DAVIS, W.Va. – The newest section of Corridor H will make it much easier and safer for folks from the eastern shore to make to the mountains of West Virginia.

Bill Smith, with the Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the long-awaited opening of a 4.7-mile stretch of the four-lane highway from Scherr to Bismarck, earlier this month, replaces a road filled with hairpin turns.

“From the lower part of Route 93 up Bismarck, that spans 2,000 vertical feet in four miles. The old Route 93 was hampered with a whole lot of sharp switchbacks which was fairly treacherous driving,” according to Smith.

He says this is another step forward in completing Corridor H which has been under construction since 1964. The road will eventually connect I-79 at Weston to I-81 in Front Royal, Virginia.

“It’ll take about an hour off the total drive time,” according to Smith. “So it’s going to make it a safer and more reliable form of transportation for our guests.”

Smith says he’s anxious for the first winter the entire Corridor is open to see how it impacts places like Canaan Valley Ski Resort and Timberline.

“Our guests coming from the eastern seaboard have to drive past a great deal of our competition in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland and this is a straight shot in from I-81 and I think it’s really going to help a lot of people get here.

The next section of Corridor H will connect Davis with Mt. Storm. The 16.2 mile stretch has a completion date of early 2015.

While the project has stretched on for nearly 50-years, Smith says each mile gets them a little closer to the goal of an easy route from east to west from the east coast.

“Any project of this magnitude takes time. So, yes, we’ve learned to be patient.”

And that patience will pay off for more than just the ski resorts. Smith says other attractions like Blackwater Falls, Dolly Sods and the Monongahela National Forest will benefit.

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Comments

  • Route7Roar

    Is there a map of what sections of Corridor H are open? Need to know what sections I can take from Elkins over to I-81.

  • Matt Cole

    "straight shot in from I-81"?? I don't think so. Virginia has NO plans to connect I-81 from Strasburg to Wardensville, WV. Corridor H is a road for politicians only, seemingly providing jobs and economic development, while the state highway maintenance budget is already taxed and existing roads such as Rt. 50 through Aurora are going to pot. I-68 and US-219 south provide adequate access to the ski resorts area already.

  • Brian Lee

    We are from southern maryland and have been vacationing at canaan valley twice a year for over 20 years now and plan to retire thier. Corridor h saves me an hour and a half vice going the 70/68/219 way, love it. Along the way we do make stops and do spend money that would have otherwise been spent along maryland highways, not that it will make up for any costs just saying i appreciate corridor h.

  • Jonus Grumby

    The money spent to build and maintain this route will never be recovered by the alleged commerce it is expected to generate. 30 years from now it will more resemble I-79 between Weston & Charleston than Morgantown to Weston.

    • Aaron

      The difference between I-79 and Corridor H is that there is actually something on both ends of I-79. Corridor H is a road to nowhere. Granted, it will benefit the few who live in that part of the state and tourism will increase slightly but in the end, the road will not generate enough business opportunity to create the needed tax revenue to justify the expenditures, thus it remains a road to nowhere.

    • Wirerowe

      We shall see you may be right. I think the difference is that this makes
      easier access both ways to and from the Dc metro area to central West Virginia. And part of the state will become more of a destination for that huge population. I-79 between Weston and charleston is primarily a through highway with fairly significant activity at the flat woods ,somewhat destination related and the Elkview interchange. Because of the proximity of the metro area I don't think your comparison is apples to apples.

  • Travel Skier

    How much does it cost to rent a cabin for a weekend at CV State Park?

    If you are a skier, the rental houses at the Timberline slopes go for about $100 per day per bedroom and that is for right on the slopes. So if you can get a group of 10 or 12 together, that's cheaper than getting a room at the lodge. Plus you can ski to and from your door and have all the other amenities like hot tubs, etc.

  • Tim C

    I'm from the southern part of West Virginia but I had the opportunity to work in the Thomas, Davis, and Mt. Storm areas several years ago. It is a beautiful part of the state but anytime you can bypass Mt. storm in the wintertime is a plus. When they finish the corridor into Elkins that will really open up that part of the state. It is really beautiful up there and more people should be able to see it.

  • Aaron

    The problem with Corridor H has always been the route. Had it progress southeast from Elkins as originally planned decades ago instead of veering northeast, adding more than 100 miles and hundreds of millions of dollars to the project.

