Corridor G
MetroNews staff photo

DAVIS, W.Va.  — It’s been called the “Road to Nowhere.” However, Corridor H is going somewhere, according to Stephen Foster, the Chairman of the Corridor H Authority.

“It’s going to be about 75 percent done at the end of this year. They’re working on a stretch right now from Davis and Thomas, WV over to connect that to Mt. Storm or Bismarck. So it will be 75 percent done at the end of this year or the beginning of next year,” stressed Foster.

The project got underway in the 60’s and took off in the 80’s and 90’s thanks to plentiful funding through U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd. That money has dried up since the Senator’s death in 2010. Now the Authority is playing the waiting game with the Transportation Trust Fund that was renewed last week by Congress through May of 2015. Foster said it would be much better if lawmakers approved a 6-year plan so that projects could get more than a handful of dollars here and there.

That’s how the project is working right now. Foster said they’re working on a few miles at a time. Currently two projects are left to complete.

“(We have) two parts. One would be connecting Wardensville to the Virginia state line from where Virginia’s part of Corridor H will connect. The other part will be taking it from Kearns, West Virginia, up the mountain, all the way up to the Davis and Thomas area.” according to Foster.

In fact, Corridor H is one of only two along the Appalachian Corridor that are not yet complete. The other is in Tennessee. While some believe masses of money have been wasted on the project, Foster said wait until it’s complete and people will see the real benefit.

“We’ve done studies that show it’s well over a billion dollars of economic impact if we can get the road done by 2020,” Foster explained.

Whether that will happen is still up in the air. Foster said he’ll have a better idea come Monday when they’ll get an update from the Department of Transportation

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  • WVU fan in Boston

    WHY WAIT for a future Senator Capito?
    As a parting gesture to WV the current Sen. Rockefeller should sponsor a bill through the Senate and with US REP Capito as the House sponsor of the same bill. Doesn’t she have the in with Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan to help this bill through the house? Senator Joe Manchin is supposed to be able to work across the ‘isle’ for cooperative legislation. Seems like a slam dunk for passage and Obama’s signature.
    I watched a $17 billion road project built in Boston called the 'BIG DIG'. Surely to finish Corridor H is only a few $ million, and would create the 'infrastructure jobs' we all hear that we need to help the economy.
    Again I ask WHY WAIT?

    • Bitmapped

      The remaining part of Corridor H is going to cost around $1 billion. It's hardly small potatoes.

      Sen. Rockefeller was behind a 2012 change that increased the federal share of funding for Appalachian corridors from 80% to 100%, meaning the state no longer has to come up with hundreds of millions of its own dollars for this project.

    • BuildIt

      Whoever our next Senator is will be low women on the totem pole with no seniority and little power. The send lots of money to West Virginia days of Senator Byrd and even Rockefeller are over. Whoever the Senator is will have to fight hard to get the funding.

    • Bill

      +1, great post!

  • Michael

    I won't be finished in my lifetime and maybe nobodies that is alive now.

  • Mtneer001

    I hope they finish Corridor H from Wardensville to I-81 and I-66 in Virginia.

    That would add a lot more jobs to the state with access to major highways.

  • Robert

    Oh it'll be nice ... for a while ... with beautiful vistas and an uncluttered landscape. But in a few years it will be a vast honky tonk, instead of trees along the roadside you'll be looking at billboard after billboard, fast food and gas 'n go joints at every intersection with strip malls and over lit parking lots and signs as far as the eye can see.

    Corridor H has cut a swath through some of the very best of what WV has to offer, it's criminal that it hasn't been designated a scenic highway in order to protect of what we're most proud and our greatest asset.

    • Shadow

      When you drive WV today, it is just one big Stringtown with residences with a lot of junk cars in the front yard. So where is the beauty?

    • The bookman

      Get out a little. That doesn't happen, even in higher population areas. Charlottesville, VA to Richmond on I-64.....been there forever....nothing but small towns with a gas station or two. Richmond to Williamsburg on I-64.....been there real development over the 35 years I've travelled it. Both sections sport major population centers separated by 40 to 50 miles. Somehow you would have us believe that massive development will occur between Moorefield and Elkins? It's a transportation corridor that opens up countless possibilities, but strip malls aren't one of them.

      • Robert

        Look at H from Weston to the other side of Buckhannon. The future is 10x that.

        • The bookman

          I travel it everyday, and thank my lucky stars that it isn't Rte 151. It isn't overbuilt, at all, and is a beautiful and safe route to travel. I also travel the section from Mt Storm to Baker frequently and it is a gorgeous four lane controlled access highway. Come join us in the 21st Century. It's a great place.

          • The bookman


            Always putting people in their compartmentalized space. Most people see things pretty much the same. Red State or Blue State, they really just want things to be better than they were yesterday, last year, or last generation. We just have a different view of what is better, and how to achieve it.

          • The bookman


            Real opportunity is what I see. And I'm a lifer. I could live anywhere in the country and do what I do. I CHOOSE here. Not looking for a fast way out of state. We need a safe, and faster, transportation corridor for those traveling to our state, and those within our state to travel throughout our state. We also need better shopping infrastructure to get our products to the market. No need to beat a dead horse, though. I'm for it, and you're against it. You are satisfied watching the grass grow. Have at it.

          • Hop'sHip

            Bookie: While enjoying your drive, do you offer a quiet "thank you" to those blue state inhabitants who subsidized the building of that highway without yapping about those damn takers?

          • Marcus

            Look at the classifieds the jobs are there!! The only thing your looking at is the fast way out of the State!! Your not thinking prosperity your bleeding greed!!

          • The bookman

            Where are these strip malls of which you speak? Buckhannon? Weston? You aren't going to see that kind of development along this corridor. Progress isn't a bad thing, and completing this highway will change little landscape. If 14% unemployment works for you, then good for you. However, the rest of us want to leave a more prosperous WV than was left for us. Our concerns are infrastructure, and 50 years is a long time to wait for the completion of this project.

          • Marcus

            Yes ruin beautiful farm land and litter the land scape with little strip malls and fast food joints! All so we can cator to the politicians and the wealthy out of DC to come in and buy up our land!! We already made a big mistake with the windmills that other states are using our land for!!!! Ruined our hunting in a lot of areas!!! Do you think the out of staters care that your taxes are going to raise to fund the up keep!!!

          • Shadow


  • David Kennedy

    It's critical to keep the pressure on for funding of this incredible resource.
    I hope Senator Capito has this on her Hot List when she moves into Washington this fall.

    • Bitmapped

      Capito is already in Washington. Has been for 13 years. Why hasn't she been working this project already?

  • ann

    I drive the new road all the time and Love it. I'm driving from Hagerstown Maryland and pickup road in Martinsville and stay on until I get to my storm WV. I would love to pickup road in Winchester VA that would save some time. I have family in WV but have to work and like in Hagerstown MD. Would love to go back to WV to live but have to stay close to my job.

  • 2XLPatriot

    What a lot of people don't know is, Corridor H has been or will be desiganted a "Military highway." This will be the new evacuation route from D.C. / NOVA in the event of an attack or other disaster. Declaring it a military highway insures the funds for completion. This is not conspiracy theory ramblings, it is fact. While I support the completion and agree it is one of the most beautiful drives in this state, it really has cut travel time in half to that part of WV / VA.

    Best of all, I can get to Martinsburg and the rest of the eastern panhandle without traveling through communist Maryland.

    • Ole Sasquatch

      Communist Maryland - you hit the nail on the head with that comment. I just can't say nothing for their Governor and some of their Congressman. Their just awful! How do you Marylanders stand it?

      • TMW

        Well, OS, I sure wish my home state had the leaders we have here in Md. I can stand it. Good roads, good schools, very clean litter free. Alternative forms of transit. Sure it is the same good ole boy democrats who have their own club, but they stay in power by providing a great place to live. I'm not putting WV down, but really, you guys are fortunate to pay so little in taxes. But you are not getting anything or any progress. Think about it. I live in a highly urban area so much safer than where I grew up in WV. Taxes are not that bad if spent for the people (communist idea?)

