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Raleigh Street Extension Opens to the Public

The new extension of Raleigh Street stretches more than a mile long, connecting Edwin Miller Boulevard to West Race Street.
MARTINSBURG, W. Va. - It's a day that Martinsburg has been waiting for the past couple of years. The city now has a new addition that connects to the downtown area. State and local officials gathered Wednesday to check out the access. 

The new extension of Raleigh Street stretches more than a mile long and connects Edwin Miller Boulevard to West Race Street. Commuters can access this new roadway to enter Downtown Martinsburg.

"I think this is a great day,” said Senator John Unger, West Virginia Senate Majority Leader. "It's a community project, it started with the community then the state partnered with it. This is something truly when a community comes together, that they can do it." 

State and Local officials were on hand for the official ribbon cutting ceremony. They say this project started three years ago. Officials are happy it's completed.

"The benefit is anyone going north or south,” said George Karos, Martinsburg mayor. "It expedites their travel time rather than going downtown through the traffic."

"This is another great entrance to get into the city of Martinsburg,” said Randy Damron, West Virginia Department of Transportation. "It's a beautiful strip of highway, it's a great occasion. I know folks are anxious to travel on the new road." 

Local officials are hoping this extension could bring an economic boost to the city. Most of all they say emergency services will now have a new route to respond to emergencies in the area.

"There will be some development along this corridor," said Karos. "It will access emergency vehicles to the hospital if there is some sort of accident on Interstate 81 when they detour through the city." 

"This is the only road, municipal road that was on the six year state plan," said Unger. "We got an agreement, to put it on a six year plan and we shipped funding that Senator Byrd appropriated for the bypass over here." 

According to officials the project cost more than $20 million. The first $1 million were funded by the city while the rest were through various state and federal grants.

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