Proposed: U.S. Route 121 (Coalfields Expressway)

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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. Sections of the route also overlap federally-designated Corridor Q: Route 460, which is currently open to traffic or being constructed.

Route 121/460 map

Route 121/Corridor Q: Interstate Connectivity Map

Seven miles of Route 121 overlap federally-designated Corridor Q. In November 2023 approximately eight miles of Corridor Q, which overlaps 2.5 miles of Route 121 (Coalfields Expressway) opened to traffic. The final five miles of Corridor Q are under construction between Route 744 and Grundy in Buchanan County.

Major Milestones 

Coalfields Expressway: The Road to the Future 

Coalfields Expressway Brochure


All future Route 121 projects will be based on funding through VDOT's SMART SCALE program, a process where localities apply for funds and are scored statewide based on an objective, outcome-based process.


Previous Meetings >>

Phase: Proposed

Lat/Long: 37.273889, -82.164722

Locality: Buchanan

Page last modified: Nov. 14, 2023