HOLDING YOUR BREATH FOR A MODERN ROAD? - LK Parkway And Blue-Gray Highway Have Not Made "List"


By Bob Weaver

Hope is eternal.

But if you live in the inner central WV counties and have expectations of having a "modern access road" in your lifetime, don't hold your breath.

Hopefully, you can keep the dream alive.

The proposed Little Kanawha Parkway has received $25,000 in 2006 from the WV Legislature to keep the idea going.

The Parkway idea was born in Calhoun County in the 1970s to try and obtain a modern road to link with I-79 and I-77, and open-up the remote area along the LK, creating some economic possibilities.

At the very least, it would help local residents have a better highway to travel to work.

The project has yet to make any list that would indicate it could be built in the next 25 years.

A significant number of dedicated individuals from all the counties involved have volunteered to promote the highway, and since 2000 a funded effort to promote the case has been on-going.

The highway would be a connector road from I-79 at Burnsville, travel across Braxton, Gilmer, Calhoun, Wirt and Wood counties to connect with I-77 near Mineral Wells.

The other connector that would benefit Calhoun and other remote counties is the Blue-Gray Highway, an upgrade of US 33 from the Ohio River to Weston.

That highway, proposed and studied since the 1960s, has still not moved forward enough to make a 25-year-list.

Gov. Joe Manchin has said he is "getting real" about highway planning, some of which has been politically dangled on a string to make WV voters believe they're going to get a new road.

Manchin has gone far enough to actually publish a list of highway projects and when they might get built.

Manchin has said spending money on studying and re-studying projects that will not get built in the next 25-50 years is a waste of money.

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