State Leaders Attend Groundbreaking for Final Stretch of Route 35

BUFFALO, W.Va. — Several state leaders were on hand Wednesday for the groundbreaking of the final nearly 15 mile stretch of U.S. Route 35 between Putnam and Mason counties.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito commended Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s resolve in aiming to finish the project quickly, and everyone else’s hard work.

“This is a great day. This is a project that I have been dedicated to; worked hard on along with so many other people,” Capito said. “I’m just thrilled we’re going to be cutting the ribbon on the construction for the last remaining 14.5 miles.”

The governor hoped that expanding the section of the road to four lanes would help both safety and the economy.

“Having an upgrade to four lanes does open some new area for economic development. That’s what we’re hoping to have is not only the safety part but to bring jobs for West Virginians,” Tomblin said.

Capito agreed that widening the road would help in both areas.

“It’s going to really open up Putnam and Mason County,” Capito said. “It’s an inordinately high amount of truck traffic on this road, so there’s a whole safety aspect to this.”

3rd District Congressman Evan Jenkins was on hand for the groundbreaking as well.

The final section of road is between State Route 869 at the Buffalo Bridge in Putnam County and County Route 40 in Mason County.

In January, Tomblin ordered  the state Department of Transportation to move the completion of Route 35 back to the front burner of state highway projects. Once complete, the road will be a four-laned highway from I-64 at Teays Valley to the Ohio River.

Costs for each of the 2 grade and drain projects are projected to be around $80 million each, with the paving to be around $50 million.

By:  Matt Maccaro
Source: Metro News