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Mowing, patching, ditching dominate state road maintenance priority lists

As promised by Transportation Secretary Byrd White on Tuesday, the West Virginia Department of Transportation has posted lists of secondary road maintenance projects on its website.

Posted as a link on the department’s website, the Secondary Roads Maintenance Initiative lists hundreds of maintenance projects to be completed by June 30, county by county.

The lists are not prioritized, and most involve three routine spring maintenance projects, under the headings “mow,” “patch” and “ditch.” The site also lists smaller numbers of repaving projects, and culvert and pipe replacements.

“These are part of our core plan, the majority of our core plan,” Transportation spokesman Brent Walker said Thursday.

At a news conference Tuesday, White said the department would unveil the lists of accelerated maintenance projects to be completed by June 30, to be funded in part with $80 million of additional state funding.

Walker said White was attending a ground-breaking ceremony in Raleigh County on Thursday and would be unavailable for comment until Friday morning.

In Kanawha County, the site lists more than 100 “mow, patch and ditch” projects, along with 43 pipe/culvert installations, and five contract paving projects totaling about 8.3 miles.

Other counties have similar lists of varying lengths, with “mow, patch and ditch” projects predominant in each.

On Tuesday, White said Division of Highways employees had ditched — cleared and opened — about 2,090 miles of highway ditches this spring in preparation for repaving the roadways.

“What we’re doing is trying to get the roads prepared, get them ready, get the water off the road, get the base fixed, and then we’ll go pave them,” he said Tuesday.

The 2,090 miles of roads amounts to about 5 percent of the 38,770 total roadway miles in West Virginia, according to Division of Highways figures.

Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy said Tuesday the state has freed up an additional $80 million in funding for that work, including about $35 million that will be moved from other Highways accounts, $25 million to $30 million that will be taken from other state accounts and $20 million to $25 million to be funded from road bond money.

That will bring the total road maintenance budget to about $280 million, still far short of the additional $750 million a year the Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways concluded in 2015 that West Virginia needed to spend annually to adequately maintain all of its roads.

Reach Phil Kabler at

philk@wvgazettemail.com,

304-348-1220 or follow

@PhilKabler on Twitter.

Funerals for Monday, August 19, 2019

Acree, Elizabeth - 1 p.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar. 
Bryant, Elmer - 3 p.m., Lantz Funeral Home, Alderson.
Clayton, Floyd - 11 a.m., Dodd & Reed Funeral Home, Webster Springs.
Grose, Margot - 2 p.m., Tyler Mountain Funeral Home, Cross Lanes.
Groves, Nettie - 1 p.m., Greene - Robertson Funeral Home, Sutton.
Holcomb, Mary - 11 a.m., Elk Funeral Home, Charleston.
Manion, Mary - 2 p.m., Ansted Baptist Church.
Quigley Jr., Albert - 11 a.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.
Stanley, Albert - Noon, Fayetteville First Church of God.  
Thomas, Phyllis - 10 a.m., Britton Cemetery, Charleston.