Ashton Marra Published

Parkways Board Wants Legislature to Keep Tolls on W.Va. Turnpike

West Virginia Turnpike

Members of the West Virginia Parkways Authority are supporting the continuation of tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike, doubling down on a resolution to that effect passed in January.

The tolls are set to expire in May of 2019, when the bonds on the road’s construction will be paid off.

In January, the authority approved a resolution asking lawmakers to keep the tolls after 2019. The resolution passed Thursday reminding lawmakers and the general public of that position — asking lawmakers to continue the tolls, which bring in $90 million of new revenue to the state each year.

The authority says that if the tolls are eliminated, the state risks being able to continue to pay for the road’s operation and upkeep and the 360 full and part-time jobs supported by the revenue.

“If tolls are eliminated, the WV Division of Highways will be required to maintain the turnpike, free of tolls, at an annual estimated cost of $60 million per year with no additional federal dollars to replace the loss of toll revenue,” Parkways General Manager Greg Barr said in a written statement Friday.

The Parkways Authority currently receives no state or federal funding to support maintenance or operational costs of the West Virginia Turnpike.

Seventy-six percent of the income made from tolls come from out-of-state residents.

This story was changed on Dec. 12, 2016, to correct the West Virginia Parkways Authority’s previous position on the continuation of tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike.