CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio will each be receiving a portion of funds the U.S. Department of Transportation has allocated for the Appalachian Development Highway System.
The U.S. Department of Transportation and President Joe Biden announced today, Jan. 24, the overall $1.2 billion throughout the five years of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law would go toward “the timely completion of designated corridors” in 11 states throughout the Appalachian region. $246 million of that funding will be available to the states for Fiscal Year 2022.
Through the ADHS Fiscal Year 2022 funding, West Virginia will receive $37,335,171; Ohio will get $18,530,495; and Kentucky will be receiving $13,593,036.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the annual funding for the ADHS will increase 146% compared to Fiscal Year 2021 under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Officials say this funding will spur economic growth throughout the Appalachian region.
“From big cities to small towns, every American community deserves reliable access to our transportation system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we now have historic resources to improve transportation and create jobs for people in Appalachia, and around the country.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation says the ADHS was initiated in 1965 because “Appalachia was underserved by the interstate highway system” and was sometimes bypassed because of the rugged terrain in the region. The system created a network of 33 distinct corridors that span approximately 3,000 miles from New York State to northern Mississippi and link the region to interstates.
“Since ARC’s founding in 1965, one of its first priorities was to coordinate construction of a highway system that would provide improved access to all that the region has to offer,” said Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Thanks to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re moving closer to completing the Appalachian Development Highway System to better connect businesses within the region to domestic and international markets. In addition, it is providing residents with safe and reliable access to jobs, education, health care, social services, and recreation.”
Officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation said more than 85% of the ADHS is complete, and they expect 100% to be complete and open to traffic by 2040.
“Ensuring rural regions are connected to the rest of America’s cities and towns is key to our nation’s economic success,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said. “That’s why releasing the dedicated funding that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided for the Appalachian Development Highway System is a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration.”
Construction of the ADS has also increased economic activity, including job creation and business expansion throughout the region while saving approximately 231 million hours of travel time each year, as well as improving travel times for commuters and truckers.
The state’s receiving funding this year include:
- Alabama: $73,875,000
- Georgia: $13,631,405
- Kentucky: $13,593,036
- Maryland: $11,072,956
- Mississippi: $10,285,444
- North Carolina: $16,149,326
- Ohio: $18,530,495
- Pennsylvania: $17,084,430
- Tennessee: $14,730,576
- Virginia: $19,962,161
- West Virginia: $37,335,171