Supporters of Corridor H got an unexpected boost this week with the release of a State of Virginia highway construction schedule that lists a 2026 completion date for Corridor H in Virginia.
The Appalachian Regional Commission, in its Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) 2013 Completion Plan Report, targets September 2026 as the finish time for the 14.4 miles of highway that will run from the West Virginia line to Interstate 81 at Strasburg, VA. The Appalachian Regional Commission is the authority that oversees ADHS construction. Ninety percent of the highway is located in West Virginia, with 10 percent in Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Highways supplied the Corridor H target date for the ADHS report.
“This is fantastic news,” said Corridor H Authority President Steve Foster. “In West Virginia, we’re trying every way possible to get all construction underway as soon as possible. One of our biggest stumbling blocks in the past has been the perception that Corridor H was not in Virginia’s radar.”
“Well, it’s certainly on Virginia’s radar,” Foster said. “And we couldn’t be more pleased.”
The 2013 Completion Reports states: “Virginia’s portion of Corridor H, which runs from the West Virginia state line to I-81 at Strasburg, VA, has 14.4 miles remaining to be completed. Virginia’s estimated completion date for the corridor is September 2026.”
West Virginia shares two ADHS construction projects with Virginia: Corridor H and Corridor Q, a highway that runs from the Kentucky state line and dips into West Virginia en route to Christiansburg, VA. Corridor Q’s completion date is listed as September 2021.
“We have two shared projects with the state of Virginia, and both have Virginia completion dates in the foreseeable future,” Foster said.
Construction has been active on Corridor H during the past three years. U.S. Senator (then-West Virginia Governor) Joe Manchin announced the completion of one major section of highway, as well as an aggressive financing plan that allowed construction to begin on significant portions of the highway between Davis and Moorefield. As a result, 75 percent of Corridor H in West Virginia will be completed by the end of 2013.
Subsequent plans call for another section of highway to be completed in the next three years, which would increase the amount of finished highway to 87 percent.
In addition to increasing travel safety and allowing easier access to and from Eastern West Virginia’s tourist destinations, Corridor H will offer an uninterrupted link from West Virginia to the Inland Port in Front Royal, Virginia. From the Inland Port, double-stacked rail containers make their way to the Port of Norfolk, one of the world’s busiest and deepest ports. The link will dramatically increase West Virginia export potential.