Commissioner optimistic about future of infrastructure linked to proposed cracker


Buzz about the proposed Belmont County ethane cracker continues as our local leaders make plans for big changes that could come to the Ohio Valley.

Marshall County Commission President Bob Miller said in a nutshell it all comes back to the proposed ethane cracker, we are fortunate the Ohio Valley is being considered for this groundbreaking project.

Miller has been at recent meetings about infrastructure in New Martinsville, Beaver, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. He believes the county has already done a majority of the preparation to get ready.

One huge project he’s discussing is the four-lane highway proposal on Route 2 from the Ohio County line to Wetzel County and south. The Division of Highways held a meeting in New Martinsville to review the environmental study and the proposed routes.

Miller said four lanes would move the highway, allowing for more expansion for the plants by the river.  He has also been in Washington D.C. talking with White House liaisons from the Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, and Department of Commerce about the proposed I-68 energy corridor.

“I-79 to I-77 fill that gap in and start building the lattice down so that 15, 20 years from now, as this grows and the phenomenal manufacturing that is going to come here, they need that transportation and we need to be planning it now,” said Miller.

The four lane route 2 project has a proposed start date in 2019, with an end date in 2020 or 2021.

As far as the I-68 corridor project is concerned the Department of Transportation is optimistic and supportive of the project, suggesting some grants for funding. Miller said now he needs local lawmakers to get behind the project.

Inside the Marshall County clerk’s office you can find a copy of the proposed Route 2 project, it is still open for public comment.

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