Skip to comments.Interstate 68 Meetings Continue in Washington
Posted on 08/30/2018 10:18:15 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
MOUNDSVILLE Trump Administration officials are continuing to listen as West Virginia officials push for an expanded Interstate 68 from Morgantown through Marshall County.
Marshall County Commissioner Robert Miller led a contingent to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with Brittany Carter, the White House assistant director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
Miller said the group discussed the I-68 projects prospects of being included within Trumps expected $200 billion infrastructure improvement plan, which should be presented to Congress by the end of this year. The I-68 project is expected to cost at least $1 billion.
$200 billion isnt a lot for projects like that, Miller said. But if we can get the White House on our side, it can help in negotiating certain things.
Miller said he was blessed to have with him in Washington five men he termed well-credentialed.
Accompanying Miller were State Sen. Charles Clements, R-Wetzel, also executive director of the West Virginia Route 2/Interstate 68 Authority; Brian Anderson, director of the West Virginia University Energy Institute; John Deskins, director of the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research; Greg Kucera, marketing director for Shale Crescent USA; and Bryce Custer, a broker focussing on petroleum and energy services with NAI Spring.
The group provided Carter with information on how the highway would benefit the gas and oil industries seeking to extract resources in that corridor, and how related industrial businesses would spring to life there.
The governments investment would result in economic growth and more tax revenues, they told her.
The discussion determined the next step will be to involve representatives of the federal energy and commerce departments in the talks.
If we cant get this road built now, never going to get built, Miller said. With this much potential for economic activity, I am optimistic this will happen.
He acknowledges the road to constructing the highway is likely to be a lengthy process.
There are no definite plans, but there are definitely open dialogues, Miller said.
The July 11 trip was Millers third to Washington to discuss with Trump administration representatives construction of the I-68 extension. The first took place Dec. 8, and the second Feb. 20.
Clements said the trip last week was his first to Washington regarding I-68.
The meeting changed the road map on what we have to do to get something done, he said. Were going to have to start working to get some of the oil and gas developers to come out and promote this anyway we can.
Its important to get state government, local people in on this. The more people we can get and the more organizations, the better off we will be.
Pushing it through a lightly-populated county in the West Virginia panhandle, to dead-end at the Ohio River?
Doesn’t sound like America is getting its bang-for-the-buck on that one.
I drove 68 yesterday for the first time in several years. My trip from Columbus to Baltimore was a fun drive.
I began taking I-68 to D.C. after repeated, frustrating problems with the EZPass system on the PA Turnpike.
Amenities on that road are good, despite the fact that it passes through some very sparsely populated territory.
I drive from MD to Michigan a few times a year. My kid is on the turnpike right now.
68 is a great ride but it adds too many hours to an already overly long trip
When I used to go between NYC and WV I would refer to the stretch from I-79 to I-81 as the "fun part of the trip."
But what is really weird is that it sits directly across the street from the old West Virginia penitentiary. And I'm telling you that is one frightening looking place. It looks like a nightmare out of some horror movie. The pictures can't even begin to convey how creepy it is in person.
This is just the place to take delinquents and "youths" for a guided tour and scare the bejesus out of them. If the indian ghosts don't get you, the prisoner ghosts will.
I’m going to Annapolis at the end of September and I-68 will be part of the trip.
That prison is used as a training facility for correctional SWAT teams and also hosts an annual competion for them.
It does take longer (I’ve driven from Northern Virginia to Michigan several times, and to Western Ohio as well) but on a good day, it’s such a beautiful drive.
Have you ever taken the tour? Creepy place. But fun. The Lunatic Asylum is another WV creepy treasure.
I grew up on the other side of the river, and took the tour almost 20 years ago. At one point in the tour, the guide locked us all 3 into our own cells to give us a taste of how it feels. The others in my group (my parents) were released after a few seconds, but the guide couldn’t get my cell open. I was hoping he couldn’t get it open without help, and then I’d be the lead story on channel 7 (Wheeling) and channel 9 (Steubenville). I’d be famous! He managed to force it open somehow after a few minutes. Otherwise, the tour was very interesting and well worth the money.
I went to college in WV between 1976-1980. At that time what is now I-68 was designated US 48 (or Appalachian Corridor E) which had been completed From Morgantown to somewhere In western MD just a few months earlier I think in 1975. One of the first roads I ever drove on that had rain groves in the lanes.
It had been many years after completing college that I had the opportunity to travel that route, prolly about 15 years ago. Although I-68 is a huge improvement over US 48 the old road (US 48) in the WV section was fairly nice even back then. A huge improvement over Rt. 50 between Winchester VA and I-79 interchange in Clarksburg WV.
In MD where the road cuts thru Sideling Hill, was (if I remember right) part of old US 40 in MD and was two lanes with a true hairpin at the top. I couldn’t believe how much of the mountain was cut away to upgrade that section to interstate 68 standards. Completely changed the character of that pass thru the mountain.
Been there for work when it was open and still used as a prison.
They did the same with our tour.....except it opened on the first try. My wife wouldn’t do it. She was afraid it wouldn’t reopen.
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