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Coalfields Expressway - U.S. Route 121

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Project at a Glance

Begin Date
September 2002

Cost: $5.1 billion using traditional construction methods; $2.8 billion using coal synergy (2013 construction estimates are for the expressway plus the cost of interchanges and connector roadways.)


Mandy Cox, Project Manager

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Project Description

The Coalfields Expressway - U.S. Route 121 - will not only provide a modern, safe and efficient highway through the coalfields region of southwestern Virginia, but also is expected to be an economic lifeline for a region experiencing high unemployment and a declining population.

It is expected that the entire multi-state Appalachian region should see a boost in commerce and tourism as a result of the Coalfields Expressway.

Designated as part of the National Highway System, the new road will link Interstates 64 and 77 in West Virginia with Route 23 in Virginia, which links to interstates in Kentucky and Tennessee. Find more information here.

Public Hearing Documents


What’s New

On February 20, 2013, Virginia's Commonwealth Transportation Board voted to approve the new location of the Coalfields Expressway Environmental Sections I and II.

VDOT will revise the environmental assessment accordingly and send it to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for a final decision, which should occur after 30 days of receipt of the revised environmental assessment from VDOT.  

FHWA could:

  • Issue a Finding of No Significant Impacts  – VDOT could then move to the design phase for construction projects within Environmental Sections I and II.
  • Require a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Coalfields Expressway.

On January 16, 2013, VDOT presented Location Public Hearing information for the Coalfields Expressway Environmental Sections I and II to the Commonwealth Transportation Board.  Materials presented at the January 16 CTB meeting:


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Page last modified: March 20, 2014