Federal Grant Boosts W.Va. 2 Highway Project

The federal government has awarded a $9.4 million grant to help with the highway expansion of W.Va. 2 in Marshall and Wetzel counties. 

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee’s Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, announced the grant Monday provided through the U.S Department of Transportation. 

The Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant was awarded to the West Virginia Division of Highways to widen W.Va. 2 to four lanes between Proctor and Kent. 

“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 in a written statement. “I’m thrilled that the department chose to help support this critical project, and through my leadership roles on both EPW and the Appropriations Committee, I will continue working to secure funding to improve and expand West Virginia’s infrastructure.” 

In May, Capito wrote to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asking for the federal government’s support of the project. 

She also invited Chao to West Virginia last month to discuss the state’s infrastructure challenges and opportunities, where they announced a $100 million grant that will support the construction of Corridor H. 

West Virginians approved the “Roads to Prosperity” bond in 2017, which opened new funding streams for infrastructure projects across the state, including the W.Va. 2 widening project. Capito said the W.Va. 2 highway project will hopefully lead to new economic development on the corridor along the Ohio River. 

“West Virginia’s economy is experiencing a remarkable turnaround that is being led by the northern region of the state,” Capito said. 

“The dynamism of the natural gas industry has engendered growth and opportunity for thousands of West Virginians working in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. In order for these communities to continue to thrive and capture new downstream industries, however, investments in modern, dependable infrastructure are needed.” 

Robert A. Miller, Jr., the executive director of the W.Va. Route 2/I-68 Authority, thanked the Capito, Chao and the “countless others that have also actively advocated and promoted for years” to move the expansion project forward. He said the “Roads to Prosperity” bond promoted by Gov. Jim Justice has been critical for the project.

By:  Mike Jones
Source: Wheeling Intelligencer