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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Comments

  • Chris

    Fox News won't allow it. I'm a conservative republican, but I hate what Fox is doing to America, and to West Virginia...Imagine that.

  • In da stickes

    Corridor H. Finish it.

  • Fred

    I quit traveling in the Elkins/Mt Storm area after they installed the wind turbines. I think they ruin the views and the natural feeling of the area. I grew up camping and hiking in the state's eastern mountains but now I go to other areas. I can't understand why West Virginians want to destroy the natural beauty of their state.

    • Eric

      I agree that the windmills change the view, but I'd rather these than another fossil fuel power plant spewing garbage into the air along with more strip mines to feed it. So long as we need energy, we have to have something, and if a bunch of windmills can forestall the building of another plant, seems like a decent tradeoff. Just drive up the road a bit and take a look at the strip mines and consider which one damages the view more.

    • Shadow

      You should try the recently opened Corridor H section to Moorefield. It is a beautiful section and worth passing the wind farm.

  • Pete March

    My wife & I live in Barboursville, & travel several times per year to the Eastern Panhandle (Inwood & Gerrardstown) to visit my daughters, grandchildren, & great-grandchild. Corridor H would lesson our travel time & mileage a great deal upon completion, & we pray that we'll actually get to drive this route before becoming too old to do so!!

  • 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 forever....no 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

            HH:

            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

            Marcus,

            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

            +1

  • 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?

      Thanks

    • 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 area....it 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 more...as 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 1940....it 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.