West Virginia Senate committee this week endorsed legislation to
encourage private financing of road construction. A similar House
bill is in the House Finance Committee.
Finance Committee members unanimously passed to the full Senate
Monday a bill permitting private investors to use state and federal
highway funds for projects the state can’t afford on its own, the Charleston
Daily Mail reported. The road builders could use tolls, among
other means, to repay developers.
SB362, the state could use up to $12 million of its $600 million
annual road budget on such projects.
one of the few ways we’ve identified to leverage our precious transportation
dollars,” the bill’s co-sponsor, Sen. Brooks McCabe, D-Kanawha,
told the newspaper.
HB2873, the Senate version says no more than 2 percent of the amount
of the West Virginia Division of Highways’ competitively bid projects
can be dedicated to public-private projects.
the measure, DOH would be responsible for all maintenance after
a project’s completion. The bill would preclude tolls or user fees
on interstate highways or free roads and bridges unless reconstructed
at increased capacity.