CHARLESTON, W.Va. –Two on-going construction projects along the new U.S. Route 35 in Mason County are progressing on schedule.
A $43.4 million 3.8-mile contract under construction by Kokosing Construction Company and a $49 million four-mile contract under construction by Bizzack, Inc., are anticipated to be completed this fall.
Upon completion of the two projects, only a 14.62-mile section will remain unconstructed.
Said Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox, "In 2005, U.S. 35 was identified as a high priority corridor by the Division of Highways. Since then, the Division has been fully committed to this project, allocating $300 million dollars in construction contracts in the past three years, and we remain fully committed to seeing its completion."
While all traditional funding sources have been explored to complete the remaining unfinished section, the only remaining funding source being explored is the option of tolling.
In July, the Division expects the preliminary report of a bond-grade traffic study to provide guidance regarding the amount of traffic anticipated on the corridor once it is fully completed and the amount of toll revenue that would be generated. The results of the study will allow the Division to decide if tolling is a feasible option. The option of tolling will not be implemented without public comment.
A series of public meetings will be scheduled in Mason and Putnam counties to provide citizens an opportunity to comment on the study and the proposed option of tolling.
The estimated cost to complete the remaining 14.62 miles is approximately $250 million.
If tolling is not supported by the public, the 14.62-mile section in Mason and Putnam counties will remain unfunded.