CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Steady improvements to West Virginia’s road system under Gov. Jim Justice’s leadership have caught the attention of the authors of an annual study evaluating roads in every state across the country.
West Virginia’s highway system now ranks 16th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report published today by Reason Foundation. This is a 20-spot improvement from the previous report, where West Virginia ranked 36th overall.
“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,” Gov. 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.
“We still have a ways to go. We absolutely want to one day have the number one roads in the entire nation,” Gov. Justice said. “But if you look at where we were, it’s leaps and bounds better today. We’re moving. And this 20-spot improvement shows it.”
The 24th Annual Highway Report, based on data that states submitted to the federal government, ranks each state’s highway system in 13 categories, including traffic fatalities, pavement condition, congestion, spending per mile, administrative costs, and more.
The report ranked West Virginia in the top ten states in the nation for several categories, including #2 in the country for least urban area congestion, #2 in the country for total disbursements per mile, #3 in the country for capital-bridge disbursements per mile, #7 in the country for maintenance disbursements per mile, #9 in the country for administrative disbursements per mile, and #10 in the country for least urban non-interstate principal arterial percent in poor condition.
West Virginia also ranked in the top half of states for both rural and urban interstate road conditions.
“This report is one that we take very seriously every year and to jump to the top-third of states in the entire country, when we were just in the bottom-third a year ago, is an incredible leap for us,” Deputy Secretary of Transportation Jimmy Wriston, P.E. said. “The massive improvement would not have been possible without Governor Justice’s leadership and the commitment, that he has shown from day one of his administration, to focus on and to invest in West Virginia’s entire road system.”
Reason Foundation’s transportation experts have advised four presidential administrations, along with numerous state and metro transportation departments and planning organizations.