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Author Topic: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)  (Read 16405 times)

NE2

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2014, 12:39:32 PM »

Actually, they took the US 52 signs down along the King Coal Highway and connector.  US 52 is signed back on its old route again now.
Strange. County maps show that old US 52 is now CR 252/57.

Maybe they did this because they never got approval from the AASHTO to do it?  The mystery deepens.

Except for the straddling of the Kentucky line with US 119, AASHTO hasn't approved anything on US 52 in WV since 1980 (the relocations at I-64 and I-77; 1978 was the move onto the new Ohio River bridge). This means that the Prichard bypass was never submitted. Many states don't seem to bother AASHTO with minor relocations that don't substantially change mileage or control points.
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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2014, 10:17:02 PM »

Well, it really doesn't make sense to put thru traffic -- if such exists on US 52 -- on the King Coal right now. Southbound traffic has to use a section of WV 65 that used to be a county road 15 or so years ago until the designation was extended to Matewan, and that route involves climbing a mountain with a bunch of switchbacks. Then you have to go back over to the old route on the WV 44 connector. The hill climb to the top of Horsepen Mountain southbound on existing US 52 isn't that bad; it's an easier climb than using WV 65. So it really make sense to keep US 52 on the shorter route for now. Basically, the new road is there to serve the new Mingo County Central High School.
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SP Cook

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2014, 07:39:00 AM »

Well, it really doesn't make sense to put thru traffic -- if such exists on US 52 -- on the King Coal right now.

 Basically, the new road is there to serve the new Mingo County Central High School.

I cannot imagine anyone, other than a road geek or county collector or whatever, actually taking US 52 for true thru puropses.  If you start at the 52-64 JCT at west Huntington and take 52, and I take 64 and 77, I will be at the next JCT at the East River Mountain Tunnel hours ahead of you.    Even if Tolsia and King Coal were ever actually finished (doubtful) it is dubious as an alternative to the existing road.

MCHS is the correct answer.  In addition to the road, the school likewise was built on land the coal company donated.  The state took over Mingo county's awful schools and ditctated consolidation.  The only way to get the kids to the school was to get this section of the road built. 
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hbelkins

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2014, 11:54:06 AM »

I cannot imagine anyone, other than a road geek or county collector or whatever, actually taking US 52 for true thru puropses.  If you start at the 52-64 JCT at west Huntington and take 52, and I take 64 and 77, I will be at the next JCT at the East River Mountain Tunnel hours ahead of you.    Even if Tolsia and King Coal were ever actually finished (doubtful) it is dubious as an alternative to the existing road.

As a toll-free alternative to the WV Turnpike, it will certainly have an amount of attraction. It would also be a good way to bypass any congestion in Charleston.
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seicer

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2017, 11:39:02 AM »

Interesting. When the the circa 1930 US 52 bridge over Gragston Creek was replaced in 2012, it was built with provisions for a parallel span. The southbound shoulders are full-width while the northbound shoulders are not.

Aerial: http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=38.27004,-82.57226&z=19&t=S
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 11:48:50 AM by Sherman Cahal »
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2017, 04:24:12 PM »

Will the King Coal/Tolsia Highway be completed as proposed? It seems to be taking forever to construct, just like the Coalfields Expressway (US 121).
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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2017, 10:09:00 PM »

Where does the name "Tolsia" come from?

I tried googling it, but all I could find was a Tolsia High School on US 52, which was founded in 1988. I want to assume that both the highway and the high school are named after the same thing/person......or are one of these 2 things named after the other? 
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NE2

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2017, 10:33:56 PM »

Good question, for which I just found the answer: "The TOLSIA Highway derived its name from the first initials of the Tug, Ohio, Levisa, Sandy Improvement Association."
http://books.google.com/books?id=jrw2AQAAMAAJ&pg=PP7
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Bitmapped

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2017, 02:43:35 PM »

Will the King Coal/Tolsia Highway be completed as proposed? It seems to be taking forever to construct, just like the Coalfields Expressway (US 121).

