WV Parkways Director Barr Testifies on Bridge Repairs, Financial Impact of Eliminating Tolls

The Register-Herald reports, “Many West Virginia bridges are aging past 40 years, according to the West Virginia Parkways Authority Director Greg Barr, and repairs will be necessary in the upcoming years. Barr told the Select Committee on Infrastructure [on September 20] that two bridge deck replacements per year now through 2021 will cost the state a total of $20 million.” The report adds, “Unless the Legislature votes otherwise, the West Virginia Turnpike will be turned over to the Division of Highways upon payoff of bonds in 2019 and tolls will be removed. Barr suggested starting to look more in-depth next summer as to how the conversion will take place. ‘I do have concerns about the future funding,’ he shared. ‘(Tolls) bring in $85 million a year. Over 30 years, that’s $2.5 billion.’”

The Bond Buyer (subscription required) also follows Barr’s testimony, reporting, “West Virginia will lose $85 million of revenues per year if tolls are removed from state’s turnpike in 2019.”