, House of Delegates Speaker Rick Thompson and State Senate President Jeff Kessler, the announcement took place near the almost 80 year old Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge in Saint Albans, W.Va., which is currently undergoing a $24 million renovation and expansion.

"West Virginia maintains the nation's sixth largest highway system," Tomblin said. "This new commission comprised of unions, associations, legislators, state and local leaders in transportation and travel industries will develop a long-term plan to help us meet our current and future needs for the safety of the traveling public and the economic development of the state."

The Blue Ribbon Highway Commission includes state officials, members from statewide constituency groups, representatives of counties and municipalities, members of the Legislature, as well as citizen members. The West Virginia Department of Transportation will provide staff support for the Commission.

"Our highways are vital lifelines for so many West Virginia communities and businesses but due to inadequate funding the State Department of Transportation can no longer fulfill general paving and maintenance obligations of the existing system and meet the calls for new highway construction projects," Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox said. "I look forward to working with the commission and thank Governor Tomblin for actively working to find a solution to this safety and economic development need."

The Blue Ribbon Highway Commission will present a report to the governor prior to the start of the legislative session. The following groups will have a representative on the commission:

Three members of the Senate

Three members of the House of Delegates

West Virginia Department of Transportation

West Virginia Department of Commerce

West Virginians for Better Transportation

West Virginia Chamber of Commerce

West Virginia Business & Industry Council

West Virginia AFL-CIO

Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation of West Virginia

West Virginia Association of Counties

West Virginia Municipal League

West Virginia Trucking Association

West Virginia Manufacturers Association

West Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association

Contractors Association of West Virginia

American Council of Engineering Companies of West Virginia


Three citizen members, one from each congressional district



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