By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Wednesday he has not ruled out the use of tolls to build a 140-mile extension of the Mountain Parkway from Prestonsburg to Beckley, W. Va..
Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, also offered to sponsor a bill to name the completed road after U.S.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Louisville if he provided funding for it.
The project is estimated to cost between $8 billion and $10 billion.
If there is support for the project in Washington, Stumbo said, he would ask Kentucky’s 2016 General Assembly that starts in January for “some money” for it.
Stumbo made public his recommendation for the project on Tuesday, contending it is needed to “unlock the potentials of our region’s vibrant work force.”
McConnell’s office said he is an ardent supporter of Kentucky’s vital roads but that it’s up to the governor and lawmakers in Frankfort to prioritize Kentucky’s share of federal Highway Trust Fund dollars.