WV Parkways Chief Says Converting Tollway to Freeway Is No Easy Lift

Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that West Virginia Parkways Authority General Manager Greg Barr told a legislative committee it will take two years of preparation to “de-toll” the turnpike and transfer its operation to the state highway department, and the process, if it is to take place, would have to begin in the summer of 2017. “Under current law,” the newspaper notes, “once the 30-year Turnpike bonds are paid off in 2019, the state Division of Highways is to assume operation of the 88-mile interstate if the road is in good condition.” Barr also told legislators he is concerned about how the state would make up the loss of the $85 million it receives annually from tolls to maintain the highway.