        • Ole Sasquatch

          Now let me get this straight you are saying WV should have leaders like Elijah Cummins, Donna Edwards, Chris Van Hollen and Gov. Martin O'Malley -
          Tee, tee he, te he he he.

    • Robert

      Dude, I lived in the DC suburbs for 20-some years, people can't get out of their own way when it snows 2". To think it will somehow be an effective and efficient way to move people en masse out of that area during a time of crisis you're out of your mind as is anyone else who promotes this road in the same fashion.

  • Mason County Contrarian

    Anything in petty cash for Route 35?

  • tmw

    Traveled Corridor H last year. Most beautiful trip ever close to DC. It will be a boon. State should finish it as soon as possible even if they have to float bonds. Traveling west it can be an alternative. The only way out of DC/Balt. where I live to get to the Midwest is the deathtrap Pa. turnpike. 68 ends at Morgantown and is not a good alternative and then you are forced to go north again to the Pitts. area roads. If the leaders in WV, my home state were as smart a I am and looked at the location of jobs along interstates and especially interstates 150m out from Metro areas, they would finish. Southern WV is beautiful and full of great people, but putting money in any big road projects down there will not pay off right now, maybe with the exception of 35, since Ohio has 4 laned most of it and it could be an alternative to 64. Two critical other roads need to be built, designed to keep some jobs momentum. 250 from Fairmont to Wheeling and 9 from Martinsburg snaking through the upper eastern panhandle, connected somewhere easy with Corr. H. These plans will steal the traffic from Pa./Md. and you will see jobs at the exits such as warehousing and distribution (Macy's), etc. Make them toll if you have to . IRON HORSE below sounds like my reactionary grandfather who kept the Berkeley County area a backwater until his generation passed on. He refused to buy anything in WV and always traveled to VA, the mother state and cradle of the confederacy. Every Saturday it was a trip to VA to make a point.

    • Robert

      ... so take some of the most beautiful land in this state and country and turn it into a trail of warehouses, shopping centers and fast food joints?


    • Diaspora

      You could take 79s to Clarksburg and take US 50 ( I believe that is Corridor D, which will connect you at Athens, Oh with a 4 lane route to Western Ohio. The only pitfall is you have to drive through Parkersburg and that takes about 20 min on a good day.

      • The bookman

        Not true. Four lanes all the way bypasses Parkersburg and connects in Ohio just south of Belpre. Been that way for a while.

        • Diaspora

          Thanks to you too. Haven't been up that way since 2002.

        • thornton

          I believe MoJoe walked across the new Corridor bridge at Belpre several years ago.
          Parkeesburg tho, found the bypass with far different issues in point and degree than the subject macadam of this article.
          Apples and anvils.

          • The bookman

            I agree, Thornton. Just correcting the terminus, not drawing a parallel.

  • Guardian

    The two most critical new road projects on WV's docket are Corridor H and Route 35. Both need to be pushed to completion - even if it requires putting up more state money to get it done sooner and be reimbursed later by the Feds.

  • thornton

    One more nail in Canaan's coffin.

    But as Guy Clark sang...One man's loss is another man's gain."

    • The bookman

      How so Thornton? What threat is there to Canaan Valley, as the highway itself passes 4 miles to the north west of Canaan Heights? As a National Wildlife Refuge, most of the Valley lies protected from development, and the impacts of surrounding development. It is a great place in the world, and should be shared, not coveted.

      • thornton

        Change, like habitat succession, is relentless. Progress has delivered jobs and advantages in great type and measure to the Canaan and to those who live in the started with the park, I suppose.
        It continues with condos and developments; leaf peepers and skiers and golfers and more.
        Good?, for some, as the song line I quoted implies.

        As I recall, the NWR is some 60-70% of the valley.
        The development is on the remaining valley floor and, of course and importantly, the sides.
        "Protected"....yes, to some eyes....same, I reckon, as to those who view a zoo's animals as protected.
        So, good deux and w/o effect?....not to my eye.
        40+ years ago, a night drop into the valley was not quite the light show it is today.
        Oh, well....Progress and Guy Clark songs.

