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Coal industry slump puts Coalfields-Expressway public-private project on hold


WELCH, West Virginia — A slumping coal industry has put a Coalfields Expressway project in southern West Virginia on hold.

The state planned to build a section of the four-lane highway in McDowell County through a public-private partnership with a coal company. The company would convert a mined area into roadbed.

Coalfields Expressway Authority executive director Richard Browning says discussions about the project have stopped because of a depressed coal market.

Browning tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (http://bit.ly/1MuHBoK ) that he expects the plan to proceed if the market improves.

The Coalfields Expressway will run from Raleigh County in West Virginia to Buchanan County in Virginia. About 6 miles of the highway have been completed in West Virginia. Another 2 miles have been completed in Virginia.

Information from: Bluefield Daily Telegraph, http://www.bdtonline.com

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