Associated Press Published

Coal Slump Puts Coalfields Expressway Project on Hold


A slumping coal industry has put a Coalfields Expressway project in southern West Virginia on hold.

The state planned to build a section of the four-lane highway in McDowell County through a public-private partnership with a coal company. The company would convert a mined area into roadbed.

Coalfields Expressway Authority executive director Richard Browning says discussions about the project have stopped because of a depressed coal market.

Browning tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that he expects the plan to proceed if the market improves.

The Coalfields Expressway will run from Raleigh County in West Virginia to Buchanan County in Virginia. About 6 miles of the highway have been completed in West Virginia. Another 2 miles have been completed in Virginia.