Randy Yohe Published

W.Va.’s Paving Season Highlights Work Zone Safety, Zero Fatality Goal

Man in reflective vest next to interstate lane lined with safety cones
Road construction contract worker on I-64 bridge project.
Randy Yohe/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In his Wednesday media briefing, Gov. Jim Justice said the 2023 paving season will include 126 projects statewide, covering all 55 counties. 

He said more than 260 miles of highway will be resurfaced and more than 26,500 miles of roadway will be reviewed for pothole patching.

It’s a total investment of $290 million,” Justice said. “Additional miles will be added to the roadways, coupled with the larger projects that are all going on.”

Two larger West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) road and bridge rebuild projects include stretches of I-64 in Cabell and Kanawha counties.

Five Roads to Prosperity projects are scheduled to begin construction this season, including the replacement of two rural bridges. 

Contractors are replacing the Philip Run Bridge in Calhoun County. Construction is also expected to replace the Middle Fork Bridge in Grant County and the bridge at Hedgesville High School in Berkeley County.

Other plans include repaving Henry Camp Road in Pleasants County, and Liverpool Road in Roane County. Contractors will also soon begin on a $15.3 million project to repave a five-mile stretch of Interstate 64 in Raleigh County, from Airport Road to the Glade Creek Bridge.

Justice pointed out the WVDOT’s interactive online road project map on the Department of Transportation website that shows all underway and pending road projects. 

“Everyone can keep tabs on how much work we’ve completed and everyone can see what’s coming next,” Justice said.

The seasonal workload comes with a work zone safety goal of zero fatalities. There’s an enforcement partnership that has been formed between local, county and state law enforcement with WVDOT work zone managers. Justice said reaching the zero fatalities goal requires a police crackdown and using safe driving habits anywhere near road projects. 

“Traveling up and down the road, at whatever mile an hour it may be, they are within feet of you,” Justice said. “And it’s so easy to have a catastrophe. So please be really careful.” 

In 2022, there were 800 crashes in West Virginia work zones, killing eight people and injuring 276. T

he Department of Transportation said all those crashes were avoidable.