Corridor h, high-speed internet — WV Needs both - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Corridor h, high-speed internet — WV Needs both

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  • OPINIONState Journal EditorialsMore>>

  • Political gains are wasted if health changes don't happen

    Political gains are wasted if health changes don't happen

    Friday, September 12 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-09-12 12:00:30 GMT
    West Virginia is the most obese state in the world's most obese nation, according to an annual report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health.
    West Virginia is the most obese state in the world's most obese nation, according to an annual report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health.
  • Big announcements should spur positive action

    Big announcements should spur positive action

    Friday, September 5 2014 9:50 AM EDT2014-09-05 13:50:45 GMT
    Our state's natural gas industry is growing in amazing ways. Just this week, it was announced that Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas Co. and AGL Resources are proposing a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with natural gas supplies from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
    Our state's natural gas industry is growing in amazing ways. Just this week, it was announced that Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas Co. and AGL Resources are proposing a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with natural gas supplies from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
  • Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:00:23 GMT
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.

Building a road in West Virginia is no easy task. Hills and mountains have to be ascended and descended, tunneled through or taken down, rivers have to be crossed and valleys must be bridged. Geography alone is a challenge, not to mention financing, property rights and the politics of highway construction in the Mountain State.

Still, despite the enormity of the undertaking, it is a vital part of the dynamic that moves our state forward. Our landscape is rugged and beautiful, but it makes travel a challenge. In economic terms, getting goods to market or bringing them here must be as streamlined and as fast as possible. That's why the completion of Corridor H is so important.

On Monday, the Corridor H Authority hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for the construction of a 20-mile stretch of the four-lane linking Davis to Scherr in Grant County. Work has been underway on that segment of the road for some time and officials expect it will be completed next year. But there is still much to do. This road is an essential part of our state's future; expediting the passage of coal, timber and everything else to the Virginia Inland Port and ultimately Norfolk, Va., one of the world's busiest ports. This project needs our elected leaders' utmost time and attention.

However, just as important as any road into or out of our state is how we can connect with others across the nation and across the globe. A study conducted  by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration titled "Exploring the Digital Nation" indicated only 59 percent of households in our state subscribe to a high-speed Internet service. That's among the lowest in the nation. We will not rehash the controversy surrounding the deployment of the $126.3 million to better connect this state, but it's important we help all of our residents better understand the importance of connectivity. West Virginia's economy is the world's economy and bridging the so called "digital divide" is just as important as laying a modern highway through our hills and valleys.

Completing Corridor H is necessary because it will ensure that our raw materials can get out more quickly and more efficiently, and it will afford easy passage into our state from large metropolitan areas such as Washington D.C., Baltimore and Northern Virginia.  Making certain state residents have access to reliable, high-speed Internet means just as much as any road.