CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The economic cost of not finishing Corridor H by 2020 would be at least $1.25 billion for West Virginia, according to a new study from RQA Group which the Corridor H Authority released Monday.

“That does not include the $800 million which would go into construction and paying people to build the road, etc., so you’re looking at a $2 billion impact here,” said Steve Foster, President of the Corridor H Highway Authority.

The project is 100 percent federally funded and is scheduled to continue to draw down about $40 million each year.

At that rate, though, it will be 2036, at the earliest, before the 143-mile, four-lane highway, connecting Interstate 79 at Weston directly to Interstate 81 at Front Royal, Va., is finished.

Photo courtesy Corridor H Authority

This map shows the status of work on Corridor H. Please note the map is not to scale.

Foster said the study showed West Virginia cannot afford to wait that long.

“We need to accelerate those payments so we can get the road built or we find another creative way to fund the road getting built, knowing that the federal dollars are continuing to flow, but over a much longer period of time than we would like to see them take,” said Foster.

By next year, Foster said 87 percent of Corridor H will be finished in West Virginia.

As of now, 75 percent of the highway is finished or under construction.  In the west, the route runs from Weston in Lewis County to Kerens in Randolph County via Elkins.  Final design work is underway for the section between Kerens and Parsons.

In the east, officials in Virginia, Foster said, could decide on a route for that state’s 13 miles of the highway, from Wardensville to Strasburg, this month.

In West Virginia, the highway is open from Wardensville in Hardy County to Scherr in Grant County.  Between Scherr and Davis in Tucker County, it’s under construction.

The section of the highway that has not been addressed, either with design or construction, is between Davis and an area near Parsons which is some of the most mountainous terrain in West Virginia.

Foster said it’s important to open up that area.  “We really believe that this will allow business to invest in West Virginia by finally having the infrastructure to support it,” he said.

Corridor H is part of the 1965 Appalachian Regional Development Act and was proposed, at that time, as a passage from Weston, W.Va. to Strasburg, Va.

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  • Mark II

    Sounds like the usual closed-minded Jethro Bodines that don't want progress or improvement of life. Just keep things as they are and let the rest of the world move on to better things without us. No wonder the other states think we are stupid...MOST OF US ARE!!!

  • Larry

    Take the money and finish a road with far more traffic on it, that is located in a much more suitable area for road building, US 35.

  • Mark

    If it keeps the DC crowd out of Canaan Valley, I hope it never gets finished.

    • Habib Haddad

      Too late. They have been here since the 1970's.

  • Brian M

    I've been waiting for progress and seen just a very little in the last 12 years. This article indicates 75% is either completed or under construction. How much is ACTUALLY completed and when is it anticipated for the "under construction" portion to be completed?

    There have also been rumors in recent years of an extension of Corridor H across / overlapping US 33 through Roane and Jackson Counties which essentially would connect all the way to the new US 33 to Columbus, OH. Is this still possible or is this a dead issue?

    • Shadow

      To get West, you jog North to RT 50 to Rt 32 in Ohio and it is four lane all the way to Cincinnati.

    • Larry

      It's a dead issue, will never happen.

  • Bill

    Corridor H is a colossal waste of money. This thing will completely destroy the rural and isolated character of Thomas and Davis that thousands of tourists come to enjoy now. Don't build another mile.

    • Shadow

      Have you ever seen the empty rental cabins between Moorefield and Petersburg? Hardly anyone East of the VA line ever thinks of coming to WV. Ask almost anyone over there if they have been to WV and their answer is NO. Take away Social Security and Food Stamps and there would be no economy in WV, just what is done by the polluters, the miners, the natural gas folks, and the loggers and most of you guys detest.

    • MoMoney

      Thomas is a s%*t hole and Davis would be too if not for Blackwater Falls State Park and the juvi- offender home. Davis needs all the visitors that can travel through there. The hippies in Davis and their businesses couldn't survive if not for Corridor H. Get 'em in, get their money, and get 'em out.

  • Shadow

    Have any of you commenters ever driven on Corridor H? I doubt it. When it is completed, it will be the way West from the Central East Coast and a boon to WV.

    • Jeff

      Sounds great. Let's blow up some mountains so a few gas stations and hotels can benefit from east coasters traveling through. That's thinking big

      • MojoJojo

        I have driven Corridor H several times and I cannot see any environmental damage from the construction of this road. Where is it at?? More liberal hysteria from the neo-libs.
        So a few mountains had their tops lopped off. They were just sitting there bringing in no taxes or economic benefit. Water quality? Its still there as there are dozens of trout streams in the area still florishing.
        So Mr neo-lib, where exactly is there any environmental damage??

  • Jeff

    Which extractive industry is playing our govt for mindless idiots this month?

  • Jonus Grumby

    Another road to nowhere.

    • Shadow

      You are right! Now it ends in WV...........

  • leroy j gibbs

    Hurry up. Hundreds of drug dealers can't wait for it to be finished

    • Habib Haddad

      They use I-68, Leroy.

  • Habib Haddad

    I love these knuckledraggers who say this road will NOT lead to any economic activity. Show me an interstate in WV or anywhere else where economic activity did not follow the opening of the road. Heck, look at Corridor H from Weston to Elkins right now. Build the damn road!

    • Shadow

      What would Summersville be without a four-laned Rt 19 and a short cut between Pittsburgh and North to the South? Nothing, living on Food Stamps and Social Security.

    • Mark

      Yep, we can always use a few more Wal Marts and Sheetz.

      • Habib Haddad

        Those businesses provide jobs Mark. And the workers pay taxes and buy cars and homes and play station 4's. You know, the economy.

  • CaptainQ

    What? ANOTHER delay in finishing Corridor H? So what else is new? By the time it finally gets completed (IF it ever gets completed) we'll all be using Al Gore inspired George Jetson style 'flying' cars and will no longer NEED Corridor H.

    • Joe!

      Jane....get me off this crazy thing!!

  • RealConservative

    If you want it, build it...without my tax dollars

    • MTNR

      Idiot. All highways were built with tax dollars.