- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - State officials joined leaders in eastern Kentucky to celebrate the opening of a highway that could ease traffic and open up economic opportunities.

WYMT-TV (https://bit.ly/1JhRJhA) reports Gov. Steven Beshear joined officials in Pike County on Thursday for a ceremony to open the first half of a new U.S. 460, which runs 8 miles from U.S. 23 south of Pikeville to the Virginia state line near Elkhorn City. The ceremony at Shelby Valley High School drew hundreds of people.

“It’s going to be huge in terms of traffic flow and economic development,” Beshear told WYMT. “As we built this road we allowed the fills on the side of it in various places where we can build businesses and residences and it’s going to create a lot of economic activity in Eastern Kentucky.”

Officials say they expect to have the other half of the highway completed by 2020.

The federal government is paying for 80 percent of the $700 million project and the state is paying for 20 percent.



The highway was named after Jacob Brandon Rowe and Gary Brent Coleman, two Pike County natives who served in the military and died while fighting in the Middle East.

Coleman’s brother, Jason Coleman, said his sibling would be proud.

“He was pretty modest and really humble,” Jason Coleman said. “He was the type of person who would be proud it was done in his honor but you would have had to dragged him out to show up for it.”

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Information from: WYMT-TV, https://www.wkyt.com/wymtnews

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