BRIDGEPORT, WV – From a grassy hill, overlooking construction on the U.S. Navy PO 1st Class Kevin S. Rux Memorial Bridge in Bridgeport, Gov. Jim Justice and leaders with the Department of Transportation held an event today to celebrate the amount of road work that has been completed in West Virginia through Gov. Justice’s Roads To Prosperity program.
“Today, we’re here to announce and celebrate some real greatness that is happening within the state of West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “The work that has been accomplished is unbelievable.”
The Rux Memorial Bridge, which passes over Interstate 79 in Harrison County, is an the middle of a $4.2 million facelift that involves widening the bridge to more-comfortably handle traffic and replacing its deck to significantly extend the life of the bridge.
The bridge is currently scheduled to be back open to full traffic by February.
It is one of nearly 1,000 Roads To Prosperity projects that have either already been completed, are currently under construction, or will be underway before the end of 2019. These projects represent more than $1.1 billion-worth of work and span more than 1,700 miles.
This Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, marked the two-year anniversary
of when West Virginians went to the polls and voted, overwhelmingly, to pass the Governor’s Roads To Prosperity bond program.
In 24 months since the bond referendum passed, 541 projects – worth $385.1 million and spanning 1,185 miles – have been completed through the Roads To Prosperity program. Those projects, spread across all 55 counties, include paving, bridge repairs, slip and slide repairs, and other road improvements.
“If we can just think back to when this happened, 73 percent of West Virginians voted in favor of that passage,” Gov. Justice said. “It was the beginning of our commitment to try to really move the state forward and do something with our economy. It was the beginning of us going out and trying to genuinely do whatever we had to do to change an image that was unfair and move us in a direction of real goodness.”
During the event, Gov. Justice announced that, in order to show the people who voted for the road bond program exactly what all the money is going toward and what projects are underway, the Division of Highways will soon begin putting up metal signs reading “Roads To Prosperity Project” at project sites.
“Our voters will see what their effort to vote in favor of this program is going toward,” Gov. Justice said. “We want people to be able to see these signs and these projects and be proud. And so, today, that’s our new sign. The first sign is going to go on this bridge, and then we'll be putting them up throughout the state.”
The Governor’s Roads To Prosperity program has also freed up more money for secondary road maintenance efforts. Since this spring alone, the state Division of Highways has completed maintenance work on 18,306 miles of West Virginia’s secondary roads.
Even after making all of this progress, Gov. Justice is continuing to place a priority on finding more roads and areas that still need fixed.
Earlier today, Gov. Justice toured various roads near Kingwood
in Preston County, riding along with County Commissioners Samantha Stone and Don Smith, as well as with Department of Transportation Secretary and Division of Highways Commissioner Byrd White.
“It's easy to see, in Preston County and in so many other places across West Virginia, there's a lot of great work being done by the proud men and women of the DOT,” Gov. Justice said. “But, at the same time, it's apparent that there's still lot's more work to do.
“We're on it. The cavalry is here. And the cavalry is going to stay here until we get it done.”