Coalfields Expressway to Receive $7 Million in Federal Funds

March 14, 2024
The funding will allow paving of two two-lane expressway segments into four-lane highway sections

The Virginia Coalfields Expressway is getting a boost in funding with $7 million going to help add more lanes to five miles of the project.

On Wednesday, the Virginia Coalfields Expressway Authority announced the funding, crediting the state’s U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Ninth District Congressman Morgan Griffith for their work in getting the project included in federal budget legislation.

According to Authority executive director Jonathan Belcher, the funding, combined with a $1.75 million match of coal road funds by the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors in March, will allow paving of two two-lane expressway segments into four-lane highway sections by 2027.

When the two phases are completed, 15 miles of the expressway will have four lanes. Two miles of the expressway near the Breaks Interstate Park will still remain two-lane until further funding and development.

“Without the work of the CFX Authority and our federal legislators, this would only have been a two-lane with a few truck climbing lanes,” said Belcher. “We appreciate the work of Congressman Griffith and Sens. Warner and Kaine to secure the latest round of $7 million in federal funding to continue to advance the Coalfields Expressway project in Virginia.”

The Expressway, first proposed in the early 1990s — was envisioned by Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia as a four-lane highway connecting the region to Interstate 64 and improved commercial access to the East Coast.

The Buchanan County segment would lead to connection with West Virginia’s Coalfield Expressway segment.

Since the mid-1990s, the Virginia Department of Transportation planned a corridor along mined and reclaimed areas from U.S. Route 23 in the Pound area of Wise County, across Dickenson County and to the current Expressway section in Buchanan County. Belcher said that vision is still part of the CFX Authority’s plan, and the latest round of federal funding adds hope to progress along the approximately 40-mile Virginia corridor.

“We’re talking to VDOT about looking at options for the western end of the CFX corridor,” said Belcher. “The value of the Expressway lies in the whole road being completed, and we’re optimistic that the project is heading back in the right direction.”


Source: TimesNews.Net

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