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WV officials lobby for various I-73 projects

According to an April 10, 2008 article in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Mercer County, WV officials are optimistic after a recent meeting in Washington to gain more funding for various I-73 projects in their area.

“I am optimistic,” Karen Dissibio, a member of the Mercer County Commission, said. “I think we will have a chance to receive funding, but it is going to be over a period of time that we receive funding because it is a large amount of money, and I don’t think they can appropriate it all at one time.”


The group made their case for an additional $75 million to build 3.3 miles of the King Coal Highway - eventually slated to become I-73/74 - from WV 123 to WV 20 in Bluefield.

In addition to the $75 million Bluefield request, officials also lobbied for $100 million for projects in Mingo County. The $100 million would help two Mingo County projects -
the Gilbert Creek to Johnny Cake Mountain section and the Mary Taylor Mountain to Buffalo Mountain section - that would bring the highway to the McDowell County Line.

Officials also hope that a public-private partnership with local coal companies could quicken construction and open new funding avenues.

A coalition from Wayne County requested $100 million in federal funds to build nearly 5.7 miles of the Tolsia Highway from Kenova to Sharps Branch. The Tolsia Highway is also part of the I-73/74 corridor.

Currently, a $16.3 million construction project is underway - and ahead of schedule - that is building a set of bridges on the eventual I-73/74 route in Bluefield.

Story: Bluefield Daily Telegraph

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