  • Robert

    I can hardly wait for all the strip malls, fast food joints, billboards and "orange glare bombs".

    :D

  • Brandon

    I-81 does not go through Front Royal, But I-66 does! The H Will connect I-81 near Strausburg, VA. "When you don't know the facts, make them up!" Is that what Perley taught you?

    • Matt

      Technically, 66 doesn't go through Front Royal either, just the shopping centers that have popped up outside of town. Front Royal is about four miles south. Yes, if VA ever bothers giving us time of day about it, I-66 will stretch from DC to Weston (don't think they'll let WV have top billing on what the route number will be).

    • wenkev

      Just like knowing how to spell. It is Strasburg not Strausburg. When you don't know how to spell it you just make it up, right?

  • Habib Haddad

    Most West Virginians south of Flatwoods don't understand that the completion of Corridor H will finally tie the state together for the first time since our inception. Martinsburg and Charles Town are only a half hour from the eastern terminus of this highway. Once completed, eastern panhandle and Potomac highland residents won't have to go north to go south, thereby saving hours of driving time. This can only help the tourism efforts of southern West Virginia (IE: McCoy-Hatfield Trails). And Mr. Smith correctly points out that this highway will save countless lives of our own residents and guests. Does this fact escape those who oppose the so called "road to nowhere"?

  • Jason412

    I went to Front Royal yesterday and was thinking instead of Davis to Mt Storm as the next part they should of done Wardensville to VA line. The 2 lane road in VA that connects to i-81 isnt that bad, but SR55 over the Shenendoahs to get to the VA part of 55 is a pretty crappy drive loaded with speed traps.

    And if people are coming from the East reading that a good portion of the trip will be 2 lanes could discourage travelers, especially during winter.

    • CITIZENW

      Corridor H supporters encouraged by Virginia completion date projection

      http://www.statejournal.com/story/24025767/corridor-h-supporters-encouraged-by-virginia-completion-date-projection

    • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

      Good point. I thought VA already said they weren't interested in this project and will not build it?

      • Matt

        VA has a projected date of completion somewhere between 2025 and 2030. Problem is the same reason Rt 9 will never be extended to a four lane. Don't want to disturb the natural beauty of the landscape and bypass towns.

      • WV commuter

        They built it. It was Rt. 50 they made four lanes ages ago when H was to mirror 50. VA still says they will NOT build another road. Heck they will not upgrade Rt. 9 for all the commuters who are backed up for an hour around Hillsboro.

  • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

    I'm all for this road completion. But I have to ask this question.....I called Canaan Valley State park in October of its year to reserve a cabin for January (any weekend) and found that there were no cabins left to rent and stay. So you build a road to a resort that cannot accommodate the masses that will come. Tucker County and the surrounding area is beautiful and unique. But lodging accommodations and places to eat are non-existent. The restaurants that are available are expensive, limited selection and simply a tourist trap. Tucker County needs to decide whether they will allow the building of fast food restaurants to accommodate visitors or remain primitive. It only takes one trip to realize these shortcomings. I have lived here my entire life, but can't afford to stay at the other condos and large homes next to Timberline with my family. And reserving a cabin at Canaan so far out on the calendar is ridiculous!

    • Jason412

      Its not just opening up tourism to Canaan and Timberline, Elkins is definitely relying on the tourist dollars these days with the scenic train service as well as the 2 "Bronson, MO style" theatres. With Corridor H and a direct highway with an exit 2 or 3 miles from the train station I could see both the train and theatre business expanding.

      Also on my recent trip I noticed Smoke Hole had converted numerous houses into cabin style rentals, only about 20-30 min from the East Moorefield exit. That tourism would also obviously carry over to Seneca Rocks and Caverns. That whole area is lined with cabins and campgrounds and could certainly expand.

      Watersports on both rivers and lakes, Camping, Rock Climbing, Caving, Hiking, Bike Trails, Trains, Cross Country Skiing, University enrollment

      These are all industries that could benefit from having highway accesss. And of course tourism supports gas stations, restaurants and things of that nature.

      Also a lot of people commute from Front Royal to DC, the highway would open up the option of both having commuters move to WV and give more West Virginian's the ability to commute to the DC metro area.

    • Jima.

      Great Point and I agree!