WV Turnpike authority seeking corporate sponsorships

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The WV TurnpikeThe WV Turnpike

More advertising could be coming to the West Virginia Turnpike, as the tollway’s authority seeks corporate sponsorships to help defray costs of maintaining and improving the 88-mile road.

West Virginia would join other states such as Florida that see corporate sponsorships of rest areas, vehicle breakdown services and various signage as a way to prevent further toll increases.

A corporate sponsor sign in FloridaA corporate sponsor sign in Florida

The turnpike extends from Charleston to near Princeton and serves Interstates 77 and 64.

The West Virginia Parkways Authority, which manages the turnpike, says it plans to publish a request for proposals from national brands interested in advertising on the toll road in some way.

“Our program started by taking inventory of the turnpike’s marketable assets, which include the Courtesy Patrol, selective signage options, the turnpike website, rest areas and travel plazas with free Wi-Fi service and other motorist engagement opportunities,” says authority General Manager Greg Barr.

“Transportation-related corporate sponsorships have proven to be a creative way to generate revenue to offset operating costs and for road improvements and maintenance, while at the same time enhancing service to the traveling motorist.”

Barr told The Exponent Telegram newspaper that the program could raise as much as $500,000 a year. He said it would probably be summer before drivers begin to notice sponsorships on the road.