After state legislators brought concerns of road conditions in Preston County to his attention, Gov. Jim Justice has directed the Division of Highways to repair the problems.
“After Delegate Teri Sypolt, House Majority Leader Amy Summers, other legislators, and county officials brought to my attention the seriousness of this issue, I directed the Division of Highways to send an engineer to Preston County to determine road conditions and based on that report I decided that immediate action was needed,” Gov. Justice said in a news release Tuesday.
A team of DOH officials including Secretary of Transportation/Commissioner of Highways Tom Smith are in Preston County Tuesday and will remain there until a plan of action is in place, according to the governor’s release.
Secretary of Transportation/Commissioner of Highways Tom Smith issued a statement on the DOH’s efforts in Preston County:
“Governor Justice has asked me to pull together our DOH team to visit Preston County, travel and evaluate the roads throughout the county and meet with officials to address concerns regarding road conditions. Our team of myself, State Highway Engineer Aaron Gillispie, Deputy Highway Engineer Greg Bailey, Chief Transportation Engineer Jimmy Wriston, District 4 Engineer Darby Clayton, Maintenance Engineer Michael Cronin and others will be spending the next 2 days doing just that. We will then report back to Governor Justice, share our observations regarding a comprehensive, prioritized plan to make sure that we continue to respond to the transportation needs of, not only Preston County, but every county in West Virginia.”
The West Virginia National Guard has also offered their support to the Division of Highways, officials said.
“I want the people of North Central West Virginia to know that their complaints have not gone unnoticed and that we will get to the bottom of this problem and correct it,” Gov. Justice said.
The governor first said that he was aware of the issue during a news conference on Feb. 19, that was mainly focused on the school work stoppage. While discussing road issues, during the news conference, he mentioned a car accident in early February that killed one Preston County teenager and injured three others.