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>>

  • Wider lens necessary for effective education

    Wider lens necessary for effective education

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 10:00:24 GMT
    We say it often, but if West Virginia is going to reach its enormous potential, we will need a dynamic, robust educational system that challenges and prepares our people for the rigors of life in the 21st century.
    We say it often, but if West Virginia is going to reach its enormous potential, we will need a dynamic, robust educational system that challenges and prepares our people for the rigors of life in the 21st century.
  • Can we be realistic on roads?

    Can we be realistic on roads?

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:00:54 GMT
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
  • Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Friday, July 11 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-07-11 14:46:55 GMT
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.

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.