Rick Boucher-Tim Kaine - Lets Strip Mine Some Coal!
The Coalfield Expressway is back on track...Thanks to the COAL COMPANIES.
POUND, Va. – Coalfields Expressway construction could begin this year since the 52-mile project is back under a special transportation provision, which allows innovative contracting methods that reduce costs and expedites the project, U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-9th District, said Friday.
"Construction of this road will begin in the very near term," Boucher said. "Hopefully, in a matter of months and within this year."
Boucher said the project – which would build a four-lane highway to link Virginia’s top three coal-producing counties to interstate highways in West Virginia – floundered when it lost the Special Experimental Projects status a few years ago after progress on the roadway became stagnant.
"Today, I am pleased to announce that the Federal Highway Administration, at my request and that of Gov. Tim Kaine, is reinstating Special Experimental Project status for the Coalfields Expressway," Boucher said.
The initial status was granted to allow Virginia transportation officials to enter into an agreement with a private firm to design and build the expressway, but the original partner, Kellogg, Brown and Root, did not move forward on the project.
New partners – Alpha Natural Resources and Pioneer Coal Co. – came aboard in September with a plan to mine coal along the proposed roadway and build the highway in the process, Boucher said. The new partnership reduces costs for the project from $4 billion to $2 billion, Boucher said.
"Virginia has abundant coal reserves, and both Alpha and Pioneer, which together control the rights to the reserves along the route of the road, expressed a strong interest in partnering with the state to begin construction of the expressway as part of their mining operations," Boucher said.
The partnership between Virginia road officials and the coal companies is the reason federal transportation officials again granted the project special status, Boucher said.
"With special federal Experimental Project status restored, our prospects for construction of the road have never been better," Boucher said. "The coal companies will build it quicker, at half the costs and with a better design and higher speed limit than if the road were built by VDOT alone."Read All of Kathy Still's Article
That's right! Lets strip mine some coal. I look for the anti coal loons at Raising Kaine to whine and protest as much as they have over Mark Warner saying coal is a must. Heh.