TRANSPORTATION Board member James Keen,
center, chats with Virginia Secretary of
Transportation Pierce Homer, right and CTB
Member Ken White, left, at last week's CTB
workshop meeting in Abingdon. The Coalfields
Expressway was a primary focus of that
workshop. See related story.
photo/Cathy St. Clair.)
Expressway Project Gets $2 Million
State to partner with
private sector in preliminary project development activities
Cathy St. Clair
alignments for the Coalfields Expressway to maximize coal
recovery during construction will be examined in more depth
thanks to a $2 million grant announced for the expressway
project last Wednesday.
Gov. Tim Kaine announced the grant in Richmond, just shortly
after the Commonwealth Transportation Board concluded a
workshop meeting in Abingdon which focused on the expressway
and other projects (see related story, this issue).
grant comes from the Transportation Partnership Opportunity
Fund and will be used by the Virginia Department of
Transportation (VDOT) and its private sector partners Pioneer
Group, Inc. and Alpha Natural Resources, LLC, a subsidiary of
Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., to initiate preliminary project
development activities on the Coalfields Expressway and U.S.
Route 460 Connector projects.
The proposed Coalfields
Expressway is a new four-lane highway stretching 51 miles from
The Virginia-West Virginia state line in Buchanan County, near
Paynesville, WV, through Dickenson County and into Pound in
Wise County. It will link with the West Virginia Coalfields
Expressway near Paynesville, WV. The Route 460 Connector will
link the Coalfields Expressway to Kentucky.
grant supports our continued use of design-build contracting
techniques and other innovative tools to deliver critical
transportation projects,” said Kaine. “Partnership with
the private sector is essential to the success of this
approach, and I am pleased we have identified strong partners
such as Pioneer and Alpha.”
effort will continue to build on our experience from the
construction of the King Coal Highway in West Virginia.”
said Michael J. Quillen, president and CEO of Alpha Natural
pleased to be working on this project, which holds so much
promise for the future of this region,” said Clyde Stacy, of
the Pioneer Group, Inc.
grant will be used to examine alternative alignments for the
road which may reduce project costs by maximizing the recovery
of coal reserves during construction. The award will advance
engineering activities by Pioneer and Alpha under the
Public-Private Transportation Act agreement reached in
“Leveraging the coal resources of this
region is the only viable financing strategy for the
Coalfields Expressway and Connector,” said Secretary of
Transportation Pierce Homer.
Partnership Opportunity Fund was established by the Virginia
General Assembly in 2005 to provide grants and other financial
incentives to advance design-build and other innovative
contracting and financing methods, with particular emphasis on
economic development projects.
Expressway will Likely See
Construction Cost Reduction
Cathy St. Clair
plans to simultaneously recover coal while building the proposed
Coalfields Expressway, significant reductions in construction
costs for the $2.3 billion project will likely be realized.
the word members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board received
during a workshop meeting in Abingdon last Wednesday.
Kerley, VDOT chief engineer, gave board members, Secretary of
Transportation Pierce Homer and VDOT Acting Commissioner Gregory
Whirley an overview of the expressway project which will span some
51 miles from the Virginia-West Virginia state line in Buchanan
County, near Paynesville, WV, through Dickenson County and into
Pound in Wise County.
noted the project is one with "tremendous potential" for
from northern Virginia and there we're selling congestion,"
he said. "In Southwest Virginia, we're selling coal. I think
the elements are there to make it work. It's an important project
. . . a groundbreaking project in so many ways."
He announced at the
conclusion of the presentation on the expressway that the governor
would be announcing a $2 million grant for the project from the
Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund (see related story)
later that same day.
For more of the
story, see the print edition of the Mountaineer, on sale at
newsstands now. For more information on how to subscribe to the Mountaineer,
call 276-935-2123 today.
Subscribe to the Mountaineer
today and don't miss out on all the Buchanan County
for more information or write
P.O. Box 2040, Grundy, Va., 24614-2040 to get your subscription started. Pricing
information may be found on the Advertising page of this site.
* * * * *
* * * * *
The Mountaineer is your one-stop source for all printing
needs. Business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invitations
and more are available based on your individual or business needs.
E-Mail us today and a representative
will get back to you promptly:
* * * * *