So many of our state roads are in poor condition all across the county. Thank you to the Mon County Commission for organizing an information session with the District Engineer for the state Division of Highways, so that we can learn how the DOH prioritizes its projects. Mon County has the highest population in DOH District 4, and we have 342 miles of paved state roads. But we actually have fewer miles to maintain than Preston or Harrison counties. Unfortunately, funds are allocated based on miles, not population.
Across the state, the DOH maintains more than 36,000 miles of roads--the fourth-largest transportation system in the U.S. With our small population and weak economy, it's a challenge to provide the funding needed to pave roads, fix potholes, clean ditches, and clear snow. Here in Mon Co, people aren't applying for DOH jobs, which leaves the district short 11 employees. That's one or two crews that could be out maintaining the roads.
In addition to explaining challenges, the District Engineer shared the projects planned for Mon County in 2017. As you can see below, a long stretch of Route 7 is being paved, along with several other roads across the county.
I appreciate the dialogue between local and state officials so that we can find new solutions that are based on facts. I'm committed to finding ways to get the DOH the funds it needs and to finding local solutions. If we're going to grow the economy and improve our quality of life, we need to build and maintain our infrastructure.