An eight-mile widening of the West Virginia Turnpike near Beckley will be the first project to receive funding from the $1.6 billion bond program approved in a November 2016 referendum.
The project, estimated to cost $100 million, adds a third lane in each direction between U.S. 19 and the I-64/I-77 junction. State transportation officials say that while most of the design work is complete, the project’s high construction cost had stalled progress for several years.
West Virginia plans to sell up to $800 million in general obligation bonds in May, with lesser amounts to be issued in each of the following three years. The total program encompasses more than 950 projects, ranging from repaving and structural maintenance jobs to major bridge rehabilitations and replacements. Most of the larger projects will use design-build.
Also this spring, the West Virginia Parkways Authority will sell up to 25% of the $500 million worth of bonds authorized last summer by the state legislature. Funding from those bonds is earmarked for projects in 10 southern West Virginia counties, the first of which will improve 18 miles of State Route 10 between the towns of Man and Oceana.
West Virginia has already sold $260 million in GARVEE bonds, which are being applied to 13 interstate reconstruction projects scheduled to start in the coming months. An additional $150 million GARVEE bond sale is scheduled to take place later this year.