- Associated Press - Monday, October 20, 2014

WESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Another section of Corridor H in West Virginia is expected to open by Thanksgiving, and another 4-mile segment could open by the end of th year.

The first 1.5-mile segment is near the connector to W.Va. Route 32 and W.Va. Route 93 in the Mount Storm area. Its completion will leave 4 miles of highway to be built in this section, said Tommy Collins, Corridor H coordinator and area engineer.

“The major construction activities on this portion are complete as well, and we are optimistic to have it open by the end of the year as well,” Collins told The Exponent Telegram (http://bit.ly/1wqvhN6 ).

“However, realistically, we are looking at early spring. Major factors contributing to not opening this year is that a few of the final activities to complete in this section are weather sensitive,” Collins said.

Construction of the highway is ahead of schedule and 75 percent of it is completed, said Robbie Morris, Corridor H Authority president and Randolph County Development Authority executive director.

Corridor H is the only section of the Appalachian Corridor system that hasn’t been finished. When it is completed, it will connect Interstate 79 near Weston with the junction of Interstates 81 and 66 in Front Royal, Virginia.

An economic study released in October 2013 said West Virginia’s economy would receive $1.25 billion in new revenue and the state would gain an uninterrupted link to the Inland Port in Front Royal if Corridor H’s completion was accelerated. The study was conducted by RQA Group for the Corridor H Authority.

“It’s just economic development all along the route and throughout the regions, not only in West Virginia, but Virginia as well. So they’re on board now,” Morris told the newspaper.

Virginia’s portion of the highway is expected to be completed around 2025 or 2026, he said.

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Information from: The Exponent Telegram, http://www.theet.com

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