Sustained Outrage

Highway robbery II

As evidence of runaway engineering fees on various state highway projects, Gov. Joe Manchin’s office compiled a few examples. These 10 pages cover projects in Wood, Pendleton, Hancock, Roane, Grant, Preston, Cabell, Monongalia, Berkeley and Lincoln counties.

At the bottom of each page, Paul Turman, deputy commissioner of the state Division of Highways, has written the percentage of the total project cost claimed by engineering fees.

Engineering services on smaller projects often make up a greater percentage of the price than they do on larger projects. Even so, engineering fees should fall roughly between 5 and 12 percent of the total cost of the project, according to a group of architects and engineers I spoke with last week.

barrel.jpgIn these examples, the highest percentage is 69 percent to widen a section of WV 105 to three lanes in Hancock County. The lowest percentage in this sample is 27 percent to add a turning lane on U.S. 33 in Franklin, Pendleton County.

For more background, see Highway robbery?