WEIRTON — A road improvement project aimed at opening up an industrial development on land once home to Weirton Steel Corp. has received additional support from West Virginia’s representatives in the U.S. Senate.

The access road project for the Frontier Crossing development is set to receive $1.5 million in Congressionally Directed Spending currently included in the 2023 fiscal appropriations bill, according to announcements Wednesday by both U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

The funds are part of an $18.8 million package aimed at eight highway projects in West Virginia.

“Moving West Virginia forward means investing in our roads and highways, and it’s exactly why I requested this funding for eight key projects across our state,” Capito said. “Advancing these projects closer to completion impacts nearly every corner of West Virginia, and will create jobs, grow our local economies, and improve transportation for residents and visitors alike. I’ll continue to deliver needed resources for our state’s core infrastructure, and look forward to seeing the tangible benefits of these significant funding awards announced today.”

According to Manchin’s office, the funding is now available to the West Virginia Department of Transportation, which will be tasked with distributing the funds.

“West Virginia’s infrastructure plays a critical role in our state’s economy, which is why improving, modernizing, and expanding our roads, bridges and highways continues to be one of my top priorities,” said Manchin. “I proudly secured this funding to support eight critical highway projects across our great state, which will boost local tourism, spur economic development and promote safe and secure travel for all West Virginians. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue advocating for resources, including CDS funding, to improve our roads and bridges as we address the infrastructure needs of the Mountain State.”

In a previous interview, Pat Ford, business development director for the Frontier Group of Companies, which now owns the former steel property, explained the importance of the road project.

“The foundation for this road has been built over the last three years,” Ford said, noting the improved access it will provide to the approximately 1,100 acres currently under redevelopment by the Buffalo-based company.

Plans have called for the road to begin in the area of Cove Road and Weir Avenue, running north through the property, and then west toward Brown’s Island and the Ohio River. Additional access would be available from near Pennsylvania Avenue.

The road is expected to play a key part in Form Energy’s planned iron-air battery manufacturing facility announced for Weirton in recent months.

This is the second such allotment provided in as many years for the access road project.

In 2022, federal officials announced $4 million in CDS would be awarded for the project, with $1 million awarded to the City of Weirton and $3 million to the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission.

In addition to the Weirton project, others announced to receive funds were $730,000 for a second interchange on I-70 in Ohio County; $1.4 million for the Charles Town Augustine Trial and Connectivity Project; $1.5 million for the Coalfields Expressway; $1,750,000 for the Huntington Welcome Center at Exit 8 on I-64; $2 million for repairs and rehabilitation of Exit 155 on I-79; $5 million for the King Coal Highway project; and $5 million to complete Corridor H.