ELKINS, W.Va. — Congress is about to get a letter on the importance of completing Corridor H. The Robert C. Byrd Corridor H Authority met last week and passed a resolution which they have sent on to the House and Senate.
“We’re calling on Congress to please get through their stalled negotiations on a transportation bill and pass a six-year funding bill so that states, West Virginia and every other state, can plan their transportation infrastructure improvements,” authority member Robbie Morris explained
Congress is balking at passing long-term funding for the federal Transportation Trust Fund. They’re leaning towards supplementing the fund for another 10 months. Morris said that is not what is best for Corridor H or thousands of other transportation projects currently on hold because of the funding delay. He’s hoping the resolution will show the need for action.
“This is just another means to relay our wishes that the transportation funding bill be completed so that we can get Corridor H and a lot of other transportation infrastructure in the state done. It’s difficult to do when you don’t know how much money you have to play with,” stressed Morris.
Construction on Corridor H got started back in the 1960s. As of the end of this year, the four-lane from I-79 in Weston to the Virginia state line will be 75 percent complete. But building that last 25 percent is estimated to cost between $400 and $600-million.
Morris said as long as Congress continues to work on a year to year basis, there will not be enough federal funds available to complete the corridor by 2020.
“We’re trying to gain some of the ground that we lost in the past few year. We’re doing that. We just need to keep the pressure on,” according to Morris.
That means more than just sending a resolution. Morris said they are keeping in close contact with state Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox and federal Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. They’re also urging West Virginia’s congressional delegation to back a six-year deal.