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Grant County section of Corridor H opens this week

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Supporters of the long-awaited Corridor H are celebrating a small success this week.

A new section of the road, between Knobley Road and Scherr in Grant County, opened this week. Construction on the miles toward Davis continues, and it will make the road 75 percent completed within West Virginia, leaving only a small section to the Virginia border to remain.

"This is one of many small sections of Corridor H that will be opening over the coming months," Robert C. Byrd Corridor H Highway Authority Chairman Steve Foster said in a news release. "The economic benefits of this highway will be in the billions and affect the lives of tens of thousands of people when it is completed."

Corridor H is one of many highways within the Appalachian Development Highway System, launched in the 1960s. Congress passed a surface transportation bill earlier this year that will require states within the Appalachian Development Highway System to make plans within one year for remaining roads within the system to be built.

"In July, the Virginia Port Authority educated exporters about the connection of Corridor H to the Virginia Port System at Front Royal, Virginia, and then by rail to Norfolk," Foster said. "And with Norfolk being the only deep water port that Asian ships passing through the newly enlarged Panama Canal will be able to dock, we will see huge benefits for exporting West Virginia goods."

Congress also designated Corridor H as a national priority earlier this year, and the funding formula for construction was changed from 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent state funds to 100 federal funds.