GRUNDY, Va. -- The Coalfields Expressway project in Virginia is getting a thumbs-down from the Sierra Club.
The national environmental group ranks the project among its 50 worst transportation projects in the nation.
The Coalfields Expressway would run from Pound in Wise County through Dickinson and Buchanan counties to Raleigh County in West Virginia.
In a recent report, the Sierra Club says there's little traffic demand for a four-lane highway in the region. The group also claims the highway is being built solely for fossil fuel development.
Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Earl tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (http://bit.ly/WSDPKI ) that the Coalfields Expressway will open the region to economic development.
Coal companies are recovering coal reserves as they prepare road bed for the highway. Earl says that synergy makes the project feasible.