More than a quarter billion dollars in funding was thrown at Corridor H Friday to push along work in Tucker County.
In separate announcements, the state’s Division of Highways awarded a $175.6 million contract for the design, grading and drainage work of the final 4.13 miles between Kerens and Route 72 in Parsons.
Within hours, West Virginia’s 2 U.S. senators announced that $100 million in federal funds will finance construction of an interchange for Corridor H and Route 72 at Parsons, along with a bridge crossing the Cheat River and another 4.6 miles of Corridor H heading from Parsons east toward Thomas.
The monetary jump start leaves 3 sections of Corridor H unfinished.
• 13 miles between the West Virginia state line and Interstate 81 at Strasburg, Va.;
• 6 miles from the state line west to Wardensville; and
• 10 miles connecting Parsons to Davis, which has been described as the most difficult section.
“The topography going over Backbone Mountain is significant,” Robbie Morris, president of the Corridor H Authority, told MetroNews this week.
“You also have environmental constraints there that we have not had on other sections of the highway,” he said. “You have cultural and historical things that you need to take into consideration as well.”
Uncertainty about funding, though, has been a main reason why design work was not yet underway on the Parsons-to-Davis stretch.
On the east end, small progress is being made.
Pre-engineering work began on the Wardensville side of Corridor H this month, Morris said, and discussions are taking place about Virginia’s portion.
Morris said that continued prioritization out of Charleston and more help from Washington could see the majority of Corridor H completed within 10 years. o