CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – U.S. Senators announced funds to complete the last section of the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS).
The $37,335,171 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will fund the completion of Corridor H, a road that will one day go from Lewis county all the way to the Virginia border.
Over the next five years, 200 million dollars will go to complete this infrastructure project. The $37 million is only a portion of the funding for Corridor H.
“With the opening of the corridor, we believe that even some of those businesses and things may choose to migrate into West Virginia where there’s a lot more land available and people enjoy the outdoor living type that West Virginia offers,” said Greg Bailey, Division of Highways Chief Engineer of Operations.
U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, Shelly Moore Capito, and Representative David McKinley have supported the completion of Corridor H to connect West Virginia to the rest of the nation, increasing tourism and hopefully bringing new jobs.
“Finally completing Corridor H is an overdue step to connect West Virginia to the rest of the region and will improve the quality of life for families, bring in new jobs, and strengthen tourism,” said Representative McKinley. He continued, “We know that businesses looking to make an investment in a state expect safe roads and bridges, clean water and reliable broadband. The $6 billion in infrastructure funding coming to West Virginia is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to modernize hard infrastructure and ensure our state remains competitive for future economic opportunities. This funding for the Appalachian Development Highway System is an important down payment towards that.”
According to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), 91.1 percent of the ADHS is completed or under construction, with only 276 miles left to go. ARC estimates that completion of the ADHS would create 47,000 jobs and facilitate billions more in goods and services throughout Appalachia. Every $1 invested in the ADHS has an estimated return of $7.10.
As of Jan. 25, West Virginia has one more ADHS project left to complete, Corridor H, which will connect I-79 and I-81 along U.S. 33 and bring benefits to the region stretching from Weston, Buckhannon, Elkins, Canaan Valley and Wardensville.
The work by Congress for this project began in 1965, and just over 15 miles of Corridor H remains over some of the most difficult and mountainous terrain along the route.