CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead have met to discuss ways to improve West Virginia’s highway infrastructure.
The three met for more than an hour Tuesday, July 8, with Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox. Among other issues, the governor and legislative leaders agreed to look at existing fee structures and tolls, prioritizing existing revenue sources and continuing collaborative discussions related to infrastructure improvements in the coming months.
“I, along with President Cole and Speaker Armstead, will make it a priority to find solutions that will help us maintain our current transportation infrastructure and expand our roadways to enhance economic development opportunities,” Gov. Tomblin said. “We all agree that a long-term solution from Congress is vital, but while we wait for their action we will continue to make highway funding a priority going into the 2016 legislative session.”
“Safe, reliable roadways are a key component of economic development, and we stand ready to work with Governor Tomblin and Secretary Mattox to find the funding necessary to keep West Virginia moving,” Senate President Cole said. “Our secondary roads and highways are in critical condition, and I believe the goals and ideas we discussed in this meeting will help us prioritize and develop our plan for moving forward.”
“I look forward to working together in a bipartisan manner with Governor Tomblin, President Cole and all members of the Legislature to continue these discussions to improve our roads, bridges and highways” stated Speaker Tim Armstead. “All West Virginians share in a sense of urgency that our roads be repaired, and we must be willing to find sensible, creative solutions to make infrastructure a top priority.”
All three officials committed to continued discussions in the coming months.