U.S. 35 stretches for 37 miles in West Virginia and has four-lanes on both ends near Point Pleasant on the west and near Scott Depot on the east.
In between is a 15-mile stretch of two-lane highway, perhaps the most dangerous two lanes in West Virginia. The number of accidents, injuries and deaths in this stretch of highway is innumerable. And the number of promises to make this stretch four lanes is innumerable as well and goes back a few decades.
But at last, it appears there is hope. Gov. Jim Justice recently announced that the two lanes will soon become four.
Federal money and state money will be used to four-lane the stretch of road.
It is expected to be finished in October of next year.
This column is not about the fact the four lanes will be completed. It is about when it will be completed.
It will be finished one month before the 2020 General Election.
There will be a giant dedication celebration no doubt. Since it involves both federal and state money, look for every politician running for office cutting a ribbon opening the four lanes.
Justice, who is running for a second term as governor, will definitely be there. There's a better-than-even chance that President Trump will be there taking all the credit for the upgrade and everything else.
Politicians believe voters have short memories, and they are probably right. They want us to remember what they have done for us lately so they schedule the end of road projects to coincide with elections.
Thinking about this made me realize why the construction of a new W.Va.10 just south of Huntington is taking so long.
Construction began more than a year ago. The bridge over Four Pole Creek at Mount Union Road was finished in 2018.
A friend and I play a game. When contractors are present as we drive by, we count the number of men standing around their trucks doing nothing. The groups average seven.
Construction is rarely happening. On bright beautiful days, nothing. Occasionally, they use machines to push dirt and rocks around two or three times a week.
It's clear what they are doing. Someone has told them to go slow, really slow, to make sure the job is finished and the new road opens October 2020, a month before the general election.
There'll be another ribbon cutting opportunity complete with ever politician imaginable, especially the ones running in November.
Those of us to have to dodge a torn up W.Va. 10 daily while the politicians are telling the workers to slow down will remember what we have had to go through for months and years so ribbons can be cut at the proper time.
Give us a break, please. We deserve it. Finish the road this summer. Work more than two days a week, and if workers must stand around their trucks, make them do it where those of us who are paying for the new road can't see them.
And when October 2020 comes around, pretend it's brand new and have a ribbon cutting for the politicians. We'll play along.
Dave Peyton is on Facebook. His email address is email@example.com.