West Virginians have lots of different opinions, but I think there's one thing nearly all of us can agree on these days: the state of our roads is a disgrace.
Take the secondary roads I drive from the farm where I grew up outside of Fairview to Fairmont, for example. These roads are covered in so many potholes to the point it becomes almost sport trying to avoid them. And when you're unlucky enough to hit one of the big ones, that's it. Another trip to the repair shop is in store.
But unfortunately, the problem doesn't stop with our roads. Many of our bridges and dams are nearing a crisis point. Thirty-nine percent of our bridges are damaged or out-dated. Our infrastructure is crumbling underneath us.
Well I say it's time we do something about it. For West Virginia to thrive, we must revitalize our ailing infrastructure. We must rid the lifelines of our state of the never-ending stream of potholes. As Governor, that's just what I'll do. Because West Virginia deserves better. You deserve better.
While there is no overnight fix, the path to improving our roads and beyond is simple and clear. As Governor, I will work closely with our congressional delegation to secure all possible federal assistance to rebuild and maintain our transportation infrastructure. This means taking advantage of all opportunities, and putting federal dollars to work immediately.
We must finish the projects that are long overdue, and start investing in new roads and highways to keep our families healthy, our communities safe, and our businesses moving. We can't build a stronger, more diverse economy without the roads, bridges, and dams to support it. It's that simple.
With a little innovation, and the accountability to make sure funds spent on infrastructure are being used wisely and efficiently, we can make real strides in building a stronger West Virginia for generations to come.
As Governor, I will make improving our infrastructure a priority. West Virginia is the wild and wonderful state. Let's not let it become the pothole state.