New Road Use Policy for WV Oil and Gas Developers



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The West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways (DOH) issued a new policy effective August 4, 2010, setting forth certain bonding requirements and roadway improvement rules and procedures necessitated by the use of state roads by oil and gas developers. This policy is a result of a recent statutory amendment (particularly new West Virginia Code Section 17-4-47(f)), which gave the DOH authority to require bonds for potential road impacts as a condition of granting access to a state highway.

The new DOH policy mandates meetings between the DOH and an oil and gas developer to discuss the location of roads that will be impacted by a developer's project. The DOH will then issue a report outlining the potential improvements or repairs to be made by the developer, including, but not limited to, widening, paving, drainage and bridge/road replacement. The developer will be required to enter into an agreement with the DOH defining the roadway improvements required prior to and during the developer's proposed oil and gas project, as well as after its completion. The agreement will also impose time-related travel restrictions on the developer to avoid conflicts with established local uses, such as school bus routes. After completion of the project, the DOH and developer will meet on-site to inspect the roadway and determine if any further improvements are required.

The policy also requires the developer to provide minimum compulsory bonding levels for traversing state roadways, which vary depending on road type and mileage ($100,000.00 per paved road mile, $50,000.00 per gravel road mile, and $50,000.00 per tar and chipped mile). For larger oil and gas developers, blanket bonds covering multiple roads and projects might be an option, although not expressly stated in the policy.


(304) 353-8155
Charleston, WV