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Frustrations mount as state says it is not going to entertain upkeep agreements

MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia Division of Highways has little interest in any agreements, offers, memorandums or pilot packages via which counties or municipalities may tackle the situation of state routes. 

DOH Chief Engineer of Operations Joe Pack defined as a lot in response to questions from The Dominion Submit. 

“The WVDOH shouldn’t be going to entertain any concepts which contain abdicating our accountability in sustaining the roads within the state of West Virginia,” he defined. “Nonetheless, the WVDOH will proceed to guage all obtainable alternatives to make enhancements within the efficiency of our group.” 

The questions have been put to the DOH in mild of mounting frustrations from each county and municipal officers over the situation of state-maintained routes. 

Along with precise highway circumstances, weeds are rising unchecked alongside main thoroughfares, at interstate exits and sprouting up via medians. Indicators and sight strains are obscured by overgrowth.    

Throughout Wednesday’s Monongalia County Fee assembly, President Tom Bloom stated this previous Saturday’s prime time showdown with yard rival Pittsburgh ought to have been a showcase for West Virginia, Monongalia County and town of Morgantown. 

“The quantity of calls I’ve acquired is unbelievable. A few of them have been from individuals who don’t dwell right here, and so they have been very offended at Monongalia County and really embarrassed that we as a county fee have been permitting this to occur,” he stated. “It was tough to take heed to as a result of we’re as pissed off as they’re.” 

Bloom stated his frustration comes largely from a seeming lack of curiosity on the state degree. He stated DOH officers canceled a gathering with native representatives scheduled for final Thursday and haven’t responded to his calls to reschedule. 

The town of Morgantown has made a number of overtures to the DOH in latest months. The town has requested about scheduling conferences, taking on smaller state-maintained connector streets inside its boundaries and even doubtlessly working with the state on an settlement or pilot program to tackle sure upkeep initiatives with DOH reimbursement. 

Assistant Metropolis Supervisor Emily Muzzarelli stated town has by no means acquired a response from the state. 

“The residents of Mon County are affected by lack of upkeep and a focus on state roadways, and their pleas for assist have been unanswered by the state,” she stated, noting town was requested for, and supplied, inventive options to handle its considerations. 

“Nonetheless, we’re hitting a wall with learn how to present a transportation system that our residents deserve. Our essential subject is we don’t have jurisdiction to work on state-maintained roadways with out their permission and, subsequently, can not make the required adjustments,” Muzzarelli stated.  

“On the finish of the day, we wish each particular person in Morgantown to really feel protected utilizing our roads. Our mission as a metropolis is to ship glorious providers that encourage the neighborhood to thrive, and proper now, the WVDOH is hindering us from doing so. We need to be a part of the answer and are greater than prepared to be an energetic accomplice with the WVDOH in implementing an motion plan going ahead.”  

Bloom reiterated that his frustrations should not with county and district personnel. 

“I’m flabbergasted that the state shouldn’t be responding to the governmental our bodies. What did we do to deserve this sort of remedy on the state degree? It actually frustrates me that [The Dominion Post] received a solution, however the metropolis of Morgantown has been ready on one for 5 months,” Bloom stated. “In the event that they don’t need town or anybody to do something, then repair the roads and maintain them. Doing nothing shouldn’t be an answer.”