POINT PLEASANT — The funding of U.S. 35 came up at this week’s Mason County Area Chamber of Commerce Dinner.
U.S. Congressman Nick J. Rahall, D-Beckley, spoke at the dinner, with U.S. 35 contained within his remarks.
Rahall told those gathered he “continued” to work on moving funding options forward for the completion of U.S. 35, that includes possible funding in the upcoming round with the TIGER program.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery — or TIGER Discretionary Grant program — provides an opportunity for the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve critical national objectives. According to DOT, since 2009, Congress has dedicated more than $4.1 billion for six rounds to fund projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area.
In each round of TIGER, DOT receives many applications to build and repair critical pieces of what DOT calls freight and passenger transportation networks. Applicants must detail the benefits their project would deliver for five long-term outcomes: safety, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, livability and environmental sustainability.
Of course, many in the county are frustrated that state legislation, known as the public-private partnership bill, currently in place, has not resulted in financing the completion of U.S. 35, minus tolls.
Elected in 2012, Rahall is currently up for re-election in a primary campaign which sees him facing opponent Richard Ojeda II, D-Holden, and taking heat from Republican challenger State Sen. Even Jenkins, R-Huntington.