Senate Bill No. 152
(By Senators Tomblin (Mr. President) and Buckalew
By Request of the Executive)
[Introduced January 14, 1998; referred to the Committee
A BILL 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
the establishment of a program to acquire and maintain roads
and bridges which are not maintained by any governmental
entity; development of the program; process and criteria for
including a road or bridge in the program; and upgrading of
acquired roads and bridges.
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.
Authority is hereby granted to the West Virginia division of
highways to establish a program to acquire roads and bridges
which the public has a right to use and which are not maintained
by any governmental entity. These roads and bridges which are
not maintained by a governmental entity 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 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; right-of-way.
The West Virginia division of highways shall develop an
orphan road and bridge acquisition and maintenance program. 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.
§17-2C-3. Inclusion in the system.
Application for inclusion of a road or bridge into the
maintenance system shall be made by petition to the commissioner
of highways. The application shall not be approved unless the
necessary right-of-way is either dedicated or donated to the
division of highways or other provisions are made to acquire the
right-of-way as provided in section two of this article. The
decision on whether a specific road or bridge should be added to
the state maintenance system is within the absolute discretion of
the commissioner of highways. The commissioner shall consider:
(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 existing design and
layout of the road or bridge; and (7) the number of roads and
bridges accepted into the maintenance system.
§17C-2-4. 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
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish a state
program for acquisition and maintenance of orphan roads and
bridges. It provides for a program, requires right-of-way
acquisition, inclusion of roads and bridges into system and
upgrading of roads and bridges into system.
This is a new article; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.