CHAPTER 17. ROADS AND HIGHWAYS.
WVC 17 - 10 -
ARTICLE 10. COUNTY COURTS; MUNICIPALITIES; GENERAL AUTHORITY AND
DUTIES AS TO ROADS, ETC.
WVC 17 - 10 - 1
§17-10-1. Power over bridges, approaches and public landings;
relinquishment of authority over county-district
roads; commissioner may purchase or rent road
equipment and material from county court.
The county court shall have the superintendence and
administration of the construction, reconstruction, repair and
maintenance of bridges and approaches to bridges situated within
municipalities and at the time of the adoption of this chapter
remaining under the control and jurisdiction of the county court.
The county court shall also have like authority over public
landings. The term "roads and bridges" in this article shall be
construed to mean the bridges and approaches to bridges which
under this section remain within the jurisdiction of the county
court, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning.
Pursuant to section two, article four, this chapter, the
county court shall upon the first day of July, nineteen hundred
thirty-three, relinquish to the state road commission its
authority over county-district roads, and shall thereafter
neither construct, reconstruct nor maintain any road or bridge
except as is specifically authorized by this article.
The state road commissioner may purchase or rent from any
county court any or all road equipment and materials in their
possession and shall give preference in the purchase of such
machinery from the county courts that may be needed by the
commission and not needed for the maintenance and repair of the
roads, bridges and landings remaining under their control.
WVC 17 - 10 - 2
§17-10-2. Extent of power over roads, bridges and public
So far as applicable, the county court shall have with
respect to the roads, bridges and public landings that remain
within their jurisdiction similar powers to those granted to the
state road commissioner by section four, article four of this
WVC 17 - 10 - 3
§17-10-3. Exercise of power of eminent domain.
In the exercise of the power of eminent domain with regard
to the roads and bridges under their jurisdiction the county
court shall be governed in the same manner and to the same extent
as is the state road commissioner by section five, article four
of this chapter.
WVC 17 - 10 - 4
The county court shall keep a record book, to be known as
the "road record" in which they shall record all orders, papers,
and documents pertaining to road matters and required by this
chapter to be recorded. This book shall only be used for the
purposes specified. There shall also be filed with the clerk of
the county court all changes in title to rights-of-way, maps,
plats, surveys and all discontinuances of roads and bridges under
the jurisdiction of the county court.
The county court shall also provide the clerk with a record
book to be known as the "financial road record." It shall be in
the form prescribed by the state road commissioner. The county
court shall enter in it a record of county road bonds, county
road funds and the road bonds and funds of the several districts.
The record shall show the road upon which each item was spent,
whether for construction or reconstruction and the kind thereof,
or for maintenance, and the character of the road maintained, and
shall show whether the construction and maintenance was upon
bridges or upon the roadbed proper.
WVC 17 - 10 - 5
§17-10-5. Protection of roadbeds.
The provisions of section eight, article four of this
chapter relating to the protection of roadbeds shall apply to the
authority of the county courts over the roads and bridges within
WVC 17 - 10 - 6
§17-10-6. Inspection, condemnation, closing or repair of bridges.
The county court shall inspect all bridges under its
jurisdiction and control. If any bridge is found to be unsafe
the court shall promptly condemn, close, and repair it.
WVC 17 - 10 - 7
§17-10-7. Elimination of grade crossings.
County courts and municipalities shall have the same
authority and shall follow the same procedure, so far as
applicable, in the elimination of grade crossings, on roads,
bridges, or public landings within their jurisdiction, as is
provided in sections nine to seventeen, inclusive, article four
of this chapter.
WVC 17 - 10 - 8
§17-10-8. Contracts -- Advertisement for letting.
In case the county court desires to contract for the
construction, reconstruction or maintenance of a road or bridge
or for the purchase of supplies and equipment, it shall advertise
for the letting of the contract by publishing such advertisement
as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the
provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and
the publication area for such publication shall be the county.
Such publication shall be so made within fourteen consecutive
days next preceding the date of the letting of the contract.
WVC 17 - 10 - 9
§17-10-9. Same -- Opening bids; award or rejection of bids;
contractor's bond; publication of information as to
bids; reserving portion of payment for work;
penalties for unlawful conduct as to bids.
All bids for work to be done by contract on roads and
bridges under the control of the county court shall be received
at the courthouse of the county at the time specified in the
advertisement, and shall be opened only in open court, and the
amount and items comprising each bid shall be publicly announced,
and the contract, if let, shall be awarded to the lowest bidder
for the type of construction selected. The contractor shall give
bond with security to be approved by the court in an amount equal
to fifty percent of the contract price, conditioned for the
faithful performance of the contract.
