Rahall Announces Federal Highway Funding for State and Local Transportation Projects

From a Rep. Nick Rahall Release

BECKLEY, WV U.S. Representative Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) Wednesday announced nearly $1 million in federal funding to support scenic byway improvement projects and state training programs for local businesses to compete for state highway contracts.

“One of the best vehicles to introduce the West Virginia we know and cherish to visitors is through the charm and beauty of our scenic byways,” said Rahall, the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  “They tie together our majestic natural riches with our unique history and culture, open opportunities for our small businesses and allow tourists a taste of the wondrous, heavenly flavors that are West Virginia.”

The southern West Virginia projects were awarded funding by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.

The Coal Heritage Trail will receive $49,600 for six interpretive wayside exhibits to be located in Anstead, Helen, Mullens, Welch, Coalwood, and War.  A total of thirty interpretive signs are planned altogether, allowing byway travelers to understand the development of the rugged landscape they are traveling. Rahall played a key role in the designation, development, and funding of the Coal Heritage Trail – which stretches north from Bluefield along U.S. Route 52 to Welch, and then north along State Route 16 to Ansted – as well as the National Coal Heritage Area, through which the Trail runs, encompassing 11 counties in southern West Virginia.

The Midland Trail will receive $211,000 to assist communities in Cabell, Greenbrier, Putnam, and Fayette Counties in developing a new 20-year Midland Trail Corridor Management blueprint for planning visitor amenities and attractions for travelers along the 180-mile byway. The Midland Trail runs across southern West Virginia, along U.S. Route 60 from Huntington, to Ansted, to White Sulphur Springs.

The Lower Greenbrier River Byway will receive $12,000 for the design, development, and installation of fifteen interpretive panels at seven kiosk locations, including at the John Henry Historical Park, informing travelers of opportunities for recreation, education experiences, and visitor amenities.  The Byway stretches through Summers County along the Greenbrier River.

The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike will receive $80,000 for pull off and parking areas, as well as improved gateways, site access, and signage. The Turnpike starts at U.S. Route 250 in Pocahontas County and follows old Route 33 from Elkins to Weston, and along West Virginia Route 47 to Parkersburg.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation will receive $588,805 for two statewide training programs that provide construction industry skills training, equipment, and services to increase the abilities of local companies and employees to compete for contracts and subcontracts.

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