KEYSER - Five projects in Mineral County are slated to benefit from the passage of Gov. Jim Justice's “Roads to Prosperity” bond amendment.
In addition, the Governor told representatives of newspapers from all over the state this week that he believes the completion of Corridor H is the single most important highway project to the state of West Virginia.

By Liz Beavers
lbeaverrs@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Five projects in Mineral County are slated to benefit from the passage of Gov. Jim Justice’s “Roads to Prosperity” bond amendment.
In addition, the Governor told representatives of newspapers from all over the state this week that he believes the completion of Corridor H is the single most important highway project to the state of West Virginia.
Gov. Justice, Secretary of Transportation Tom Smith and other state officials participated in a conference call Thursday to discuss the upcoming special election scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7.
The proposed amendment calls for funds from four different sources - privilege taxes, wholesale gas tax, Department of Motor Vehicle fees and turnpike tolls - to be dedicated toward the projected $1.6 billion highways bond to be used to fund a projected $2.4 billion road construction plan.
He called the special election “the single biggest vote West Virginians have every had in the history of the state,” saying that the proposed roadway will result in 48,000 jobs throughout the state, which will bring an increase in payroll taxes, sales taxes and income taxes for the state.
Improved highways will also bring in new businesses and boost tourism in the state.
“Better roads will bring us a better way of life,” he said.
He emphasized his claim that - aside from the four increases already passed by the legislature - the highways plan will not result in any additional taxes.
“The funding is already there. There is no additional tax increases at all…You’d have to be either an un- or a non-West Virginian to turn your back on this.”
According to Smith, the work on the state’s highways will continue, regardless of the outcome of the special election. Some projects proposed in the Governor’s plan, in fact, have already started, but most will be getting underway in early spring.
Justice says, however, that passage of the Oct. 7 referendum will greatly speed up the process.
“As is, we’re all going to grow old and die before these roads are finished,” he said. With passage of the referendum, however, Justice said the process will begin immediately.
According to a list of highways projects obtained by the West Virginia Press Association this week, work in Mineral County will include:
 - Slide repair, ditches, culverts and overlays on Waxler Road;
 - Replacement of the New Creek bridge;
 - Slide repair at various locations within the county;
 - Safety improvements on U.S. Route 50, state Route 28 and state Route 46;
 - Reconstruction and rehabilitation of NHS pavement in various locations; and
 - Reconstruction and rehabilitation of non-NHS pavement.
Of those projects, the Waxler Road project has already been authorized for construction.
As for Corridor H, Justice said he is asked about the completion of the highway everywhere he goes.
“I am a gigantic supporter of completing Corridor H,” he said. “There can’t be a more important highway to our state.”
Smith said the economic impact of Corridor H “is so important to our state. When you look at commerce flowing from the Washington, D.C., area, Corridor H is a major pipeline for that.”
According to Smith, a seven-mile section of the corridor between Kerens and Parsons is currently under contract, and the projected highways plan would enable the state to complete the section over to Parsons.
He said the plan would also benefit two other major corridors known as the Coalfields Expressway and King Coal Highway.
Justice feels the federal government will assist with the final completion of Corridor H.
“At some point in time, there’s going to be a major federal infrastructure program come down the pike,” he said. “I truly believe taht West Virginia is going to get their lion’s share of the money …we can get the next step of Corridor H done, but then the two other links in the chain to finish Corridor H are right at our fingertips.”