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Department of Transportation unveils new interactive map

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Transportation, Thursday, revealed a new interactive map to track secondary road maintenance, while an independent report released the same day ranked West Virginia 16th in the nation for overall highway performance.

The interactive map includes every road project in the state, including secondary road maintenance and the Roads to Prosperity construction projects. It also includes real-time statistics on Roads to Prosperity projects, core maintenance, paving, bridge work, and slides.

“Under the leadership of Gov. Justice, we have stated that we were going to provide a way to show the public, in a transparent way, the progress we have made in a short amount of time,” Secretary of Transportation Byrd White said in a statement. “This interactive website allows everyone who’s interested to see what’s been done and what will be done, before the end of the year. It’s pretty remarkable.”

Users can search the interactive map by typing in their address or by city, county and Division of Highways District. Using the legend, users can see what projects are ongoing or completed.

“This is an incredible tool for the people of West Virginia to be able to see exactly where our crews will be and when they’ll be there,” Deputy Secretary of Transportation Jimmy Wriston said. “This is a more comprehensive mapping tool than the public has ever had access to before.”

According to the map at transportation.wv.gov, there are 1,750 miles of paving projects, with 936 miles ongoing and 814.2 miles already completed. DOH workers have already completed 9,552 miles of secondary road maintenance projects in phase 1, including ditching, patching, and stabilization. Another 1,118 miles of secondary road maintenance projects have been completed in phase 2. There are 51 miles of completed Roads to Prosperity projects, with 326.9 miles (224 projects) ongoing.

Also announced Thursday, the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank, released its 24th Annual Highway Report. Using 2016 data, the report ranked West Virginia 16th for overall highway performance. The state ranked second in disbursements per mile, third in capital and bridge disbursements per mile, and seventh for maintenance disbursements per mile.

West Virginia previously ranked 25th in 2013 for overall highway performance, and dropped to 36th in 2015.

“West Virginia improved 20 positions, from 36th to 16th in the overall rankings, as the fatality rate decreased somewhat and the state benefited from the report no longer measuring narrow rural arterial lanes (the state ranked 50th last year),” according to the report.

Despite the rankings covering 2016 when former governor Earl Ray Tomblin was at the helm, Gov. Jim Justice released a statement taking credit for the rankings.

“I’ve said over and over that we have to fix our roads and that our roads and our highways are absolutely the key to bringing people and business into West Virginia,” Justice said. “This ranking affirms all the hard work we’ve done, and that we continue to do, fixing our state’s roads while also improving several of our major highways through my Roads to Prosperity program. I congratulate and thank all the hard-working men and women in our Division of Highways for their tireless work to help us achieve this ranking.”

(Adams can be contacted at sadams@newsandsentinel.com)

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