RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. (WOAY) – About two years after promising to finish the Coalfields Expressway, Governor Jim Justice held a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the start of new paving work.
The current phase will connect Mullens to Slab Fork It is the latest roadwork project as part of the Roads to Prosperity program.
“If you’ve ever driven the roads in southern West Virginia, you can’t get anywhere without going all over here and there,” said Justice. “It takes forever, so the ability to be able to connect [everything] gives us the access to Kentucky and many other states.”
The project is almost 30 years in the making. When it is finally complete, over 64 miles of road will connect the area to the rest of the world. Right now, less than eight miles of the expressway is open for use. It is expected that paving the area between Mullens and Slab Fork will last until mid-October.
“When we started this project 29 years ago, that’s longer than I’ve been with highways,” said Commissioner of Highways Jimmy Wriston. “It’s just a great feeling…having that connection just opens up the world down here for these folks.”