        Additionally, while hunting is still allowed on NWRs, it is under continuing assault....leading that assault is often, not always limited to, leaf peepers.
        Leaf peepers who eat their designer toast of a morning and care little about proper management of diverse habitats and...all the more often today...hunting.
        Better access = more of the sort who believe in everything from old growth as a goal to protecting those species in nature seen as helpless.
        I see that "more", that eyes and ears shut a negative, for the additional raised voices to the zero value of hunting and to the less than zero value of diversity in habitats in and out of Canaan.
        Therefore, to me, the shrinking distance twixt the Valley and D.C. is bad juju......not as much for any individual as for the Valley itself and the species that are trying to exist within and past the valley's rim.

        It is not a point of not wanting to share or stockpiling is, for me, a sadness that can accompany Progress when one looks past that Progress to a realization of what is irretrievably lost.
        Don't throw a rod in trying to understand....or look into the eyes of a caged critter at the zoo.

        • The bookman

          I can agree that is a negative, but I don't see that mindset changing in the valley. With or without the huggers. We have a Federal fight to wage on multiple use Forest Management. That is the problem, and Canaan represents a small piece of the overall landscape.

          • thornton

            Probably not, as to the mindset, but bad stuff happens in "big steps and little 'uns" to quote from Herriot.
            Corridor H is yet another step to the bad for which I is see little reason to avoid acknowledgement.

            "Multiple use" of the NFs is less an issue than poor management of the NFs. Fighting on the basis of multiple use, is a losing proposition.
            I would agree that far too many adopt multiple use as a reason to push their selfish preference.

            "Small" does not mean unimportant when it sees the track of one's own foot.

  • Jonus Grumby

    30 years after its fully completed it will still be as desolate as I-79 is between Weston and Charleston.

    • Independent View

      Jonus Grumby
      Obviously, either you do not travel I-79 or have no knowledge of the amount of traffic on it or both.
      Although I have not seen DOH traffic count numbers, I can state that by traveling I-79 to Charleston from Central WV for over 25 years, it has a great deal of traffic.
      And, gone are the days that the planets revolved around what was best for the Charleston area regarding highways. As Charleston/Huntington areas loose jobs, the economy in Central WV is booming. Morgantown now has the largest and fastest growth rate in WV.
      The Clarksburg/Bridgeport section of I-79 has three lanes North & South bound to handle the traffic flow these new jobs created. Morgantown is undergoing a massive highway upgrade to catch up with the traffic problems.
      So, to summarize, get your facts straight before spouting off about things that you know little if anything about.
      Would the last person leaving Charleston please turn out the lights!

      • Jonus Grumby


        Your anecdotal data hardly compares to the real figures.

        According to the numbers from the WVDOT website, traffic volume for the area around Big Otter (Exit 40) averaged around 11K vehicles per day in 2013. While areas on either side increased in traffic volume, it never crested past 20K vehicles per day between Big Chimney and Buckhanon, a stretch of over 90 miles.

        The area around the S. Morgantown exit (Exit 148) averaged around 43K vehicles per day. That's approximately 4 times more than the traffic than about a hundred miles to the south.

        Compare that with just over 75K vehicles per day on I-81 around Martinsburg.

        Still sounds like I-79 between Charleston and Fairmont is somewhat desolate to me.

      • Jonus Grumby

        " it has a great deal of traffic."

        As compared to what? Credible numbers & sources please.

    • Shadow

      Corridor H will become "The Way West" for DC and NOVA and "The Way East" for St. Louis and Cincinnati when it is completed and WV will prosper from this travel and business.

      The scenery from Mt. Storm to Wardensville competes with any in the Country.

    • Aaron

      As one who travels between Charleston and Morgsntown, I would hate to make the trip without I-79.

      • Art in Ohio

        I was in sales for years in the Clarksburg area and I-79 was not desolate ....far form it.
        When corridor H is completed it will help Parsons,Davis,Thomas and all the small towns in between. It was great to have the highway completed from Weston to Elkins when I was on the road. Made life easier....

