Introduced Version Senate Resolution 3 History

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(By Senators Beach, Plymale, Unger, Jenkins, Browning, Klempa, Williams and Kessler (Mr. President))


Recognizing the importance of our highway system and urging Congress to fully fund the construction and maintaining of our highway system by enacting a fully funded six-year federal highway reauthorization bill.

    Whereas, West Virginia’s extensive system of roads, highways and bridges provides the state’s residents, visitors and businesses with a high level of mobility; and

    Whereas, As West Virginia looks to enhance and build a thriving, growing and dynamic state, it will be critical that it is able to provide a 21st Century network of roads, highways and bridges that can accommodate the mobility demands of a modern society; and

    Whereas, The U. S. and West Virginia look to rebound from the current economic downturn, improving the state’s transportation system could play an important role in enhancing West Virginia’s economic well being by providing critically needed jobs in the short term and by improving the productivity and competitiveness of the state’s businesses in the long term; and

    Whereas, West Virginia is one of only four states (Delaware, North Carolina, and Virginia are the others) that takes care of both state and county roads; and

    Whereas, West Virginia’s Department of Transportation has responsibility for roughly 39,000 miles of public highway mileage, which makes it the sixth-largest state maintained highway network in the nation; and

    Whereas, West Virginia leads the nation in percentage (94 percent) of miles that are state maintained; and

    Whereas, Vehicle travel in West Virginia increased by 33 percent from 1990 to 2007 – jumping from 15.4 billion vehicle miles traveled in 1990 to 20.6 billion in 2007; and

    Whereas, By 2025 vehicle travel in West Virginia is projected to increase by another 25 percent; and

    Whereas, $38 billion in goods are shipped from sites in West Virginia and another $37 billion in goods are shipped annually to sites in West Virginia, mostly by truck; and

    Whereas, Commercial trucking in West Virginia is projected to increase 36 percent by 2020; and

    Whereas, West Virginia’s highway fatality rate is the third highest in the nation; and

    Whereas, Since FY 1994 the state’s Road Fund has experienced a decline of nearly one-third in the real value of total dedicated tax revenues; and

    Whereas, The WVDOT projects a transportation funding shortfall of approximately $5 billion from 2009 to 2018; and

    Whereas, The federal surface transportation program, which is set to expire March 31, 2012, is an essential source of funding for the construction, maintenance and improvement of West Virginia’s highway system but inadequate revenue being collected into the Federal Highway Trust Fund could result in West Virginia’s federal highway dollars being cut by 35 percent in 2013; and

    Whereas, Roads in need of repair cost each West Virginia motorist an average of $280 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – $371 million state-wide – from accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear; and

    Whereas, A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion invested in highway construction would support approximately 27,800 jobs, including approximately 9,500 in the construction sector, approximately 4,300 jobs in industries supporting the construction sector, and approximately 14,000 other jobs induced in non-construction related sectors of the economy; and

    Whereas, Transportation funding challenges and possible shortfalls could result in job losses for many West Virginians whose employment is connected directly to the state’s construction or engineering industries…or whose business or jobs are dependent on a safe, modern and reliable transportation infrastructure; and

    Whereas, Twenty-four organizations and groups, representing business, labor, travel and tourism, local governments and transportation authorities, are assembled today here at the Capitol to point out the dire circumstances facing our state’s roads, bridges and highways and to showcase the united support for maintaining and growing a modern, efficient and safe transportation system; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Senate:

    That the Senate recognizes the importance of our highway system and urges Congress to fully fund the construction and maintaining of our highway system by enacting a fully funded six-year federal highway reauthorization bill; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Clerk is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Majority Leader of the United States Senate and the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.



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