Improving West Virginia’s infrastructure is one of my top priorities.

No project is more important to our state’s future than completing Corridor H. Once finished, that four-lane highway will link Interstate 79 with the Washington, D.C. area, creating tremendous opportunities for economic growth.

Building a road in West Virginia is expensive and takes time, but the benefits to our state are well worth the costs. That is why I champion federal funding for Corridor H at every possible turn.

Today, I will join West Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Byrd White to examine progress on the road in Randolph and Tucker counties.

My senior role on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee is critical to securing West Virginia’s future infrastructure funding and completing Corridor H.

There are two distinct ways that federal highway dollars are sent to states: 

  1. Discretionary grants issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
  2. Formula funding provided by the federal government to state departments of transportation.

I am one of the lead sponsors of America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act that has passed the EPW Committee with unanimous bipartisan support. This legislation would increase West Virginia’s highway formula dollars by $50 million in the first year alone. Given the significant role that these formula dollars play in both highway maintenance and construction, getting the bill passed and increasing West Virginia’s allocation is critical to advancing Corridor H.

America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act also includes language I authored that will free up more funding for Appalachian Development Highway System projects like Corridor H.

Discretionary grants from DOT are also important to financing major projects. But, from 2013 through November 2018, West Virginia received only $10 million in discretionary federal grant funds for roads and bridges.

Additionally, not a single dollar of federal discretionary grant money between 2010 and November 2018 went to Corridor H.

I became chairman of the Senate EPW Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure following the November 2018 election with the goal of bringing more discretionary highway funding to our state and moving Corridor H forward.

Since December 2018, I have secured $132 million in these discretionary highway grants for Corridor H through my positon as chairman and in partnership with President Trump’s administration. Overall, West Virginia has received $181.4 million in discretionary highway grants over the past 20 months; more than 18 times the amount we received over the prior five years.

The Roads to Prosperity program, proposed by Governor Jim Justice and supported by West Virginia voters provided vital state funding for Corridor H as well.

I appreciate the governor’s commitment to investing in transportation projects across our state.

Working with President Trump, Governor Justice, and their administrations, I will continue striving to maximize federal highway dollars to West Virginia to improve our roads and bridges and finish Corridor H.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) is chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure. She is also a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.