Probably not. There's not really that much traffic and the population continues to decline in that area. There isn't the demand for it and WVDOH has more pressing needs for their very limited funding stream.

There are programmed projects in the STIP to extend construction from its current end up to WV 123. That section makes some sense as it will function as a bypass of Bluefield, where traffic has to drive on city streets and through downtown for 4 miles. Nothing else is programmed from there into McDowell County and I don't expect anything further will be constructed.

Over along the Mingo/Logan line, there is a section under construction immediately east of WV 44. That part is going to be completed to Gilbert Creek Road. That section is useful as it bypasses the eastern approach to Horsepen Mountain which is the worst remaining section on US 52 in West Virginia.

WVDOH has been doing planning and permitting to extend the current King Coal section around Delbarton. This is tied to a mountaintop removal coal mine. If the mine happens, it'll probably get built. If it doesn't, it won't.

On the Tolsia Highway section, there's a decent chance the 4-laning will eventually extend from its current end at WV 75 down to Prichard especially if traffic picks up at the intermodal terminal there. I could possibly see it being extended to Fort Gay. Beyond that, I don't see WVDOH doing anything. Most of the road is reasonably high speed 2-lane already and traffic counts are fairly low.
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hbelkins

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2017, 09:31:26 PM »

Tolsia High School came long before construction on US 52.
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NE2

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2017, 10:49:02 PM »

Tolsia High School came long before construction on US 52.
http://tolsiarebelswv.org/
"Tolsia High School, a consolidation of Crum High School and Fort Gay High School, opened its doors on January 18, 1988 in Glen Hayes, WV."
I'm right. You're wrong.
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hbelkins

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2017, 09:11:31 PM »

Tolsia High School came long before construction on US 52.
http://tolsiarebelswv.org/
"Tolsia High School, a consolidation of Crum High School and Fort Gay High School, opened its doors on January 18, 1988 in Glen Hayes, WV."
I'm right. You're wrong.

The Prichard bypass came later than 1988.
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NE2

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2017, 09:56:28 PM »

The Prichard bypass came later than 1988.
What does that have to do with anything? The Tolsia Highway name was given to the US 52 relocation that left WV 152 behind: http://books.google.com/books?id=jrw2AQAAMAAJ&pg=PP7
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hbelkins

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2017, 10:46:05 PM »

The Prichard bypass came later than 1988.
What does that have to do with anything? The Tolsia Highway name was given to the US 52 relocation that left WV 152 behind: http://books.google.com/books?id=jrw2AQAAMAAJ&pg=PP7

Interesting. I'd never heard the term "Tolsia Highway" until the Prichard bypass was built and discussion started on the route from Huntington to Bluefield via Fort Gay, Williamson, Gilbert and Welch.
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seicer

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2018, 09:51:45 AM »

King Coal Highway

The West Virginia Department of Highways is now hoping to begin construction before the year’s end on a new section of the King Coal Highway in Mercer County. The project will extend 3.8 miles from the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere” at Stoney Ridge to the area of Route 123 and the Mercer County Airport.

Once completed it will create a usable section of the local Interstate 73/74/75 corridor near Bluefield. Jimmy Wriston, DOH chief engineering adviser, told Delegate John Shott, R-Mercer, last week that work on the project will begin later this year if bonds are sold this summer and the contractor can get started.
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VTGoose

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2018, 09:18:33 AM »

King Coal Highway

The West Virginia Department of Highways is now hoping to begin construction before the year’s end on a new section of the King Coal Highway in Mercer County. The project will extend 3.8 miles from the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere” at Stoney Ridge to the area of Route 123 and the Mercer County Airport.

Once completed it will create a usable section of the local Interstate 73/74/75 corridor near Bluefield. Jimmy Wriston, DOH chief engineering adviser, told Delegate John Shott, R-Mercer, last week that work on the project will begin later this year if bonds are sold this summer and the contractor can get started.

