KEYSER - Lee Thorne, district engineer and manager for the West Virginia Department of Highways, District 5, was the guest speaker at the Tuesday meeting of the Mineral County Development Authority.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Lee Thorne, district engineer and manager for the West Virginia Department of Highways, District 5, was the guest speaker at the Tuesday meeting of the Mineral County Development Authority.
He spoke about the upcoming road bond referendum election that if passed will allow for the repair of roadways and bridges across the state.
Thorne said this bond issue and road repairs has been “the Governor’s project since the very beginning.”
Saying the listing of repairs will included dirt roads that have five to 10 cars traveling on them each day, he said, “Or the interstate that has thousands of cars on it per day,”
Thorne said the road bond amendment will make the way for legislators to borrow almost $2 billion, and the “Road to Prosperity” will be “a shot in the arm” for roads in an estimated six-year project.
He also said that if the bond issues passes, the follow up will be the creation of jobs, as he mentioned the contractors will need lodging and food.
Thorne gave the rising costs of fixing the West Virginia roads, by saying that between the years of 2003 to 2015, “The cost of transportation improvement went up five percent a year.”
He said the road improvements will include bridges and some of those in the state have greatly deteriorated.
Lee said $9.2 million could be set aside for the bond issue for Mineral County.
Buck Eagle, president of the development authority, inquired of Thorne if a Tier 2 study will be implemented for the North/South Appalachian Highway project from Claysville to Sheer.
Eagle said this project “needs to be pushed ahead,” and Thorne said that area of roadway was under the direction of the environmental and planning section.
Eagle said, “The study has to be approved first,” and, “We need to have this four-lane highway completed to bring prosperity to the Eastern Panhandle.”