ROAD PATROL: U.S. Department of Transportation official discusses Corridor H funding

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KERENS, W.Va. – A federal highway administrator spoke Thursday about a federal grant awarded to the Corridor H project.

Nicole Nason, Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, discussed the $12 million awarded to the West Virginia Department of Transportation to construct 3.1 miles of grade and drain pavement improvements on Corridor H from US 219 to the WV 72 interchange.

The project will complete Segment 5 of the 15.5-mile Kerens to Parsons segment of the Appalachian Development Highway System’s Corridor H. Segment 5 includes this 3.1-mile segment and a Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant-funded 7.5-mile segment to create a 10.6 mile 4-lane expressway in Tucker County, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

The funding comes as part of a $906 million nationwide investment in America’s infrastructure through the department’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program, the DOT stated.

“We know there’s great need to improve connectivity in the whole area, so all of the improvements on Corridor H from U.S. 219 to the, uh, 72 interchange, are part of a much larger plan that West Virginia DOT has had and continues to have. And, we were glad to support it. Piece by piece, they’re improving better access to the entire Appalachian region, and infrastructure connectivity and improvement is a top priority of this administration’s,” said Nason.

The project supports economic vitality by reducing travel times and creating a more direct route from Kerens to Parsons, which facilitates greater access to the Appalachian region, the DOT explained. The project demonstrates innovation through design-build project delivery and statewide approval for general obligation bonds to finance road and bridge improvements.

Demand for INFRA grants far exceeded available funds, the DOT stated. The DOT evaluated 173 eligible applications from 47 states, as well as U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, which collectively requested approximately $7.4 billion in grant funds—more than eight times the funding available.

As required under the FAST Act, Congress will have 60 days to review the department’s proposed project awardees. After the 60-day review period, the department is free to begin obligating funding, according to the DOT.

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