So is this a "make work" project just to keep the highway on line to continue to receive funding? That's some "useable section" that will be built, providing an alternative route to get to two-lane WV 123 -- and then where? That isn't exactly a major airport (or even a minor airport). Interesting to see how this has gone -- a news report from back in February said work on this vital connection would take place this year, then an April report pushed construction to 2019 "if the bonds sell."

Quote
The $40 million to $50 million project to extend the bridge for 3.8 miles to the Airport Road area, finally opening it up to traffic from Rt. 460 to Bluewell and McDowell County, was in the state Department of Highway’s six-year plan for work to begin in 2019.

With more money available for highways, speculation had grown the project would break ground in early 2019.

However, state Sen. Chandler Swope said the money for the project is included in proceeds from bond sales.

“The first bond levy won’t happen for another few months,” he said, adding that he had hoped the project would be ready for bids this spring and work would be under way early next year. “But they can’t award a contract until the bonds are sold.”

Swope said the process of selling bonds takes time, but it could happen by May or June and, if not, should happen later this year.

“The road to nowhere project is not as good (as far as a timeline) as I had hoped it would be,” he said. “It’s not what we hoped for, but that’s what it is.”

Swope said the important part is that the money will be there, the project will go out for bids and it should start sometime in 2019.
http://www.bdtonline.com/news/going-nowhere-fast-work-on-portion-of-king-coal-highway/article_721f3f2e-3eb5-11e8-85b2-13cbee635c37.html

Given the myriad problems of West Virginia, it would seem that there are other projects that should have priority over a project that will expand the "Bridge to Nowhere" to the "Road to Nowhere."

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Henry

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2018, 09:40:52 AM »

Since when does I-75 go to Bluefield? They probably mean I-77?

In any case, this is good to hear, and I'm hoping that they get it done ASAP.
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hbelkins

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #42 on: July 09, 2018, 10:33:47 AM »

I would think they'd tie this in to existing US 52 somehow, the way that US 35's new construction was tied into the old route northwest of I-64. This would allow through US 52 traffic to bypass downtown Bluefield and those right-angle turns that are required -- and would also create a situation where two routes that formerly had a concurrency (US 19 and US 52) would not not even have an intersection.
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SP Cook

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2018, 10:48:00 AM »

It is all well and good, but there is no real "through traffic" involved here.  Certainly no in the inter-regional sense.  Now for people who are living along US 52 in Mercer or McDowell counties trying to get to I-77, the current best way is Cherry St. to Maryland Ave, entering US 460 just at the first entrance from the state line (and not to stay on US 52 as signed through Bluefield's one-time business district.  So that group of people would take WV 123 to this new road.  That is a really small group of people and less every day.

Any construction north of WV 123 would be a total waste.
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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #44 on: July 09, 2018, 01:22:35 PM »

This project seems like an attempt to show that the US 52 corridor project isn't dead and buried as of yet (I hesitate to bestow it with any Interstate monicker!).  But 3.8 miles of what is at best a local SIU as the first corridor work in this decade probably isn't a good indication that general or continuing interest in the King Coal/Tolsia corridor as a whole is on the uptick.  Absent a dedicated funding stream, it just isn't going to happen in most of our lifetimes.  If I-73 can't even get up to Roanoke, how is 150+ miles through some of the most difficult terrain in that region going to be rationalized?  As coal diminishes as the driving factor for area projects, the reasons for pumping money into corridors that are mostly duplicative dissipate.     
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Bitmapped

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2018, 11:31:47 AM »

The I-73/I-74 Corridor thing is all marketing. It's never going to be an Interstate. WVDOH has been building it as at-grade, in some cases just 2 lanes (like west of WV 44).

Completing the highway up to WV 123 would form a Bluefield bypass (taking WV 123 back to US 52), which would be useful. I also support the other project in the works, finishing the section from WV 44 to Gilbert Creek Road to replace the current Horsepen Mountain crossing, which is the worst piece of the current route. Other than that, aside from some spot improvements here and there, the existing alignment is adequate.
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SP Cook

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #46 on: July 10, 2018, 01:56:49 PM »

The I-73/I-74 Corridor thing is all marketing. It's never going to be an Interstate. WVDOH has been building it as at-grade, in some cases just 2 lanes (like west of WV 44).

