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Officials ready to break ground on another section of Corridor H from Kerens to Parsons

HAMBLETON, W.Va. — State officials including Governor Jim Justice, Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Transportation Jimmy Wriston, P.E, and others are set to break ground on a section of Corridor H.

A ceremony Friday will officially begin the process of the Section 3 project from Kerens to Parsons, one of five sections that make up the project along U.S. Route 48.

Corridor H is the only Appalachian corridor project out of six in the state yet to be finished. Justice said he had getting Corridor H worked on and completed at the top of his priority list.

“I really do believe that Corridor H will connect us to the whole northeast,” the governor said. “We absolutely need to complete it.”

The West Virginia Division of Highways said they expect the Kerens to Parsons section to be complete by late 2024. With it’s completion, Justice said more opportunities will pop up with it in the coming years.

“It’ll bring businesses and job opportunities off the chart,” he claimed.

Following the announcement of the groundbreaking, both U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito released statements, showing how pleased they were with the progress being made. The senators said for years they worked to bring in funding for the project.

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, and in my role at the EPW Committee overseeing the Federal Highway Administration, I’ve consistently pushed for the completion of Corridor H and helped deliver funds to do so,” Capito said. “The groundbreaking of this key section between Kerens and Parsons marks a major milestone for this critical transportation project, and I’m thrilled for the positive impact it will have for years to come as we continue to expand and improve West Virginia’s roads and bridges.”

Since 2019 Senator Capito said she assisted in getting the Corridor H project funded properly. She announced a $100 million grant for the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) to support construction of Corridor H that year, and pushed to fund the Appalachian Development Highway System at $100 million annually.

For the section of Kerens to Parsons specifically, Capito brought in $12 million from the Department of Transportation in 2020.

In 2022, Capito, got $5 million for Corridor H as part of a Congressionally Directed Spending request.

Senator Manchin also put finishing Corridor H towards the top of his to-do list.

“I have been working to complete Corridor H since I was Governor,” said Manchin. “As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and lead negotiator of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), I have never stopped fighting to complete this critical highway.”

Manchin stated that he has helped gather $274,442,537 in federal funding so far for work on the major road project in West Virginia.

“I am proud to have secured more than $274 million in federal funding over the past several years to ensure the state of West Virginia has the resources necessary to get the job done,” he said.

Senator Manchin, a member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, secured the inclusion of his bipartisan Finish the ADHS Act in the IIJA in 2021, which will provide $1.25 billion in funding over five years, with nearly $200 million of that going to support the completion of Corridor H.

“Corridor H will spur economic development, further open up our outdoor recreation economy to tourists, and promote safe and secure travel for all West Virginians,” Manchin said. “Like most projects, it could not happen without a sustained bipartisan commitment from all West Virginia’s leaders and I will continue working with my colleagues to deliver for West Virginians.”

Around 15 miles of Corridor H remain to be completed.

The groundbreaking ceremony is happening at 11:00 a.m. at the end of Wolf Run Road off U.S. 219/U.S. 48 north of Hambleton, WV, just outside of Parsons.

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