Shawnee Expressway (West Virginia)

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West Virginia Route 78 marker

West Virginia Route 78
Shawnee Expressway
Route information
Length: 23 mi[1] (37 km)
Major junctions
South end: Ghent
North end: Near Ashland
Counties: Mercer, McDowell
Highway system
I‑77 I‑79

The Shawnee Expressway (West Virginia Route 78[2]) is a proposed 23-mile-long (37 km), two-lane, arterial highway. Should it be constructed, the highway will run through McDowell, Wyoming, Mercer, and Raleigh counties in southwestern West Virginia. The expressway is proposed to begin at the Ghent interchange along Interstate 77 (West Virginia Turnpike) in the east and end at the planned King Coal Highway (relocated U.S. Route 52) near Ashland.[1][3]

The Shawnee Expressway was identified as a High Priority Corridor in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA).[citation needed] The study area,[4] consisting of CR 11 and CR 14 in Mercer County, and CR 16/6 and CR 16/2 in Wyoming County, features extensive no-passing zones, narrow roadway widths, non-existent shoulders, sharp horizontal curves, steep vertical grades, and substandard pavement materials for a heavy traffic load.[1] As a result, the level of service along the routes within the study area range from B to E.


  1. ^ a b c "Shawnee Expressway." West Virginia. Department of Transportation. Executive Summary. N.p.: West Virginia Department of Transportation, n.d.
  2. ^ WVDOT, Approval Sought for Numbering for New Highways, June 1998
  3. ^ "King Coal Highway Preferred Alternative". West Virginia Division of Highways. 
  4. ^ Study Area and Study Route. Map. N.p.: West Virginia Department of Transportation , n.d.