Completing the highway up to WV 123 would form a Bluefield bypass (taking WV 123 back to US 52), which would be useful. I also support the other project in the works, finishing the section from WV 44 to Gilbert Creek Road to replace the current Horsepen Mountain crossing, which is the worst piece of the current route. Other than that, aside from some spot improvements here and there, the existing alignment is adequate.

Add in completion from Prichard to I-64 and 100% agree.  Building an actual 4 lane, interstate or at-grade, the entire length simply serves no purpose.
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hbelkins

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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #47 on: July 10, 2018, 02:39:26 PM »

The I-73/I-74 Corridor thing is all marketing. It's never going to be an Interstate. WVDOH has been building it as at-grade, in some cases just 2 lanes (like west of WV 44).

Completing the highway up to WV 123 would form a Bluefield bypass (taking WV 123 back to US 52), which would be useful. I also support the other project in the works, finishing the section from WV 44 to Gilbert Creek Road to replace the current Horsepen Mountain crossing, which is the worst piece of the current route. Other than that, aside from some spot improvements here and there, the existing alignment is adequate.

Add in completion from Prichard to I-64 and 100% agree.  Building an actual 4 lane, interstate or at-grade, the entire length simply serves no purpose.

They need to do something to bypass Williamson and connect to the west side of the new route on the ridgetop, and some improvements to the hill going into (southbound) or coming out of (northbound) Iaeger.
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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #48 on: July 10, 2018, 03:34:41 PM »

The I-73/I-74 Corridor thing is all marketing. It's never going to be an Interstate. WVDOH has been building it as at-grade, in some cases just 2 lanes (like west of WV 44).

Completing the highway up to WV 123 would form a Bluefield bypass (taking WV 123 back to US 52), which would be useful. I also support the other project in the works, finishing the section from WV 44 to Gilbert Creek Road to replace the current Horsepen Mountain crossing, which is the worst piece of the current route. Other than that, aside from some spot improvements here and there, the existing alignment is adequate.

Add in completion from Prichard to I-64 and 100% agree.  Building an actual 4 lane, interstate or at-grade, the entire length simply serves no purpose.

They need to do something to bypass Williamson and connect to the west side of the new route on the ridgetop, and some improvements to the hill going into (southbound) or coming out of (northbound) Iaeger.

Williamson already has a bypass for through traffic: WV 65.

It's a longer grade coming north of out of Iaeger at 3 miles, but I don't recall there being anything particularly bad about it. The upper half of the grade has a climbing lane for northbound traffic.
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Re: King Coal / Tolsia Highway (US 52)
« Reply #49 on: August 17, 2018, 09:48:08 PM »

The upcoming bond release by the state as part of the Roads to Prosperity Program will impact the Tolsia Highway, especially the portion from Prichard north to US 52.

It appears that US 52 will follow the ridge top for a bit south of WV 75 before transitioning to the existing alignment. The new bridge at Gragston Creek is built to be the future southbound lanes, so the transition will happen north of there. The highway is in the design phase.

From 10/16/2017: "State Project U350-52-5.80 00, WV 75 - Prichard, located in Wayne County, West Virginia.  This project shall consist of the development of a Preliminary Investigation & Engineering (PIE) Study for a new section of 4-lane roadway that shall become a segment of the greater Tolsia Highway.  This project is approximately 9 miles in length and shall extend the existing 4-lane section of United States (US) Route 52 from north of West Virginia (WV) Route 75 to the vicinity of Prichard.  At a minimum, the PIE Study shall consist of the incorporation/modification of existing metric roadway plans and any further surveying/engineering work necessary to develop preliminary plans to be utilized as the basis for a Design-Build contract.  Also included in the PIE Study is the development of Request for Qualification (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP) documents.  In addition, NEPA services, plan review services, and Quality Assurance Management (QAM) services for the construction and material inspection may be required as directed by the Department."

I did find the EIS for the Kenova (I-64) to Nolan (US 119) segment, which is a good read.
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