Governor Jim Justice was in Bluefield to celebrate the opening of a section of the King Coal Highway

BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY)- In Bluefield, a three-mile stretch of the King Coal Highway has just opened! The project costs 68 million dollars and is funded by Justice’s larger 2.8 billion dollar Roads to Prosperity program.

According to the Division of Highways, the King Coal Highway will open up travel across 90 miles of southern West Virginia. Gov. Justice explains the importance of the program.

“There’s been three priorities for me from the standpoint of our roads, and that’s the Coalfield Expressway, the King Coal Highway here, here, and up north [at the] eastern panhandle, Corridor H,” said Gov. Justice. “Why is that? And the reason was really simple to me. This absolutely is your bridge to so much economic development and prosperity when I hate to say it, but in many, many, many ways, we ran off and left southern West Virginia. Well, that’s not going to happen on my watch.”

These three highways will connect West Virginia more directly with major population centers. The founder of Kanawha Stone Company, who was contracted with the project back in 2018, explains the benefits this program has produced.

“We’re standing here today celebrating the completion of the John Nash Airport project at $61.2 million,” said Arthur L. King, the founder of the Kanawha Stone Company. “This job provided seven and a half million dollars of paychecks to West Virginians, $23 million to West Virginian contractors, and approximately $4 million to local businesses around this area. This job and 17 others that we have completed total 248 million. Governor, we and our employees thank you for the Roads to Prosperity program.”

After the ceremony, Gov. Justice led a group of vehicles to be the first drivers on this highway to commemorate the opening.

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