Friday, January 20, 2006

More Details on the Coalfields Expressway Plan

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has scrounged up details on the revised plan for building the proposed 51-mile Coalfield Expressway in Virginia's far Southwest. The new plan would save "as much as half" the project's estimated $2.3 billion cost by mining coal along its route. But the coal companies want to change the route's alignment to a corridor that would access more recoverable coal.

I've argued that the SW Virginia could do more to improve its accessibility to the outside world by wiring the region's small towns -- the route would run through Grundy, Clintwood and Pound -- with wireless broadband infrastructure. But if local citizens are determined to build the darn road, any proposal that would cut the cost in half needs to be seriously considered.

Of course, changing the route would render useless the $32 million spent so far on engineering work for the old route. What a waste.


At 10:36 PM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

So, you'd be willing to spend an extra billion or so just to save the 32 million that was spent on bad engineering?

The biggest dollar volume minign business in the nation is sand and gravel. Maybe we should replan all our highways to take maximum economic advantage of the excavation that is going to occur anyway.

Private mining enterprises would probably howl bloody murder if they thought they wer going to have to compete with sate miners subsidised by the big highway interests.

At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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