Congress awards $40 million for 2 major WV transportation projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. - $40 million have been approved by Congress to fund two major transportation projects in West Virginia, including Corridor H in Tucker County. 

The $40 million have been provided through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grants. This is the first BUILD Grant that was awarded to West Virginia since 2014. 

One of the projects funded through this grant is the construction of approximately ten miles of a four-lane expressway in Tucker County as part of the Application Development Highway System.  This roadway is a portion of what is known as Corridor H.

The completion of this section of Corridor H between Kerens and Parsons will provide residents and visitors to the state easier access and safer roads by linking east-central West Virginia to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and points north and south along Interstate 81. 

The Appalachian Regional Commission has said it has found that while much of east-central West Virginia has well-regarded schools, workforce and natural resources, the main issue holding the region back is its accessibility. The Appalachian Regional Commission said that the completion of Corridor H would help solve that problem. 

Both Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Senator Joe Manchin were involved in the approval of the BUILD Grant. 

“From my first day in the Senate, I have advocated for Corridor H and similar projects that will greatly improve our transportation infrastructure, and I’m glad my conversations with Transportation Secretary Chao have proved beneficial to West Virginia.  I will continue working to help deliver similar resources,” Senator Capito said. 

The second project to be supported by this grant is a bypass around Berkley Springs that includes construction of the Fairview Connector.  $20 million will be awarded to each project. 

“I have personally discussed the need for BUILD Grant infrastructure funding with Secretary Chao and stressed to her the vital need to West Virginia.  I was very disturbed by the lack of funding within this program for Appalachia last year.  I continue to believe that the construction of transportation infrastructure can spur economic development in our state, which is why I have worked with the Department of Transportation to encourage them to make changes to this critical program, and I am happy to see that West Virginia is reaping those benefits today. I will continue to push for increased funding to complete Corridor H and the Appalachian Highway Development System,” Senator Joe Manchin said.

By:  Sam Haines
Source: WBOY