West Virginia settles with road paving companies for $101.3M

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia officials announced a $101.3 million settlement Friday in an antitrust suit against 11 asphalt and paving companies the state accused of cornering the market and driving up project costs.

“We’re ending sweetheart deals all across West Virginia,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said at a news conference with Gov. Jim Justice.

He called it the state’s largest antitrust settlement and said the savings can be directed to road rebuilding, in a state with no shortage of roads in need of repair and unfinished projects.

Three companies, West Virginia Paving, Kelly Paving and American Asphalt, will make a $30.3 million payment upfront to the state and local governments, which includes five cities and Kanawha County.

The settlement says West Virginia Paving will give an additional $71 million in credits that the state can apply to its currently unpaid projects or for work in the next seven years.

When filed in 2016, the complaint alleged that West Virginia Paving Inc. and its sister companies violated the state’s Antitrust Act. The companies took control of at least 15 asphalt plants and created a scheme that caused the municipalities to pay at least 40% more for asphalt, according to the lawsuit.

The companies had denied the charges and admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

“Our roads didn’t get into this shape overnight,” Justice said about the state of infrastructure in West Virginia. “It took decades of neglect.”

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.