PARSONS, W.Va. (WBOY) — The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) Friday shared its latest designs for the Corridor H Parsons to Davis section.
The designs show a nine-mile, four-lane corridor that stretches from just east of Parsons and over Backbone Mountain to connect with the existing portion of Corridor H at Davis.
It also includes a relocation of WV 32 to serve as a truck bypass route for the Town of Thomas, according to a WVDOH press release.
The four-lane section of Corridor H will pass under WV 32, and the interchange was moved to the east to include a service road that the WVDOH said will preserve “the natural flow to the towns of Thomas and Davis” and “reduce the footprint for sound and viewshed in the area.”
This comes after residents raised concerns that building Corridor H along the originally planned route could diminish both the Blackwater Canyon Historic area’s natural beauty and appeal to tourists. An online petition against that route surpassed 5,000 signatures.
The WVDOH said it will build a 1000’ long steel arch bridge over the North Fork of the Blackwater River, as well as a planned overlook with an informational site on the history of the area on the Southeast end of the bridge near Douglas Falls.
The design also includes an interchange with no left turns onto the corridor by Tucker County High School for buses and students entering and exiting the grounds, which the WVDOH said will reduce traffic backups and accidents.
Construction will begin in 2024 and, at this time, is expected to be complete in 2030, according to the WVDOH.