The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

December 31, 2012

Wise investment

Use of state funds for road projects related to Summit makes sense

— Intending to do well in welcoming the Boy Scouts this summer isn’t enough. As the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

No, the road to Almost Heaven must be planned and executed.

And paid for.

Fortunately, West Virginia has demonstrated that it sees the many benefits of hosting the National Jamboree at The Summit Bechtel Reserve this summer and an upcoming World Jamboree in just a few years.

Other uses for the expansive facilities will be coming, too.

We are in full support of the state using taxpayer dollars to improve roads in Fayette County to support the development of the Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.

It is wise investment in the future.

Our local economy needs the significant boost that hosting tens of thousands of tourists brings, as well as the infrastructure needed to pull it off — which locals will continue to draw from.

The state is paying nearly 40 percent of the $15.5 million in roads projects being undertaken in support of the Summit Bechtel Reserve. The eight projects vary from intersection improvement to road construction.

The $5.9 million in state funds covers part of engineering, rights of way and construction costs for the improvements. Six of the eight projects are supported by an 80 percent match from federal sources.

Those federal funds that wouldn’t be available otherwise.

Some of the road projects, such as upgrades and paving for Main Street in Mount Hope, and a turn lane at the Glen Jean intersection on U.S. 19 will benefit much more than Scouts and tourists.

On or near U.S. 19, the projects include an intersection upgrade and traffic signal at Bradley; an intersection upgrade and turn lanes at Blue Circle Road; a turn lane on W.Va. 16 at the Glen Jean intersection; a turn lane on 16 at the Greentown Road intersection; and an intersection upgrade at W.Va. 16 and 61.

Other projects include Glen Jean Lane, 885 feet of new roadway at the service entrance to the Summit at Glen Jean; 3 miles of new Mill Creek Road; and repairs and paving to Main Street in Mount Hope.

These are improvements that all residents will enjoy.

Rolling out the red carpet for the Boy Scouts will be a priority this summer. But we must pave the way to and inside Fayette County first.