CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — When it is completed, Corridor-H will run from I-79 in Weston to I-81 in Strasburg, Virginia, and will ease access into Washington, DC. It is part of the old “Appalachian Highway System,” which has no new funding from Congress. Some lawmakers want to let states with unused “Appalachian Highway Funds” turn them over to states such as West Virginia where construction is still needed.
“For instance, Georgia has hundreds of millions of dollars but really their biggest problems are in the Atlanta area with congestion and other things that are not part of the system. So I am hoping it’s a clever way to get more money into completing Corridor H,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia.
States that give up their Appalachian Highway funds would be compensated with an equal number of new federal highway dollars. Backers say Corridor-H will open a remote section of West Virginia to economic development and tourism, especially with visitors from the Washington, DC area.
“That has been an impediment to growth in our economy, with the difficult terrain, the difficult aspects of getting to this beautiful state. So, the new funding stream from the federal government will be extremely helpful to open up and finish that Corridor H,” said State Sen. Mitch Carmichael, (R) Jackson – Senate President.
Earlier this year the state received another $100 million dollars to build out Corridor H, but that may only be a fraction of the final cost.
“Once completed Corridor-H should reduce travel times in and out of many locations in West Virginia. For example, taking a trip from the State Capitol in Charleston to the Nation’s Capitol, should be cut by 90 minutes,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.