Route 2, I-68 Leads Regional Meeting With Congressman McKinley
Senator David McKinley, R-W.Va. recently joined representatives of the Route 2 and I-68 Highway Authority for an in-district meeting to discuss ways to expedite the Route 2 expansion and possibilities for a future I-68 extension.
“The Congressman has been a big proponent in Washington for both of these road projects,” said Charles Clements, Executive Director of the Route 2 and I-68 Authority. “This conversation builds on meetings that we had with him last year to discuss the importance of these two road projects to our ten-county region.”
Those gathered discussed the economic impact that completing the two highway projects would have and the importance of moving these projects towards the top of the Department of Transportation’s “Transportation Investment Program” list released earlier in the year.
“A total of four sections of Route 2 were included on the DOT’s project list,” explained Clements. “However, while the WV DOT can decide which roads to build, Washington plays an integral part in ensuring funding is available for these projects.”
The Congressman was additionally updated on the Road Bond Amendment that West Virginians will be voting for on October 7th. The Road Bond Amendment will allow for the financing of up to $3 billion in bonds utilizing an estimated $130 million a year in new funding from taxes previously raised on July 1st.
“This meeting was a good step in continuing our conversation moving in the right direction in regards to the importance of finishing these road projects,” stated Clements. “We are encouraged by the Congressman’s ongoing support of our efforts.”
Department of Transportation Secretary Tom Smith and representatives of the Regional Economic Development Partnership, the Bel-O-Mar Regional Council and the BHJ Metropolitan Planning Commission joined the Authority for this meeting.
The Route 2 and I-68 Authority was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 1997 and includes representatives from Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, Pleasants, Wood, Monongalia and Marion counties. The Authority is charged with two mandates: expand Route 2 from Parkersburg to Chester to a four-lane highway and extend I-68 from I-79 to the Ohio Valley to connect to Route 2. Learn more at www.route2i68.com.