Group survey shows support of West Virginia 2, Interstate 68 expansion
NEW MARTINSVILLE — A recent survey of businesses and establishments found that expanding West Virginia 2 to a four-lane highway and extending Interstate 68 to the Ohio Valley is widely supported.
The survey was conducted in the 10-counties represented by the WV Route 2 and I-68 Authority and showed 79 percent of all respondents supporting expanding W.Va. 2 and 89 percent support extending I-68.
“This shows the desire of our business community to have these projects pushed forward and completed. They and their employees utilize these roads and it would be a great benefit to them,” said Charles Clements, executive director of the Route 2 and I-68 Authority.
Half the respondents said expanding W.Va. 2 would benefit their business, but of those 95 percent ranked the importance of transportation for their products and services as high or moderate. For the I-68 expansion, 71 percent said it would benefit them and 95 percent of those ranked the importance of transportation for their products and services as high or moderate.
“Getting products to market is a huge requirement for our manufacturing and industrial businesses — large and small. By widening Route 2 and extending I-68, we create better opportunities for our region to be successful,” Clements said.
A total of 742 businesses and establishments were contacted to take the survey with an overall response rate of 23 percent. Respondents to the survey were given the option to remain anonymous.
The Route 2 and I-68 Authority was created in 1997 and includes representatives from Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, Pleasants, Wood, Monongalia and Marion counties. The authority is charged with two mandates: expand W.Va. 2 from Parkersburg to Chester to a four-lane highway and extend I-68 from I-79 to the Ohio Valley to connect to W.Va. 2. Learn more at www.route2i68.com.