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U.S. Route 121 (Coalfields Expressway)

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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
276-889-7676 ext. 404

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Project Description

U.S. Route 121 (Coalfields Expressway) will provide a modern, safe and efficient highway through the coalfields region of southwestern Virginia.  

The route is also 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.

Route 121 (Coalfields Expressway) Economic Impact Study (2013)

What’s New

In February 2015, Virginia's Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) passed a resolution to approve an alignment change for 4.1 miles of the Route 121 (Coalfields Expressway) that overlaps with a section of US Route 460 / Corridor Q.  Read more.

May 22, 2014: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requested a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Coalfields Expressway Section II.  

FHWA could have either ordered the impact statement or issued a finding of no significant impacts. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will work with FHWA to determine the scope of work.  

Once the scope of work is determined, VDOT will serve as FHWA’s non-federal partner in preparing the supplemental environmental impact statement, which will take approximately 18 months to complete.  

Jan. 16, 2013: VDOT presented location public hearing information for the Coalfields Expressway Environmental Sections I and II to the CTB.  

Materials presented:

Feb. 20, 2013: Virginia's CTB voted to approve the new location of the Coalfields Expressway Environmental Sections I and II.

VDOT revised the environmental assessment accordingly and send it to FHWA for a final decision.  

Public Hearing Documents

Environmental Sections I and II (summer 2012 location public hearing)


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Page last modified: May 18, 2018