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People learn more about the next King Coal Highway segment

By Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Area residents examined maps and asked questions Tuesday about plans for an upcoming section of the King Coal Highway in Mercer County.

The West Virginia Department of Highways hosted a public information workshop at Bluefield High School so department officials could answer questions and take public comments.

Director Travis Long with the highway department’s technical support division said the workshop was one part of the process required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

“This is one of the earlier stages of what we’ve been doing for clearing our NEPA process,” Long said. “One of the first steps is to get public involvement. We wanted to come down and show everyone the next segment of the King Coal Highway which we’re calling Segment 1; which will be the next restart after the John Nash Boulevard to (Route) 123, which would be Airport Road. This one will go from (Route) 123 Airport Road over to Littlesburg Road, gets to (Route) 20, then right before we get to 20, we’ll stop. In the future there will be a bridge there.”

The King Coal Highway segment will be a little over 2 miles long.

“This project will just be what we call a grade and drain, so it will be roadway not paved quite yet,” Long said. “In the future it will be paved and that will give everyone from New Hope Road a direct access back over to John Nash Boulevard.”

Residents could examine the route’s maps and see if their property would be impacted. One woman told Long she would not be affected by the current segment, but the next one — from Littlesburg to Montcalm — could impact her.

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