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Local leaders push for I-68 interchange

A potential interstate that connects Moundsville to Morgantown and maybe Pennsylvania in between is being pushed by local leaders.

It could mean bigger business for Marshall County and surrounding areas. Local leaders have been pushing for the I-68 interchange and they hope state lawmakers see the light.

The area where the I-68 interchange would begin is the bridge already named the Arch Moore I-68 bridge.

Marshall County Commissioner Bob Miller is hoping that state leaders help make funding the highway possible and bring back the county local powers act.

A senate bill created and passed last year, it could help raise money to extend I-68.

“We have more land area than Ohio, Brooke and Hancock combined and so much is hilly and hard access and it's very expensive to develop billion dollar plants,” Miller said.

Miller says the highway would start in Moundsville and cross to Ohio or lead to Cameron and then Morgantown. He also says it could include Pennsylvania if they would be willing to help with funding.

“It could be cut to 40 some miles if we went straight to Cameron and if Pa. was interested and maybe Pa. could build a mini turnpike and that would save 10 miles and get our cost down from $3-5 million in West Virginia to about a billion dollars,” Miller said.

Miller says the highway could be used for West Virginia University to reach one of their seven hospitals. Now connected to Ruby Memorial, students would be able to utilize the road and mainly businesses.

If a cracker plant is built, other industries would come. Miller says the I-68 interchange would be something special, helping to entice billion dollar industries into the Ohio Valley.

“Along that route, that's the perfect place to grow and that's one reason Pa. is very interested in this conversation because they want to be 15 miles from that cracker plant,” Miller said.

Miller says he will continue talking to lawmakers and others in hopes of getting this project off the ground.

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