OHIO COUNTY, W. Va. (WTRF) - Rebuilding the roads in West Virginia will have a profound effect on the Mountain State, according to Governor Jim Justice.
The governor, in Wheeling, said his "Roads To Prosperity" program won't just repair the roads, but the whole economy and outlook of the state.
He said the voters did the wise thing, in voting yes on the road bond issue.
And he said of all the 55 counties, Ohio County will profit the most.
"We're going to go to work on I-70." said Governor Justice. "I think you're looking at 26 new bridges, or bridges that have to be repaired that are falling all to pieces. It's a $172 million project. It's the biggest project in the state anywhere."
And for once, the resources will be there for these mammoth projects, with jobs and paychecks and prosperity.
"It's $294 million of road work that's going to happen immediately and it will absolutely employ thousands of people," the governor noted.
Department of Highways Engineer Gus Suwaid said the bridge replacements alone will perhaps close I-70 and re-route traffic for a time.
"Which we know and recognize is going to be painful and it's going to come at some kind of expense of convenience," said Suwaid. "So my message to the public is to be patient."
"The alternative is to let the roads fall all to pieces and get a horse!" said Gov. Justice. "If you're delayed for a few minutes here and there, and then all of a sudden you're driving on a beautiful highway, and there's employment for your children, and they don't have to go to Charlotte or Atlanta to find jobs and everything, and there's goodness in our education systems and all kinds of stuff like that, the tradeoff is a whole lot better than the horse."
They say bids will be awarded this June.
In Spring of 2019, we'll see the road work on I-70 in Ohio County begin.
And it should be complete in 2021.
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