Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 14, 2012

$120 million to push Coalfields Expressway development

GRUNDY, Va. — With $120 million awarded from the governor’s office, officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation are continuing to develop areas of the Coalfields Expressway across Buchanan, Dickenson and Wise counties.

Michelle Earl, a spokesperson with the VDOT Bristol District, said the highway was awarded $120 million from the governor to be distributed over the next six years for projects ranging from planning to construction .

“The funds received from the six-year highway plan ranges from anything from projects to oversight to just preliminary engineering,” Earl said. “Some of that money is set aside for construction. It is still in the developmental phases. We are in the planning phase as far as negotiating with the coal companies.”

Earl said VDOT is saving money on construction by partnering with local coal companies to lay the groundwork for the roadways. Alpha Natural Resources will be partnering with VDOT for preliminary construction of the Doe Branch section of the highway, which spans from Buchanan County to the Haysi area of Dickenson County.

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