Mild winter leaves surplus for W.Va. road projects

CHARLESTON (AP) — West Virginia’s secondary roads will benefit from a mild winter that left the Department of Transportation with about $30 million in unspent funds allocated for snow removal and ice control.

The surplus will be used for secondary road improvements and maintenance. Counties with unspent funds will roll that money into their maintenance budgets, DOT spokesman Brent Walker told the Charleston Daily Mail.

“That could be any number of things like replacing a culvert or resurfacing and repaving and those kind of things, but it will go toward the secondary roads,” he said.

The DOT had allocated $57.7 million for snow removal and ice control. As of last week, $32 million was unspent but that amount could change if some payments are needed to cover end-of-season expenditures, Walker said.

He expects the final amount to be about $30 million.

“We have a significant portion left,” Walker said.

The budget also includes $18 million set aside by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for a secondary road renovation program.

“We’re still moving forward with that program,” Walker said. “This will just allow our maintenance crews to roll over the savings from snow removal and ice control into their maintenance budgets.”

Transportation officials had planned to use the $18 million to pay for the highest priority projects in each district. The surplus will allow districts to do additional projects.

“They’re really in control of the roads they would work on,” Walker said. “This allows them to just continue to work down their priority list so they can work on additional roads.”

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