West Virginia Route 2 is a state highway that generally parallels the Ohio River along the western border of the state from Parkersburg to Chester.
WV Route 2 is primarily a two-lane highway with brief four-lane sections in Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Pleasants, and Wood Counties. These brief sections are short improvements to the roadway in accordance with efforts to widen WV 2 from two lanes to a four-lane highway. The longest four-lane section along WV-2 is a 24-mile stretch from I-70 in Ohio County, then south into Marshall County to “Franklin”. Two new projects, as a part of the 2017 WV Road Bond funding approved by West Virginia voters, will widen Route 2 from 2 to 4 lanes as all new highway from Franklin to Kent, and then continue form Kent to Proctor, are approved and are planned to be finished by 2023.
For many years, community leaders from throughout the upper Ohio Valley have pushed hard for completion of a long-range plan to upgrade the entire length of WV 2 from Hancock County to Wood County. Within the six-year plan produced by the West Virginia Department of Transportation was a four-lane upgrade for WV 2 between McKeefrey and Parkersburg.
The development of the natural gas industry along WV Route 2 has led to a tremendous increase of traffic. Heavy trucks and oversized loads associated with the industry are a common sight along the highway. WV-2 was not constructed to accommodate this type and volume of traffic. Safety and traffic volumes indicate a need for upgrading this highway from a two-lane roadway to a four- lane highway.
On June 23, 2000, work began on a project that widened WV 2 from two to four lanes from Weirton at U.S. 22 (Robert C. Byrd Expressway) south to CR 8 near Follansbee. The project length was just 0.9 miles. Work was supposed to be completed by June 31, 2001, however, construction wrapped up on October 31 at a cost of $21,444,875.
There are plans to widen WV 2 from two to four lanes from U.S. 22 north to Chester at a cost of $463,900,000. This construction would include a bypass of New Cumberland and would correct rock fall hazards along the entire path.
Likewise, a project to widen WV 2 from two to four lanes from Follansbee south to Wheeling is projected to cost $489,500,000. This would connect to an incomplete interchange at Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 250 and include a northern bypass of Wheeling.
A public meeting was announced by the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) for July 12, 2017 to discuss the New Cumberland Route 2 Project. This project would correct existing traffic problems on Route 2 within the central business district of New Cumberland. View the meeting announcement.