BECKLEY, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday the state is going to use the Private Public Partnership option to build a key stretch of the Coalfields Expressway in southern West Virginia.

Tomblin said the state will advertise for qualified companies in the near future with the possibility of construction starting next spring on a 3.3 mile section connecting the expressway to Mullens.

The PPP option is a fairly new state law that allows the state to join with private companies to help build highways.

The Coalfields Expressway begins at Beckley along I-64/I-77 with plans to run to Grundy, Virginia. The section to Mullens is 19 miles.

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  • LastRebel

    First I lived in Mullens for many years, and really enjoyed my time there however when they started cutting this road I think it was viewed by most as a faster easier way out. Before they big flood in 2001 the town and county were dying. When I moved out of Wyoming county there was not a single stop light in the county and very few places you could say one was needed. The flood in 2001 has only sped up the process. Hopefully if this road is ever finished it makes it easier for those that do not want to leave their childhood homes to find work and continue to stay, for most of our young people though it will continue to be what most new roads in this state are. A faster way out and a decent road to travel on visits. We are the only state in the nation that has lost population.

    West Virginia's population in 1950 exceeded two million for the first and only time in the state's history. Fifty years later, in 2000, the population was slightly over 1.8 million. That's a loss of about 200,000 people from the Mountain State over five decades.
    In the same five decades America gained 130,724,545 people. America gained 130 million plus people and West Virginia still loses 200 thousand people how is this possible. How is it possible we can be the only state in the nation to lose population.

  • Cletus

    This highway is needed. It will help people get the hell out of West Virginia as quick as possible. It should be named the coal field escape route.

  • Brett

    The goal of this road is to intersect with the King Coal Highway that parallels Route 52. This area badly needs a good quality road.

  • Wikk

    Wait till your lights go out. Then you will know what coal has done for you and the country for years. many are free because we could make steel to build the military might for this nation.

  • Don in Berkeley

    Beckley to Grundy? Ridiculous. Finish Corridor H or Route 35.

    • J.R. in Southern WV

      Don in Berkeley, I guess those of us in the southern part of the state don't deserve better highways?? For years the entire state has benefited from the tax revenue off of coal mined in the southern part of the state, yet the northern part of the state always got most of the funding. It's about time the southern part gets it's fair share. Also, have you ever driven on the roads in southern WV?! We need newer and safer roads to travel on down here.

      • Price per Mile

        I agree that we do need safer roads in southern part of the state. But at a price tag of $20+ million a mile, we don't need this one. This will not bring economic growth to this part of the state bc there isn't any cheap flat land. The state should buy large tracts of land knock off several mountain tops while these massive machines are there. Sell the land to the highest bidder then start developing. It's a road to no where bc there is literally nothing there that attracts money. This $20+ million a mile can build, replace, upgrade a lot of crumbling bridges and roads in this state. Especially roads that people are killed on. Rt 35, RT 33, St. Albans Nitro I64 bridge, RT 2, etc... We just have another half finished monster project that is an embarrassment to the state.

        • pc

          Do you think some of the roads you mentioned would be much cheaper per mile? Do you think people don't get killed on some of these roads in southern WV, rts. 10, 16, and U.S. 52, which these roads are scheduled to replace, in large part? There is no more dilapidated and obsolete US highway in WV than the entire length of US 52 from I-64 in Wayne County to the Virginia line in Mercer County.

  • Dumb Liberals

    Now here's a bunch of PPP investors that are dumber than a box of rocks. Talk about a "road to nowhere". Once the m0r0n, his Gestapo, Tennant and her toilet bowl handler finish with the coal industry in WV, it will only be going to ghost towns.

    Hold your breath folks, once these investors realize the beating they will take, not one red dime will be invested by the SMART ones.

    Yet another dead idea from cousin Earl Ray and gang

    • Ummm, you know

      This project started a long long time before Tomlin was governor. CFX has been planned for 10 years now. People who want to mine coal should think hard about a project like this. How many of the public investors are coal companies who want to mine the coal in the path of this road? Ask the people of Mingo County if they like their new HS and the road that built it?

      • I'm honest at least

        No more new roads until we can maintain the ones we have. Roads all over this state are bad. The worst thing is the patches that are three inches higher than the rest of the road.

    • Breaker

      Come on DL....give the rocks at least a little credit. Even they wouldn't invest in this fiasco.

  • Wow

    With Obummer , the Dumacrats and the EPA, what Coalfields? This may end up being a highway to the waste lands.