Introduced Version Senate Resolution 63 History

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(By Senators Kessler (Mr. President), Beach, Chafin, Cole, Fitzsimmons, Green, D. Hall, M. Hall, Jenkins, Palumbo, Plymale, Snyder, Stollings, Tucker, Unger, Wells and McCabe)


Recognizing the one hundredth year of the West Virginia Division of Highways.

    Whereas, Prior to 1913, the West Virginia Legislature designated that all road work was under the direct authority of the county courts and the county road engineer; and

    Whereas, In 1913, the West Virginia Legislature saw fit to create the State Road Bureau to oversee a coordinated roadway system to serve the citizens of this state; and

    Whereas, The Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 provided federal aid to those states for the improvement of any road on which the United States mail is or may be transported; and

    Whereas, The Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 required states to provide a match to receive federal funds, to establish a state highway department that shall oversee the maintenance of state highways; and

    Whereas, The West Virginia Legislature replaced the State Road Bureau with the State Road Commission in 1917 and agreed to match federal funds and maintain all roads constructed with federal-aid funds; and

    Whereas, In 1920, the first bonds were issued under the Good Roads Amendment, which provided up to $50 million for construction of roads to connect county seats in the state; and

    Whereas, In 1921, the West Virginia Legislature dedicated motor vehicle license fees to a newly created State Road Fund; and

    Whereas, In 1923, the West Virginia Legislature enacted the first gasoline tax of two cents per gallon dedicated to the State Road Fund for the repayment of highway bonds and for the repair, maintenance and reconstruction of roads and highways; and

    Whereas, In 1933, the West Virginia Legislature passed an act to place practically all roads on the State Road System and relieve the counties of their maintenance of roads; and

    Whereas, Said act transferred 4,417 roads designated as the State’s Primary System and 29,098 miles of roadways in a Secondary System; and

    Whereas, In 1948, construction began on the state’s first limited-access highway: US 119/WV 10 in Logan County; and

    Whereas, In November, 1954, the first high-speed expressway was opened as a two-lane toll road from Charleston to Princeton and named the West Virginia Turnpike; and

    Whereas, The Appalachian Regional Development Act was passed by Congress in 1965 to promote commerce in Appalachia with the development of a highway system; and

    Whereas, The Federal-Aid Highway Act was passed in 1968 by Congress and established the national bridge inspection standards as a result of the 1967 tragedy when forty-six souls lost their lives as a result of the collapse of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant; and

    Whereas, The West Virginia Legislature renamed the State Road Commission the Department of Highways; and

    Whereas, The Department of Highways completed construction of the award-winning New River Gorge Bridge on US 19 in Fayetteville, creating the world’s longest single-span steel arch bridge with a length of 3,030 feet and a 876-feet rise above the New River; and

    Whereas, In 1988, the Department of Highways completed the final section of Interstate with the opening of Interstate 64 from Sam Black Church to Beckley and the 2,179-feet Glade Creek Bridge in Raleigh County; and

    Whereas, In 1989, the West Virginia Legislature reorganized state government, creating a Department of Transportation and renaming the department as the Division of Highways; and

    Whereas, During the construction of the Interstate Highway System and the Appalachian Corridor System, the Division of Highways had over ten thousand employees and served as a major economic source for the state by employing thousands of construction workers, suppliers and manufacturers; and

    Whereas, With the completion of the majority of major highways, the Division of Highways today oversees approximately thirty-six thousand miles of highways with approximately five thousand employees; and

    Whereas, The Division of Highways is only one of four states charged with the massive task of maintaining most highways in the state; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Senate:

    That the Senate hereby recognizes the one hundredth year of the West Virginia Division of Highways; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Senate hereby honors the West Virginia Division of Highways for one hundred years of service in developing a safe statewide transportation system; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Senate invites all citizens of West Virginia to join in recognizing the West Virginia Division of Highways and its employees for one hundred years of contributions to the state in providing a safe highway system; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Clerk is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the West Virginia Division of Highways.

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