For years organizers in several states have been pushing for funding that would create the new King Coal Highway, a modern four-lane corridor that would be a great improvement over the long, curvy Route 52.
McDowell County is having a hard time economically, but it still has assets such as beautiful scenery and history.
The Hatfield-McCoy Trail has brought ATV riders and their families into McDowell County and the surrounding region. A major highway would bring even more riders and their dollars to the county.
Federal dollars are harder to find thanks to the recession, but building highways is a major way to stimulate local and national economies. The construction alone creates jobs and pumps money into local and state economies, and the increased highway access benefits the communities all along the new routes. The flow of traffic pumps up local economies.
If the funding is found, maybe some day there will be adults who will remember the old days before the King Coal Highway, and marvel at how life has changed in McDowell County and southern West Virginia.