A recent report from the engineering firm CDM Smith found West Virginia needs more than a half-billion dollars in yearly road funding just to maintain current conditions and nearly $850 million a year to bring its roads into full compliance.
If the state wants to build new roads, it would need about $1.3 billion a year.
Armstead suggested there are other ways to raise money for road construction, not discussed by the commission, including removing West Virginia's prevailing wage requirements for road construction workers.
"There doesn't seem to be a willingness by those who are pursuing these tax increases to discuss that," he said.
Pizatella said members did consider removing the prevailing wage requirement, but did not include it in the final recommendations because they could not come to consensus on the matter.
The commission would be open to studying that option again in the future, Pizatella said.
Armstead said the state also should allow lawmakers to consider road funding alongside other budget items just like education, prisons and Medicaid.
"There may be other things we need to put lower on the priority scale," he said.
Pizatella said he disagrees with Armstead and believes Tomblin would, too. By funding road construction out of the general revenue fund alongside other needs, "then we're still looking at similar pieces of the same pie."
He said merging the state road fund, which was created by the state constitution, with the general fund would not create greater resources for building highways.
Hall said he has doubts the state could find enough loose change in its budget to fund road construction.
He said there is not much extra money in the state's general revenue budget, unless lawmakers want to cut programs West Virginians have become used to or lose federal funding dependent upon states' matching funds.
Highways have traditionally been funded by the people who use the roads, Hall said. But there's little chance new tolls or fees will pass in an election year.
Hall said when road funding eventually does come to the forefront, it likely will bear little resemblance to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways' recommendations.
"I don't think you'll see as big an increase in these fees or tolls that have been put on the table. I don't think it will be as big, and I don't think it will be as soon."