Ribbon-cutting celebration scheduled for final section of U.S. 35

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 3:12 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - An official ribbon-cutting ceremony has been scheduled for the last 14.6-mile section of U.S. 35.

“I think it’s a long time coming -- it’s been a long time since we were promised that was going to be finished,” said Christina McComas, who drives Route 35 daily, said. “It’s just going to take a lot of the traffic off of 35.”

The portion of the road spans from the Buffalo Bridge to 1 mile north of County Route 40 in Mason County.

In April 2019, Gov. Jim Justice announced the 37-mile project that would upgrade U.S. 35 from two lanes to four lanes from the Scott Depot exit on Interstate 64 to the West Virginia-Ohio line.

W.Va. officials: $51 million U.S. 35 project to be completed next year

“The two lane that goes down to Point Pleasant, it’s a real safety hazard. If anyone has ever driven that road, it’s like a county road with potholes. You’ve got tractor-trailers on each side, there’s not many places you can pass,” McComas told WSAZ.

“(I’m) a mixture of excited and relieved because there is just so many accidents down here and the traffic is awful and it’s just a pretty bad part of 35,” Rachel Henry, who also travels Route 35 several times a week, said. “A lot of semis come around that corner (near the Buffalo Bridge) and they just flip all the time.”

The event, held on Veterans Day, will also pay tribute to all veterans and their families in honor of their sacrifice.

Gov. Jim Justice, local, state, and federal officials will all be in attendance. Local high school bands will perform.

The road will open to traffic on Thursday, Nov. 11 following the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:30 a.m.

This Roads to Prosperity project allows travelers to drive on a four-lane pavement for 37 consecutive miles beginning at the Interstate 64 exit at Scott Depot and continuing straight through to Point Pleasant and the Ohio state line.

The final 14.6-mile section of U.S. 35 cost about $257 million. The project included 10 new bridges and a new interchange where Route 35 meets State Route 869. The project required a completely new alignment for the highway. Work crews moved approximately 16.8 million cubic yards of earth, laid more than 73,000 tons of asphalt, and put in more than 38,000 feet of drainage pipe for the project.

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