CHAPTER 17. ROADS AND HIGHWAYS.
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; criteria for designation as an orphan road or bridge.
Authority is hereby granted to the West Virginia division of
highways to establish a program to acquire and maintain roads and
bridges which meet the following three criteria: (1) Are in
existence as of the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred
ninety-eight; (2) are roads or bridges which the public has a right
to use; and (3) are roads or bridges not maintained by any
governmental agency. These roads and bridges 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 identification, 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
§17-2C-2. Development of program; acquisition of rights-of-way.
The West Virginia division of highways shall develop an orphan
roads and bridges identification, acquisition and maintenance
program which shall include all counties. At the discretion of the
commissioner of the division of highways, existing and temporary
employees of the division shall be assigned to locate and designate
each orphan road and bridge in each county. These employees shall
give to the commissioner of highways, in a form proscribed by him
or her, a detailed report on acquisition, status of rights-of-way,
and needed maintenance for orphan roads and bridges in each county
or highway district. Specific contents of each report shall be
designated by the commissioner.
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. The commissioner may also
use any moneys donated to the state road fund specifically for the
purposes of acquiring a right-of-way which has not been dedicated
§17-2C-3. Duties of commissioner with respect to orphan roads and
bridges; criteria for inclusion.
After reviewing the reports made to section two of this
article, the commissioner will determine whether a specific road or
bridge should be added to the state maintenance system. The
commissioner shall consider the following criteria in reaching his
or her determination: (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
suitability for maintenance equipment to access and maintain the
road or bridge; (7) the existing design and layout of the road or
bridge; and (8) the number of roads and bridges accepted into the
§17-2C-4. Workforce of welfare recipients and citizens'
conservation corps participants; division of
highways required to furnish maintenance materials.
The West Virginia department of health and human resources
shall make available to the division of highways a list of
able-bodied welfare recipients who have given permission for their
names to be listed as recipients available for work with the
division of highways, and who are available and able to work a
minimum of twenty hours a week at a manual labor job maintaining
orphan roads and bridges under the supervision of the district or
county highway offices. The commissioner of the division of
highways may, by contract, employ persons participating in the
citizens' conservation corps to maintain orphan roads and bridges.
The employment of welfare recipients or workers provided through
the citizens' conservation corps to maintain orphan roads and
bridges may not be used to displace any division of highways
employee in the classified civil service, or to reduce classified
civil service positions within the division.
The division of highways is required to furnish trucks or
other proper motor vehicles and gravel or other required materials
to be used by the workforce created by this section in the
maintenance of the orphan roads and bridges in each district and
§17-2C-5. 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
§17-2C-6. Termination of orphan roads and bridges program; report
to the Legislature.
The orphan roads and bridges acquisition and maintenance
program established pursuant to this article will terminate on the
thirty-first day of December, two thousand one.
On or before the thirtieth day of January, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-nine, and annually thereafter, the commissioner of
the division of highways shall submit a report to the Legislature
which recounts the activities of the program and the roads and
bridges which have been accepted into the state maintenance system.
The report shall include a breakdown by county of those roads and
bridges being maintained, the estimated costs associated with
maintenance and any other information the commissioner deems
necessary. Before the thirtieth day of January, two thousand two,
the commissioner shall also submit proposed legislation formulating
a policy for the designation and acceptance into the state system
of orphan roads and bridges in the future.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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