After such bids have been opened the county court shall
publish immediately the names of all persons bidding on such
contract, together with the itemized amount of their respective
bids, designating the person to whom such contract was awarded,
if awarded, together with the amount of his bid. Such
information shall be published as a Class II legal advertisement
in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty- nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication
shall be the county.
The court may reject any and all bids, and may thereafter
have the work done in any other manner that it may deem
advisable. If there be two bids of the same amount for any
section of road, or for any other improvement thereon, the court shall have the power to accept either of such bids.
The court may reserve from payment not more than twenty
percent of the amount accruing on the contract until the work has
been completed and approved.
Any person who shall open any of the bids at any other time
or place than herein provided, or shall make known the name of
the bidder, or the amount of his bid, otherwise than as herein
provided, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty nor more than two
hundred dollars, and be imprisoned in the county jail not less
than one nor more than six months. Any member of the county
court who shall violate any of the provisions of this section
shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction,
shall in addition to the penalties provided above forfeit his
WVC 17 - 10 - 10
§17-10-10. Same -- Prohibited contracts.
A county court shall not enter into any contract prohibited
by the provisions of section twenty-two, article four of this
WVC 17 - 10 - 11
§17-10-11. Same -- Certificate of purity of materials; false
statements or representations; cancellation of
The county court may request a certificate of purity of the
chemical constituents and the percentage of impurities contained
in any materials or supplies offered to it for purchase. Any
person, firm or corporation willfully making or furnishing a
false certificate shall be guilty of perjury.
Any contract made by reason of any false statement or
representation may be cancelled by order of the court.
WVC 17 - 10 - 12
§17-10-12. Same -- When work not done by contract; appointment
and compensation of superintendent to supervise
In the event the county court shall decide to have work done
other than by contract, the court shall make and record their
decision in the road record and thereupon they may appoint a
competent superintendent who shall have the supervision of the
work. The court shall fix his compensation.
WVC 17 - 10 - 13
§17-10-13. Only standardized, tested and approved materials to be
The county court or person contracting with it shall only
use in the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair or
maintenance of roads and bridges under its jurisdiction,
materials that have been standardized, tested and approved by the
state road commissioner.
WVC 17 - 10 - 14
§17-10-14. Supervision of employees.
The county court shall see that all its appointees and
employees faithfully perform their respective duties, obey its
orders and expend money and perform labor only as ordered and
directed by the court and required by this chapter.
WVC 17 - 10 - 15
§17-10-15. May establish stone quarries, stone crushing plants,
For the purpose of obtaining materials to be used in the
construction and maintenance of roads or bridges under the
jurisdiction of the county court, the court is authorized to
establish and maintain stone quarries, stone crushing plants, and
erect such buildings in connection therewith as shall be actually
necessary in the prosecution of its work.
WVC 17 - 10 - 16
§17-10-16. Claims of contractors and others.
All claims of any contractor or others, which may, under the
provisions of this chapter, be due to such contractor or other
persons for labor done or materials furnished in and about the
construction, reconstruction or improvement of a road or bridge
under the jurisdiction of the county court, shall be presented to
the county court at the proper session thereof, and if found
correct, shall, upon the order or warrant of such court, signed
by the president and clerk thereof, be paid by the sheriff. No
claim shall be paid by the county court until a thorough
investigation of its validity has been made.
WVC 17 - 10 - 17
§17-10-17. Action for damages occasioned by defective road,
bridge, street, etc.
Any person who sustains an injury to his person or property
by reason of any road or bridge under the control of the county
court or any road, bridge, street, alley or sidewalk in any
incorporated city, town or village being out of repair due to the
negligence of the county court, incorporated city, town or
village may recover all damages sustained by him by reason of
such injury in an action against the county court, city, town or
village in which such road, bridge, street, alley or sidewalk may
be, except that such city, town or village shall not be subject
to such action unless it is required by charter, general law or
ordinance to keep the road, bridge, street, alley or sidewalk
therein, at the place where such injury is sustained, in repair.
If it is not so required, the action and remedy shall be against
the county court. When judgment is obtained against the county
court, such court shall at the time of the laying of the next
annual levy, levy upon the taxable property of the district in
which such injury is sustained a sufficient sum to pay such
judgment with interest and costs, and the costs of collecting the
same, and when it is obtained against the city, town or village
the proper municipal authorities thereof shall lay such levies at
the time of levying the next annual levy on the property subject
to taxation in such city, town or village. In case of a failure
by either so to do, or to pay the judgment as required by law,
the circuit court of the county for which such county court acts
or in which such city, town or village or the major portion of the territory thereof is located shall compel the laying of such
levy, or the payment of such judgment, or both, by mandamus.
