CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—Just in time for holiday travel, a portion of the West Virginia Turnpike is open with wider lanes.

The six-lane upgrade to the West Virginia Turnpike near Beckley is in three lanes between mile markers 40 and 48.

“This is a tremendous improvement, a much-needed project that had been considered for several years. We’re very thankful for Gov. Justice’s Roads to Prosperity program which made this happen for the thousands of people traveling to and through our state,” said Jeff Miller, Executive Director of the West Virginia Parkways Authority said in a press release.

The project has a cost of $140 million and is a part of the Roads to Prosperity program.

The project was proposed in 2006, but according to the press release, was “deemed too expensive at the time.”

The final paving of the six-lane stretch will happen in the spring of 2022.

According to the press release:

“The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday following Thanksgiving are typically the busiest days of the year on the West Virginia Turnpike. In 2019 more than 607,000 vehicles went through Turnpike toll booths during the week of Thanksgiving. About 750,000 vehicles are expected to travel the Turnpike between Tuesday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 28.”

Peak travel times are expected to be between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Extra toll booth staff, the West Virginia State Police and other crews will be in the areas of the toll booths to help keep traffic moving safely.