Coalfields Expressway construction to Welch may require several homes to be torn down


West Virginia’s Dept. of Highways is in talks with several different homeowners whose...
West Virginia’s Dept. of Highways is in talks with several different homeowners whose properties stand in the way of construction of the Coalfields Expressway to Welch.(wvva)
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 12:58 PM EDT
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MULLENS, W.Va. (WVVA) - West Virginia’s Dept. of Highways is in talks with several different homeowners whose properties stand in the way of construction of the Coalfields Expressway to Welch.

According to the homeowners WVVA News spoke with on Thursday, several of the homes are located on Town Ridge Acres Road and Trace Fork Road in Mullens.

Many of the homeowners did not want to appear on camera due to ongoing negotiations with the state. Some of them said that the appraisal process had begun, but they have yet to receive offers.

In talks with WVVA, many recognized that the demolition is simply the price of progress, while others wished there was another way.

State construction crews broke ground on the project with Governor Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia, on August 1, 2022.

“The Coalfields Expressway has been in the making for 30-plus years now. It should have been done a long time ago; before I even walked in the door as Governor. But now, we’re making it happen. We’re getting this done for the people of southern West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “I believe in southern West Virginia with all my heart. It’s home to me. And I believe in how much the Coalfields Expressway means to this area. Today is another big step toward us running across the finish line,” said Gov. Justice at the time.

The $147.6 million project – which is part of the Governor’s Roads To Prosperity program – will be completed by Bizzack Construction of Lexington, KY.Gov.

Roadwork involves building a 5.12-mile section of highway from Welch to WV 16, connecting the southern West Virginia town with the Coalfields Expressway.

The project includes the construction of two ramps, two bridges, and will require more than 16 million yards of excavation.

As for plans regarding the demolition of homes, WVVA News has made several attempts to reach the West Virginia Dept. of Highways on the issue over the last month, but has yet to receive a response.