DOH officials discuss progress report for district 4 road repairs

PRESTON COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV)-- "We're going to succeed because that's our job," said Jimmy Wriston the new Acting Commissioner for the DOH.

Members of the district 4 staff, of the Division of Highways, held a meeting with local county commissioners, delegates and senators to follow up with them about progress and plans in the works.

Questions regarding funding, manpower and equipment were among the hot topics.

"We have a list of projects. We're very close to having the funding sources for those and we'll know exactly what we can get done between now and June 30 and from then until the end of the year," said Wriston.

Mon County Delegate, Danielle Walker, says when she was running for her house seat, one of her main missions was to fight for road repairs.

"We have some fresh eyes and we have some people with experience, but still it's about accountability," said Monongalia County Delegate Danielle Walker.

One of Governor Justice's new ideas is the S.W.A.T. program, which focuses on getting people answers for concerns they may have with road conditions in their area.

Wriston says he can't even count the amount they've gotten so far.

"I think once we got that it just builds a link for the folks out there on the ground to us and where we can be more responsive."

Walker says the complaints she gets daily aren't just about potholes and slips, but problems even more dangerous.

"I'm getting emails from constituents that a police officer pulled them over because they were dodging a pothole. Or that the police officer pulled them over because they crossed a line, but there's not an actual line painted," said Walker.

4,756 miles, not including the interstate, make up district 4. Wriston says as the 'centerpiece' of economic development in the state, they're going to get the job done.

"Our equipment needs, we'll be looking at those. The equipment needs is not so much a purchasing issue as it is an availability issue. We're going to give our folks what they need to do the work that they need to do," said Wriston.

While country roads take us home, Walker says they have to be improved.

"I want those country roads to be safe."

The DOH says they are close to having a process in place to hire people at a quicker pace.