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Candidates should listen to safe road concerns

The state of West Virginia's roads seems to be a burning issue for potential voters as the May 9 primary looms closer. Indeed, many residents of North Central West Virginia think infrastructure is critical to the state's future.

Most simply want safe highways that are relatively smooth and free of potholes and cracks.

Some people also want to see the controversial Corridor H project to the Virginia state line completed. However, a few have reservations about the environmental toll that major highway construction entails.

Gretchen Cleavenger, of Volga in neighboring Barbour County, believes many of this state's highways are treacherous because they have to wend their way through mountains. She is also tired of comparing other state's highways to West Virginia's.

"Yesterday's roads belong in yesterday," Cleavenger says. "We have to have highways that will keep up with modern life."

Meanwhile, Mark Wood of Doddridge County believes that ease of transportation is important to West Virginia's survival in the 21st century. He thinks county roads need to be improved and that Corridor H should be built.

Melinda Anderson of Clarksburg thinks more needs to be done to maintaining existing roadways, instead of building new ones.

Some voters were also concerned about awarding big road contracts to out-of-state firms and the lack of mass transportation.

There's simply no argument on our part as to the importance of a safe, effective transportation system in West Virginia. Great strides have been made in some areas, while other regions have poor road systems and will continue to languish in the economic doldrums.

West Virginia residents know what issues are important to them, and good roads are high on the list. Let's hope our politicians heed the call for better roads. Our future depends on it.

Today's editorial is a reflection of the opinion of the Exponent Editorial Board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Matt Harvey and J. Cecil Jarvis.

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