|West Virginia has some of the most deteriorated and dangerous rural roads in America, according to new report by Washington-based national transportation research group TRIP.|
The state's repaving schedule has gone to every 33 years.
The report found that almost 30 percent of state rural roads are in poor condition – the 6th worst ranking in the U.S.
West Virginia has the 7th highest rural road fatality rate.
In a national conference call Tuesday, representatives of TRIP, AAA, and other organizations said it is a “national imperative” that Congress and the states adequately fund the country’s transportation systems.
The nation's entire infrastructure is rapidly decaying, with Congress in gridlock over a national initiative.
Poor roads pose a “significant impediment to the quality of life and economic strength of rural America,” the report said.
The report comes on the eve of the long-delayed release of the final recommendations of WV Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways.
In preliminary recommendations released in September 2013, the panel called for at least $600 million a year in increased state funding for highways, with a key component being the issuance of a $1 billion road bond, to be funded by keeping tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike through 2049.
The report says 13 percent of West Virginia’s rural bridges were structurally deficient in 2014. That’s the 16th highest rate in the nation.