Expedite Completion

Once the Corridor H highway is completed in West Virginia and Virginia, it will open up enormous possibilities for economic development. As matters stand, however, that will not happen in the lifetimes of many of those who otherwise might benefit.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for a new section of the highway, from Davis in Tucker County to Scherr in Grant County, were held this week. Work has been underway for some time; the 20-mile section of roadway is to be completed later this year or early in 2014.

Once the Davis-to-Scherr leg is open for traffic, just three sections of Corridor H will remain uncompleted. Two are in West Virginia and the third goes from our state’s border to Interstate 81 in Virginia.

The economic benefits of Corridor H – especially involving tourism – are obvious. It already is paying dividends for the communities along the already-completed sections. Yet under the current schedule, the road will not be finished until 2036.

Yes, 2036.

That is absurd.

Federal officials should provide enough funding to complete the highway no later than 2020.