Local road issues need addressed

The condition of our local roadways continues to be a concern for residents and visitors alike. Potholes, uneven pavement and other issues often lead to motorists swerving around to keep from damaging their vehicles.

It seems to be getting worse, too. No matter which of our area communities one might be in, there are bound to be growing lists of deteriorating roads. This leads many to wonder what is being done to address these problems.

Last week, Del. Randy Swartzmiller said he has sent a letter to Gov. Jim Justice with his concerns, including whether the Northern Panhandle was receiving an appropriate amount of funding for the maintenance of the region’s roads.

During a recent Hancock County Commission meeting, officials also discussed their concerns with the condition of local roadways.

According to commissioners, DOH representatives have said 11 roads have been assigned for ditch work, four have patching plans while eight are set for mowing. Full paving are set only for portions of four roads in Hancock County.

Commissioners noted they were not consulted in the selection of the roads, noting they often feel as if those in Charleston are not listening to those of us who live here.

We understand road maintenance typically is a seasonal task for crews, who must wait for asphalt plants to begin operations. Making sure there is enough funding and manpower available to address the needs is another concern.

The governor has announced various programs in the last couple of years with the intention of finding better ways to provide upkeep to the driving surfaces. Those are going to take time, especially since there have been few details publicly announced.

In the meantime, let’s hope these concerns are addressed sooner rather than later, for the peace of mind of all motorists in the Northern Panhandle.