UPDATE: Support For Route 2 Widening

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Updated: 4/27/2015 5:45 P.M.

Counties across the region lining up in support of widening West Virginia route two to four lanes.

Among them: the Wood County commission, who Monday, approved a resolution supporting the widening efforts.

Pleasants County's commission, and the community of Belmont did the same recently.

But the executive director of the group trying to get the legislature behind it says there's a lot more to be done.

Charles Clements, of the Route 2 and Interstate 68 Authority, says the widening discussed for years is more of a necessity, due to oil and gas drilling activity.

Clements says, just Monday morning, traffic was backed up in New Martinsville, due to a slow-moving vehicle carrying drilling equipment.\

Updated: 09/16/2014 6:30 P.M.

Call it the "four-laning" of West Virginia Route 2.

Supporters say it's needed because of increased oil and gas drilling in the region.

Widening of a section near I-77 near Parkersburg was completed in the past year.

But backers realized it will cost money - money the legislature is finding increasingly difficult to provide.

And a local lawmaker says raising the gas tax isn't the answer it used to be.

"And we have a situation where, number one, cars don't drive as much as they did. Number two, cars get better mileage," says Sen. David Nohe, R-Wood County. "And the taxes have gone down, and the materials have gone up 2-300%. It's like a perfect storm in not have funding for our roads."

Nohe was among those attending a meeting last night about the Route 2 and Interstate 68 Authority, Created by the legislature to promote awareness of the need for improvements on both roadways.

Route 2 extends from Wood County to Hancock County in the northern panhandle.

Making Route 2 even wider.

The recent project took it to four lanes in places.

The West Virginia Legislature created the Route 2 and Interstate 68 Authority to encourage better roads in northern West Virginia and the Ohio Valley.

The authority's executive director says with economic development coming to Wood County, more of Route 2 needs widened.

"The legislature is going to have to somehow step up and say, we're going to have to raise some type of revenue, or our highway system is going to deteriorate, and new construction will almost be impossible," says Charles Clements, Executive Director of the Route 2/I-68 Authority.

Lawmakers and local office holders are expected to attend the authority's first meeting, which takes place Monday night in Morgantown.

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