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Officials ask for more federal funding to complete expressway project

Local - 9/26/2013 3:29 PM by Karen Franklin
SLAB FORK - Officials with the Coalfields Expressway are hoping for more government funding to complete all 62 miles of the road inside state lines.

On Thursday, board members with the Coalfield Expressway and other officials were out touring the road's progress. As of now, five miles of the expressway are completed, 20 miles are in design, eight have been built to standard and work on another two miles will be contracted shortly.

"There's valleys to fill and mountains to cross and things like that, so it's an expensive project," said Mike Goode of CFX. "You go south -- some of these states have flat lands and they can build a highway. Here in West Virginia and especially southern West Virginia with the steep mountains and things, it's very pricey to do that."

Officials strongly believe the road, which connects Beckley and Mullens, will promote business and increase safety. They say they've struggled over the past 20 years with decreased federal funding.

"With what's going on in Washington right now, nothing is very positive there, but we're hoping hat those guys and ladies will get together and come together for the good of the country and start building infrastructure," Richard Browning of CFX told WOAY. We can't go on like this."

The completion of the expressway does not have a projected end date, but officials said they're taking baby steps to finish all 62 miles.

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