W.Va. 2 expansion gets funding

WASHINGTON — The state of West Virginia will receive about $9.4 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation toward the expansion of W.Va. 2 to four lanes from Proctor to Kent in Wetzel and Marshall counties, West Virginia’s two U.S. senators announced on Monday.

The funds are through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant program for freight, highway and multimodal projects around the country, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said. In the past, rural areas like West Virginia have been disadvantaged in the allocation process, he said.

The state Division of Highways held a public meeting on the project in August 2018. Estimated construction cost is $88 million.

The project entails a new path for Route 2 by aligning it with Route 29 in Wetzel and Marshall counties and moving it away from the Ohio River to create more space for economic development and industrial manufacturing in that area, Manchin said.

“For the last few years, I have pushed the Department of Transportation through my work on the Appropriations Committee to provide more equal funding between rural and urban areas. I thanked the Secretary today for listening to these calls. Last year, West Virginia received two BUILD grants for the first time in many years, totaling over $40 million, and this year I’m proud that we will receive the first INFRA grant in a very long time. This grant will open up Wetzel and Marshall Counties to more economic development and help capitalize on existing manufacturing in the area. I look forward to working with Secretary (Elaine Lan) Chao in the future to bring more funding to West Virginia for these great projects,” Manchin said.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Manchin spoke with Chao on Monday.

“I’ve spoken with the secretary and administration officials numerous times in recent months to advocate for the project and let them know what a difference it will make in our state. Not only will it help improve travel on Route 2, but it will also contribute in a big way to our growth, development, and overall economic potential,” Capito said.


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