Locations for two sections of Coalfields Expressway approved in - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Locations for two sections of Coalfields Expressway approved in Va.

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BRISTOL (NEWS RELEASE) - The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) today approved the location of two sections of the Coalfields Expressway in Virginia from Route 23 at Pound to its connection with the proposed Route 460 Connector and the Hawks Nest section of the Coalfields Expressway in Buchanan County.

Following approval of the location for these two sections, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will revise the environmental assessment for Coalfields Expressway accordingly and send the revised assessment to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for a final decision.

FHWA could either give VDOT approval to move forward to design specific construction segments within Sections I and II, or require a supplemental environmental study. 

Funding is available for two construction segments of Coalfields Expressway: the approximate 7-mile Pound Connector in Wise and Dickenson counties and the approximate 5-mile Doe Branch section in Buchanan County.

VDOT and its private partners, Alpha Natural Resources and Rapoca Energy (formerly Pioneer Group, Inc.), entered into a Public Private Transportation Act (PPTA) agreement in 2006 to build the expressway using the "coal synergy" construction method.

By partnering with the coal companies, VDOT can build CFX for about half of the cost of traditionally construction methods.  

The Coalfields Expressway – designated as U.S. Route 121 and a Congressional High Priority Corridor – is a proposed 50-mile, four-lane limited access highway to provide a modern, safe and efficient transportation artery through the coalfields region of far southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia.

The Virginia portion of the route stretches eastward approximately 50 miles from U.S. Route 23 near Pound, through a portion of Wise County and through Dickenson and Buchanan counties to the West Virginia line near the community of Slate, Virginia. 

Approximately two miles have been constructed to rough grade in Buchanan County.

For more information about the Coalfields Expressway, visit www.VirginiaDOT.org/coalfieldsexpressway.

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