        • Marcus

          Yeah it will really help Tucker County! Tucker County will become a play ground for the wealthy pine cone huggers from DC we are already seeing it!! Raised property taxes, real estate will be so high working people in the county won't be able to afford it and not to mention the land scape will be changed forever! Also for example resteraunts in the area that think they have cornered the market and everyone needs to bow down to them will change! Chain resteraunts will move in and your profits will go by by!!

          • thornton

            Not exactly correct on the rain...but close....obviously not a birdhunter.
            However, I am glad that your financials have improved.
            Well done!

            Not me, no on the personal management...I'm quite happy with that left to the NF professionals rather than the NF politicos.
            They are different folks and therein lies the problem.

            And no...I am not a Protectionist...far from it.
            Management is foreign to a Protectionist.
            That is NF 101.

            Corridor H will impact the the simple idea of ...MORE.

          • The bookman

            Can Rain Valley, meaning it can rain at any time. Yeah, I get it. Back when I was poor, a fly fishing guide taught me that one. Many a trip later instilled me to prepare that way, and dispense with the weather forecast. I'm not trying to spin anything, and I guess your protectionist interest trusts no one to manage the resource save yourself. Which by the way, would be fine by me, as we see it the same way. I am a pragmatic person, and when I look at Corridor H, I see an enormous amount of already spent that requires completion to realize any real benefit. I also see no way that the road itself will negatively impact the fragile ecosystem that is Canaan. What happens when the road is built is up to all of us. I wish I could control it. I wish you could. But ultimately it is up to more than just the two of us, as it should be.

          • thornton

            The "near-past" can certainly be a convenient idea to adopt.

            No, not "squirrel it away" either, as seen by my earlier comment re "stockpiling 1940" and noting "sharing."
            My concern is not about folks using the resource... that would be you.
            For me, it is about managing the resource properly and not seeing it behind that zoo's fence. Once the NFs, for example, are managed properly for a healthy diversity in timber age class and more then, folks and critters of all types and all interests in the forest can best utilize the resource.
            THAT, laddybuck, is the biggest and longest term picture....not JimmyJoe getting a fastfood franchise or looking sporty in a biking helmet.

            You spin as fast as does any politico of any stripe or any individual unaware at the core of the concerns larger than Progress and concerns beyond personal explorations on a sunny or even a Canaan day.
            Maybe you understand the last term pertaining to a day but it likely would take Google to do it.
            More sad that.

            As I implied, fret not.....your McRib, it will be a-comin'.

          • The bookman

            Comparable to PP Kennedy, and Porte Crayon, but not in terms of the near past. As to the personal crankcase, I don't live there. Few do. I enjoy visiting there, and have extensively explored it. It is a special place to me and my family, but it doesn't belong to us. You speak often of selfish pursuits, and the selfish pursuit here is to squirrel it away so that it remain untouched, except by those with access. The selfless pursuit is to see the bigger picture and see what can be, as opposed to what one would want for "me."

          • thornton

            Sorry Bookman.....they are new, comparably.
            It's pretty clear that you will throw a rod through your personal crankcase in trying to understand that idea.

            Never fear tho...development is afoot. Loss, a given.
            Just the way of things over Time.

          • The bookman

            Hiking, biking, and trekking isn't new to Canaan. And McRib is already available in Parsons, and Subway is already on 32 on the straight stretch thru the valley. The corridor changes none of that.

          • thornton

            "hike or trek or, bike the Loop road"......yep, the new granola WV.

            That new WV is also an unavoidable change that carries downsides to the very thing the changers believe is important.....but, maybe with fingers crossed....the McRib will be available in Canaan.
            Oh, Joy.

          • NotSoFastMyFriend

            As a WV native, VA resident, and DC worker, I can't wait until this project is finally completed. Like it or lump it, tourism is a very integrated part of the puzzle. Folks in DC and Baltimore enjoy visiting and recreating in WV. If they're willing to spend their money in WV, I'm failing to see how one would consider this a bad thing.

          • Marcus

            It will happen faster than you think the whole landscape will change and the business that are there now will be in stiff competition wait and see!! People are blinded to about to hit em in the face!!

