Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox announced today that he will submit a letter to the Parkways Authority asking the Board to refrain from taking action on the proposed US Route 35 parkway project until further request.
The financial resources required to complete the project are not available in time for the Division of Highways to award the design/build contract to the construction team of Kokosing-Kiewit, who submitted the $187 million low bid in October to complete the remaining 14.6-mile section of the new US Route 35.
Stated Secretary Mattox, “Unfortunately, over the past several months, rising interest rates in the municipal bond market have resulted in lower than expected toll revenue bond proceeds. These rising interest rates have presented a challenge to the plan of finance for the new U.S. Route 35 project – a challenge that has thus far grown too large to overcome. I thank Governor Tomblin for his leadership, his staff, the Parkways Authority Board and staff, the Local Advisory Committee, Mason County Commissioner Baird, the Putnam County Commission, Kokosing-Keiwit, LLC, the Division of Highways staff, and the many invested and interested parties for their work in advancing this worthwhile project.”
Secretary Mattox has instructed Division of Highways’ engineering staff to quickly develop the necessary plans to make improvements to the existing two-lane route between the Buffalo Bridge and County Route 40.