CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Passage of the Congressional infrastructure bill is being hailed as a big boost for West Virginia.
In all, the Mountain State will receive $3.8 billion to build and repair roads and highways. $600 million are dedicated to improving broadband and another $506 million is to fix bridges that are considered the worst in the nation. Airports will share in $43 million and public transit gets $191 million through the bill.
“This bill is going to make an enormous investment in West Virginia, in our physical infrastructure,” said State Sen. Stephen Baldwin, (D) Greenbrier – Minority Leader.
“We put a piece of legislation together working with our Republican friends. We wish we could have done more but we did a lot more than has ever been done in history. This is the greatest construction, road maintenance or repair ever since the interstate highway system in the 50s,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia.
The top three priorities are finishing Corridor-H through the Eastern Panhandle into Virginia. And finishing the King Coal Highway and Coalfields Expressway in Southern Virginia. Meanwhile, the state is about to finish a major infrastructure plan with roads to prosperity bonds. The Highway 35 connector will be completed and opened on Thursday.
“That allows travelers to drive on the smooth, four-lane road for 37 consecutive miles, beginning at Interstate 64 at Scott Depot, and continuing straight through to Point Pleasant and the Ohio state line,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
The new federal infrastructure bill also has $700 million to clean up abandoned mine lands and funding to cap thousand of abandoned oil and gas wells that are leaking.
“The infrastructure bill will likely create thousands of jobs across the state and the nation. and because these are federal dollars, contractors must pay the prevailing wage,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.