July 23, 2019

Manchin Introduces Fix The Country Roads Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Fix the Country Roads Act, legislation that would modernize the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) by granting the Secretary of the Department of Transportation the authority to add new sections to the Appalachian Development Highway System.

“Since ADHS was enacted by Congress in 1965, it has created and supported more than 168,000 jobs, generated more than $19.6 billion per year in added business, and saved more than 231 million hours of travel annually. Appalachia has changed since 1965, however, and there are highways under construction currently – like the King Coal Highway and the Coalfields Expressway – that fulfill many of the same goals as ADHS but are excluded because construction started on them after 1965. That’s why I believe modernizing the ADHS is incredibly important to states like West Virginia,” said Senator Manchin. “I am proud to introduce this bill and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this legislation. I will continue to fight for West Virginia and other rural states to ensure that they are connected to the rest of the country, which has been the goal of ADHS all along.”

Senator Manchin’s bill would authorize the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in consultation with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and relevant state Departments of Transportation, to identify segments of existing, unfinished, and potential corridors for inclusion in the ADHS. The bill would also provide the Secretary of Transportation the statutory authority to add new sections to ADHS. Inclusion in ADHS would provide a 100% federal match and would also allow states with significant unobligated balances to put them to use. The Fix the Country Roads Act would allow states that have completed their sections within ADHS to identify new sections for inclusion, and it would allow states with unobligated balances to use them on projects that make more sense for our modern economy. Most importantly, it will increase connectivity in the region and provide additional, much-needed economic development in Appalachia.

To view the full bill text click here.