WVC 17 - 10 - 18
§17-10-18. Action for damages occasioned by defective turnpike,
road or bridge, belonging to any company, etc.
Any person who may be injured by reason of a turnpike, road
or bridge belonging to any company or person, or to any county in
its corporate capacity, being out of repair, may recover all
damages sustained by him by reason of such injury, in the manner
prescribed in the preceding section, against such company, person
or county, or against the lessee for the time being of any such
road or bridge. Any judgment against a city, town, village or
county under this section may be enforced by the circuit court by
writ of mandamus.
WVC 17 - 10 - 19
§17-10-19. Determination of requirements for succeeding fiscal
The county court shall at the close of each fiscal year
determine the amount necessary to maintain, construct, and
reconstruct the roads, bridges and public landings within its
jurisdiction for the succeeding fiscal year.
WVC 17 - 10 - 20
§17-10-20. Amount to be included in general county levy.
The county court shall include the amount determined under
section nineteen of this article in the total amount for which a
general county levy is laid as provided by article eight, chapter
eleven, as amended.
WVC 17 - 10 - 21
§17-10-21. Existing bonded indebtedness to remain debt of
property originally pledged as security; levies for
payment; transfer of funds.
The bonded indebtedness incurred by the county and by its
magisterial districts for road purposes shall remain the debt of
the property originally pledged as security for the payment of
the obligation. The county court shall impose upon the property
in the county for county obligations, and in the magisterial
district for district obligations, levies in the manner provided
in sections seven and thirteen, article eight, chapter eleven, as
amended, for the payment of the current requirements of principal
and interest of the bonded indebtedness on and after July first,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-three. All county courts, and
other bodies acting in lieu thereof, are authorized to transfer
to the general county fund any unexpended balances remaining in
the county road and bridge funds or in district road funds, other
than interest and sinking funds required for bonded indebtedness
incurred for road purposes, and to transfer to the general county
fund any unexpended balances of funds raised to pay the interest
on and create sinking funds for any such bonded indebtedness
where said bonded indebtedness has been fully paid off and
discharged or where there remains no other bonded debt within
such taxing district to which such unexpended balances might be
applied, as well as any balance remaining in any special road
fund created by law, and all moneys which may hereafter be paid
into such funds through the collection of delinquent taxes or
When there is in the state sinking fund commission to the
combined credit of all district road bonds in any county issued
prior to November eight, one thousand nine hundred thirty-two, a
sufficient amount to pay principal and interest on all such
outstanding road bonds, the state sinking fund commission is
authorized to apply from said balance a sufficient amount to pay
all outstanding road bonds of said districts, together with the
interest thereon to maturity, and to remit any balances remaining
thereafter to the sheriff and treasurer of said county to be
credited to the general fund of the county.
WVC 17 - 10 - 22
§17-10-22. Counties and political subdivisions voting bonds for
paving state road.
Any county, district, group of districts or municipal
corporation may, in the manner provided by law, vote bonds, or
provide funds by special levy, according to the procedure
provided by section fifteen, article eight, chapter eleven as
amended, for the improvement and paving of any state road lying
within their respective boundaries, but such funds shall be
expended under the charge and by the state road commissioner. The
state road commissioner shall maintain roads so paved or
WVC 17 - 10 - 23
§17-10-23. Levy tax on property outside municipalities.
The county court of each county may levy a tax on all
property situated outside of municipalities as follows: On class
one property, as defined by law, not to exceed twelve and one-
half cents on the one hundred dollars' valuation, and on class
two property, as defined by law, not to exceed twenty-five cents
on the one hundred dollars' valuation. The levy tax shall be
collected by the sheriff and the proceeds thereof shall be paid
into the state treasury and credited to the road fund for the
benefit of and to be expended for the maintenance, repair,
construction and reconstruction of the roads of the county,
outside of municipalities, in which the tax was raised.
WVC 17 - 10 - 24
§17-10-24. Delinquent lists of taxes; collection of delinquent
Delinquent lists of taxes uncollected under the provisions
of this article shall be returned and disposed of as school and
other district and county levies are returned and disposed of
according to law. Such delinquent taxes shall be collected at the
same time, and by the same officer, and in the same manner as
state and county taxes are collected, pursuant to chapter eleven,
of this code.
WVC 17 - 10 - 25
A person violating any of the provisions of this article
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be
fined not less than ten nor more than one hundred dollars, or be
imprisoned not less than five nor more than thirty days, or both.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session