H. B. 4003
(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss, and Delegate Ashley)
[By Request of the Executive]
[Passed March 14, 1998; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend chapter seventeen of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article two-c, relating to
establishing an orphan road and bridge acquisition and
maintenance program in all counties; authorizing the use of
able-bodied and willing welfare recipients and citizens'
conservation corps workers to perform labor on repair and
maintenance; requiring the department of health and human
resources to furnish the division of highways lists of names
of available welfare recipients; establishing criteria for
including a road or bridge in the program; upgrading of
certain roads and bridges; providing for the division of
highways commissioner and personnel to identify and maintain
orphan roads and bridges; and providing for termination of the
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter seventeen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated article two-c, to read
ARTICLE 2C. ORPHAN ROAD AND BRIDGE ACQUISITION PROGRAM.
§17-2C-1. Establishment of an orphan road and bridge acquisition
and maintenance program in all counties; criteria for
designation as an orphan road or bridge.
Authority is hereby granted to the West Virginia division of
highways to establish a program to acquire and maintain roads and
bridges which meet the following three criteria: (1) Are in
existence as of the first day of January, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-eight; (2) are roads or bridges which the public
has a right to use; and (3) are roads or bridges not maintained
by any governmental agency. These roads and bridges are herein
designated as orphan roads and bridges.
The Legislature hereby finds and declares it to be important
for the economic and social development of the state that a
program for the identification, acquisition and maintenance of
orphan roads and bridges be undertaken by the state. In
particular, the Legislature finds and declares that basic
maintenance should be performed on orphan roads and bridges to
promote the well-being of the public.
§17-2C-2. Development of program; acquisition of rights-of-way.
The West Virginia division of highways shall develop an
orphan roads and bridges identification, acquisition and
maintenance program which shall include all counties. At the
discretion of the commissioner of the division of highways,
existing and temporary employees of the division shall be assigned to locate and designate each orphan road and bridge in
each county. These employees shall give to the commissioner of
highways, in a form proscribed by him or her, a detailed report
on acquisition, status of rights-of-way, and needed maintenance
for orphan roads and bridges in each county or highway district.
Specific contents of each report shall be designated by the
In order for a road or bridge to qualify for inclusion into
the state system, all necessary rights-of-way shall be either
dedicated or donated to the division of highways.
In the event that all property owners do not agree to
dedicate or donate the necessary rights-of-way, then any
individual, group, business or governmental entity can donate to
the state road fund a sum sufficient to cover the expense of
acquiring the right-of-way that has not been dedicated or
donated. The commissioner may also use any moneys donated to the
state road fund specifically for the purposes of acquiring a
right-of-way which has not been dedicated or donated.
§17-2C-3. Duties of commissioner with respect to orphan roads
and bridges; criteria for inclusion.
After reviewing the reports made to section two of this
article, the commissioner will determine whether a specific road
or bridge should be added to the state maintenance system. The
commissioner shall consider the following criteria in reaching
his or her determination: (1) The availability of resources for
maintaining the road or bridge; (2) the number of persons served
by the road or bridge; (3) the current and anticipated use of the road or bridge; (4) the condition of the road or bridge; (5)
the availability and suitability of alternate routes; (6) the
suitability for maintenance equipment to access and maintain the
road or bridge; (7) the existing design and layout of the road or
bridge; and (8) the number of roads and bridges accepted into the
§17-2C-4. Workforce of welfare recipients and citizens'
conservation corps participants; division of highways
required to furnish maintenance materials.
The West Virginia department of health and human resources
shall make available to the division of highways a list of
able-bodied welfare recipients who have given permission for
their names to be listed as recipients available for work with
the division of highways, and who are available and able to work
a minimum of twenty hours a week at a manual labor job
maintaining orphan roads and bridges under the supervision of the
district or county highway offices. The commissioner of the
division of highways may, by contract, employ persons
participating in the citizens' conservation corps to maintain
orphan roads and bridges. The employment of welfare recipients
or workers provided through the citizens' conservation corps to
maintain orphan roads and bridges may not be used to displace any
division of highways employee in the classified civil service, or
to reduce classified civil service positions within the division.
The division of highways is required to furnish trucks or
other proper motor vehicles and gravel or other required
materials to be used by the workforce created by this section in the maintenance of the orphan roads and bridges in each district
§17-2C-5. Upgrading of roads and bridges in maintenance system.
Roads and bridges accepted into the maintenance system under
the provisions of this article are admitted only for the purposes
of maintenance. No upgrading of said roads and bridges is to be
undertaken unless otherwise determined by the commissioner of
§17-2C-6. Termination of orphan roads and bridges program;
report to the Legislature.
The orphan roads and bridges acquisition and maintenance
program established pursuant to this article will terminate on
the thirty-first day of December, two thousand one.
On or before the thirtieth day of January, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-nine, and annually thereafter, the commissioner of
the division of highways shall submit a report to the Legislature
which recounts the activities of the program and the roads and
bridges which have been accepted into the state maintenance
system. The report shall include a breakdown by county of those
roads and bridges being maintained, the estimated costs
associated with maintenance and any other information the
commissioner deems necessary. Before the thirtieth day of
January, two thousand two, the commissioner shall also submit
proposed legislation formulating a policy for the designation and
acceptance into the state system of orphan roads and bridges in