          • The bookman

            What cost? Is it expensive to take a hike at Canaan, or trek on the NWR, or bike Canaan Loop Rd.?Now there are a few restaurants, from all ranges in price, some that struggle to stay open, and some that can't stay open. There will be fast food that pops up along the highway. Is that unaffordable? I just travelled to a heavily built up area in Williamsburg, VA. Lots of choices across the spectrum of service and price. Now I don't see that type of development happening here , but development brings choices, which are currently lacking in the valley.

          • Marcus

            You said it wealthy out of state recreational visitors. The average person in the area won't be able to enjoy the beauty that is in their own back yard due to inflated prices! You make it so easy to defend my previous statement. Keep it coming!

          • The bookman

            So rolling the dice on the Federal PILOT is more palatable to you than a growing tax base funded from wealthy out of state recreational visitors who also are overprotective of the land they develop. Only in WV could a property owner openly complain of development increasing their personal wealth.

  • Brett

    Glad to see this progress. WV needs a good network of 4-lane highways to connect the state if we want to compete for business. Slow, steady, and expensive progress.

  • Judge Jimmy

    How about Route 35? It only needs about 13 miles completed to be 4 lanes its entire length. Two people have already died this year on a highway that is the busiest two lane stretch of highway in the state. I can hardly see how completing this stretch of highway is more important. There is actual verifiable heavy traffic and commerce on Route 35 not "pie in the sky" numbers like this road.

    • The bookman

      We should be pushing to upgrade our roads in general, not just the one in our backyard. Comparing the completion of Corridor H, a new highway proposed as part of the Appalachian Corridor System 50 years ago, and widening US Rte 35 to four lanes is not an argument. WV needs to step up and prioritize the project on Rte 35, and it could happen in short order if the right political pressures were brought to the fore. Small job really. The completion of Corridor H is really a game changer for a large portion of WV. Having a safe, fast access point through the heart of our state that connects I-81 in VA, as well as the inland port in Front Royal to I-79 in Weston will be huge, not only for the tourism industry in the highlands, but also for export manufacturers. It is the last of over 20 corridor highways to be built save one project in TN, and it needs to be fast tracked to completion. It shouldn't take 50 years to build a road.

      • Shadow

        You don't mention the route from Weston to Cincinnati (I-79, US 50, US 32) and beyond which is all 4 lane and to some degree limited access.

        • Diaspora

          So, I found the comment that got me rejected for making a "duplicate comment". This is very true. The completion of Ohio 32 was huge, because until the 90s there was no E - W connect in S Ohio. You can drive 4 lane, nearly non stop, from I-79 to Cincinnati's outer belt. The biggest slowdown is having to drive through downtown Parkersburg.

          • Diaspora

            Thanks for the update meigsguy. I haven't been through there since 2002, just before I became Diaspora. By the way, how was it routed?

          • meigsguy

            You do not have to drive through downtown Parkersburg, unless you want to do so. Route 50 bypass has been completed.

    • Davewv

      Agree route 35 should be high priority.


    With no jobs in West VA! my husband has drove to Winchester to work for the last 17 years. so many are going to Winchester VA to work & trust me they appreciate corridor H we are hoping they connect it to VA before years go by!! with gas in our town being kept high by money hogs we buy gas in VA where our money is made not in WEST VA. we don't but anything in west VA!! WHEN JOBS COME THEN WE WILL SPEND MONEY IN WEST VA!!!

    • Guardian

      I do hope you realize that spending your gas money in VA is self defeating. Funding for WV roads comes from the fuel tax in WV. What you are doing is helping VA fund their roads. This is very short sighted thinking on your part.

    • Aaron

      So why not move to Virginia?

      • Brett

        Because they are true blue West Virginians. I used to work in Winchester and lived in Berkeley County. Couldn't bring myself to cross the line.

        • Realist

          If they were true blue West Virginians they would be supporting their local economy instead of keeping money out of their community.

          • Shadow

            They are WVians but not stupid. Is being stupid and indication of being a True Blue Wvian?

    • WTF

      Then move.