Justice predicts “avalanche” of work soon on secondary roads

CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice predicted an “avalanche of work” would begin soon on secondary roads across the state during an appearance Wednesday on MetroNews “Talkline.”

“And absolutely there won’t be a county more important than another county,” Justice said. “It will happen in all 55 counties.”

Justice’s comments came less than 24 hours after he instructed DOH district engineers and county maintenance supervisors to make a list of roads in their counties, prioritize the work needed and suggest how it can be done.

“We’re going to address the most severe first and we will try and get done as many projects as we can possibly get done as fast as we can get them done,” Justice said. “The other thing I think you’ll see is an avalanche of work getting done all over the place.”

Justice said equipment is going to be an issue. He continued to criticize U.S. Senator Joe Manchin for selling off DOH equipment why he was governor. Manchin has denied the claims. Justice said the state is going to have to use different options to get the equipment necessary to do the work.

“We may very well be able to do a blend of purchasing some of it, leasing a whole lot of it that will extend our dollars,” Justice said. “It may not be the most economic sound thing to do but it is the only thing we can do.”

Justice said he’s looking forward to getting the various lists from DOH officials Friday afternoon.

“There’s a heck of a lot of stuff we can do and we can do it right now. It doesn’t have to be rocket science. It just has to be getting to work,” he said.

Justice said he wanted to look the DOH supervisors in the face Tuesday and urge them to pull the rope with him to get the job done.

“This didn’t happen on my watch but I’m going to correct it on my watch. That’s all there is to it,” Justice said Wednesday.

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