Corridor H has been under construction since 1974. Nearly 40 years later, there is a 25-mile plus section of the road still incomplete.
Steve Foster, with the authority, says it’s a great way to grab lawmaker’s attention.
“We’ve got “road” all the way from the House chamber down to the Senate chamber,” according to Foster. “We’ve got this big rotunda in the middle, which has a hole in the middle of it. That’s what Corridor H is looking like. We’re almost there, but dadgummit, we need to finish that other 25-percent.”
Under the current construction and funding schedule, Corridor H is set to be complete in 2034. Foster says that’s just too far into the future.
“The opportunity cost we’re going to lose by not having that road completed sooner is astronomical,” Foster said.
What the authority would like to see happen is construction on the final section of the road under contract by 2020. Foster says that means coming up with some creative ways to fund the corridor, whether it be cutting back on other projects , dipping into the state Rainy Day fund or other ideas yet unexplored.
He says, for too long, this project has not taken priority while other roads got upgrades.
“I can’t think of a single road that’s more important than Corridor H!”
The late U.S. Senator Robert Byrd was a huge supporter of Corridor H and, as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was able to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to the project.
Foster says as they put the scaled model down in the capitol, he noticed a very appropriate sign that Byrd is still watching over the project.
“If you look over there, there’s a statue of Sen. Byrd pointing very sternly down to the fact he wants this road finished. He’s pointing right to the hole in the rotunda.”
Corridor H will stretch 124-miles through West Virginia and 13-miles through Virginia when finished. It will connect I-79 to I-81.