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Instead of a 100-Mile Four-Lane, We Suggest:
a series of improvements to portions of existing two-lane roads based on the needs of projected traffic.

Goal: To ensure useful transportation which preserves the beauty and history of our area for residents and visitors.

Where? Existing east-west highways--Routes 33, 219, 28, 50 and 55-- as well as north-south routes such as 220 and part of 42, can be improved for a better, safer travel network. Some of these improvements may be heavy, three or four-lane sections in areas of high traffic or dangerous mountains. Most can be spot improvements to existing two-lane roads.

How? There is no law that Appalachian Corridors have to be all four lanes, especially in areas of light traffic such as ours. Also, state tax dollars can match other federal funds available for improving existing two lane roads. Since the entire road does not have to meet the standards used to build brand new roads, the money can go much further.

Light Improvements: Where practical, widen shoulders to 3 feet, straighten bad curves, add passing lanes and scenic pulloffs. Flexible federal standards allow variation in improvements so as not to interfere with existing houses, businesses, historic and scenic places.

Heavy Improvements: On roads projected for higher traffic, additional improvements include reroutings and three to four-lane sections.

How Will "Safe & Scenic" Improvements to our Road Network, An Alternative to Corridor H, Help You and Help Our Area?

Make ALL our main roads safer. While no road design prevents all accidents, increasing the width of each lane on two lane rural roads reduces accidents dramatically. Four-lane corridor roads lower the possibility of head on collisions, their at-grade intersections pose a new danger. Since Corridor H west of Elkins (US 33) opened in 1994, its intersection with US 250 has been the site of numerous accidents, some fatal.

Make traffic flow smoother. Passing lanes and pulloff areas on ALL our main highways would help traffic flow more smoothly for commuters, truckers, and tourists. This would accomplish the purpose of Corridor H: a consistent travel speed of 50 miles per hour. It would save travel time throughout the highlands, east-west or north-south.

Help truckers by providing decent main roads for a variety of short hauls. Heavy improvements to roads, including three and four-lane sections, could be built where needed in congested areas, such as U.S. 50 around Romney, the north end of Elkins, and Route 55-28/220 from Petersburg to Moorefield. On mountains like South Branch on Route 55 between Baker and Moorefield, and Route 42 between Scherr and Bismarck--short stretches of heavy improvements can change the grade and curvature to help all vehicles. Since most long haul truckers use I-68 and I-64, it is not necessary to build 100 miles of new four-lane.

Cost less money while spreading the road improvements and benefits into several counties.

Conserve and show off our scenic spots Pulloff areas highlighting places like Corricks Ford, Old Fields battlefields, the Blackwater Canyon trail, and Hanging Rock would make these sites more available from the main roads we travel every day. Add wider paved shoulders for vehicle safety and also for bicyclists who currently find main highways too dangerous.

Towns for Townspeople, Farms for Farmers, Forests for Wildlife. By carefully improving roads in a way that makes each of our towns more livable and enjoyable for people, we leave the forests for trees, plants and wildlife, and the farms for farmers. We can grow a diverse, dispersed economy that fits our country homeland.

Consistent with Virginia: A Byway to Somewhere. Virginia has refused to build its 14 miles of Corridor H connecting to I-81, citing the costs of construction and of damage to the historic rural area. Thus the proposed four-lane Corridor H would end at the edge of Wardensville, earning it the name "Road to Nowhere." With "Safe and Scenic" modest improvements on Route 55 from Baker through Wardensville to the Virginia line, West Virginia could continue Virginia's scenic byway and benefit tourists and commuters.



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