A project in the making for over 10 years, officials said U.S. 35 through Putnam and Mason counties will be completed and opened by the spring of 2019.
Finishing off on 14.6 miles of roadway, many in Congress and in the WV Legislature have waited for the day the shovels would move the first pieces of dirt for final construction.
“Today’s groundbreaking represents a collaborative effort from federal, state and local partners, and I’m grateful for everyone’s continued support and patience on the completion of this milestone,” Tomblin said. “I’m confident U.S. 35 will make a lasting impact on the people of Mason and Putnam counties — as well as our entire state — and provide business and industry opening in West Virginia with the solid infrastructure they need to operate and expand.”
U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said she was serving Mason County in West Virginia's Second District when solutions were starting to be formed and was excited to see everything come full circle.
“When I started as a Congresswoman this was my top priority so it’s almost like seeing your baby being born, it’s actually going to happen,” Capito said.
U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., was also there to help in the groundbreaking ceremony. Other delegation sent representatives to be on-hand.
The $174.5 million grade and drain contract calls for construction of a new 4-lane road between WV 869 (Buffalo Bridge) in Putnam County and County Route 40 (Upper Ninemile Creak) in Mason County. Awarded to Bizzack Construction, LLC out of Lexington, Ky., that part of the project is expected to be completed by fall of 2018.
Additional paving of four lanes between WV 896 near Buffalo Bridge in Putnam and CR 40 in Mason will be awarded in the summer of 2018 with total estimated completion by spring 2019.
According to the Division of Highways, $627 million has been spent on 22 miles with a remaining $70 million to spend on the remaining 14.6 miles of road.
With a decline in the state’s roadways a top priority and hot topic for many in West Virginia, Tomblin said the administration will continue to do all they can to improve roads.
“We will do what we can do maintain our current infrastructure to try to do what we can do build these very needed roads, like Route 35,” Tomblin added.