Giant potholes, deteriorating roads and landslips have landed West Virginia a “D” grade on its road infrastructure report card created by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
In the most recent “Infrastructure Report Card” study, the American Society of Civil Engineers noted that “much of the state’s infrastructure… has deteriorated, while new construction, replacement, rehabilitation and repair efforts have not kept pace with the needs.”
Bad roads result in approximately $758 million per year in vehicle operating costs for motorists, which equals about $647 per driver. 29% of West Virginia’s major roads are in poor condition, while 55% are fair, and only 16% are in good condition.
Just four years ago, the fatality rate on West Virginia’s rural roads was nearly three times higher than other roads in the state and almost doubled the national average, according to the report. The lack of maintenance and updated infrastructure is putting the lives of West Virginians at risk.
Read West Virginia’s 2020 Infrastructure Report Card.
The problem? Funding.
To help raise the “D” grade for West Virginia roads, the American Society of Civil Engineers recommends increased investment in the transportation sector.
“West Virginia’s population is declining, contributing to a smaller tax base available to help pay for necessary infrastructure modernization,” according to the report. While those statistics can seem daunting, we can reverse these trends.
That’s where prevailing wage comes in.
Prevailing wage is the minimum hourly wage that contractors working on government-funded infrastructure projects pay local workers. Prevailing wage ensures local workers are paid fairly – based on a regional survey of rates for their particular level of skill and experience.
Prevailing Wage guarantees that government dollars do not undercut local wage and benefit standards. It levels the playing field for West Virginia contractors that bid on government-funded infrastructure projects. A level playing field enables our contractors to provide good-paying jobs for West Virginia workers.
Establishing prevailing wage can help restore roads in West Virginia. Learn more.
Prevailing Wage contractors also help fund apprentice training programs. These programs produce highly trained workers who bring efficiency and quality to taxpayer-supported infrastructure projects. That means more miles of paved roads and more new bridges for our tax dollars.
Prevailing wage will put more tax-paying West Virginians to work. These workers will pay local taxes that support improvements to our roads and bridges. Better roads and bridges attract tax-paying private businesses who create local jobs that strengthen our local economies.
So prevailing wage impacts the quality of our roads and bridges in many ways. Prevailing wage supports job training that produces more productive workers and results in more miles of paved roads and safe bridges. Prevailing wage creates a level playing field for West Virginia contractors and their workers. These contractors and workers pay local taxes that fund road construction. And better roads stimulate local economies and tax collections that further contribute to West Virginia infrastructure improvements.
Show your support for prevailing wage by signing our petition. Tell your friends, and help restore our West Virginia roads.
West Virginia’s beautiful mountains and natural terrain are part of what makes our state Almost Heaven. The longer we wait to take action on prevailing wage, the worse our roads and bridges will become, and the more repair and replacement costs will increase. To keep communities safe, help bring jobs to the mountain state and restore our county roads, West Virginia needs prevailing wage.