The West Virginia Division of Highways announced on Friday that the Coalfields Expressway Project will be moving forward in the fall of 2013.
The latest section of the road is a two mile stretch from West Helen to County Route 12/1. It is one of four separate projects aimed at connecting West Helen to Mullens. The project involves leveling the roadway, and adding drainage where it is needed.
"The existing two-lane roadway has many deficiencies for today's transportation needs," said West Virginia Transportation Secretary, Paul Mattox. "The project to be let this fall will be another large step toward our goal of delivering a safer, modern highway to Southern West Virginia.
The state will accept bids for the $20 Million contract in the fall. The state is providing 15-percent of the funds, or $3 Million. $5 million comes from TIGER funds. The other $12 million comes from other federal aid. TIGER stands from Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery. It is a grant program from the U.S. Department of Transportation, aimed at investments that have a significant impact on the National, a region or a metropolitan area.
"We appreciate the efforts of Secretary Mattox and the West Virginia Division of Highways for their continued support to move this important road project forward," stated Coalfields Expressway Authority Executive Director Richard Browning. "As southern West Virginia continues to diversify its economy, the Coalfields Expressway continues to be critical to the future prosperity of the region."
The Coalfields Expressway is a rural, four-lane divided, partially controlled access highway. Is is 62 miles long and connects Beckley with the Virginia/West Virginia state line.