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Do we really need Corridor H?

Figures in the Corridor H Environmental Impact Statement show that, except for a few congested spots, local traffic is far short of the 10,000 vehicles a day that highway engineers say would justify building a new four-lane road. Thus, without building Corridor H, the 20 year projected traffic volume on most of the existing roads in the corridor area would be less than 3,000 vehicles a day. Ninety per cent of the route would have less than 5,000 trips per day. Through traffic might use Corridor H, but this traffic would merely be diverted from existing east-west Interstates 64 and 68, neither of which is overcrowded.

Corridor H would be safer in some situations, but the Corridor design creates safety problems of its own, with two at-grade intersections every mile. Further, all the other highways in our regional network would still have safety needs as well. If West Virginia spends more than $300 million in state gas tax dollars to match federal funds to build Corridor H, where will the money come for all the needed work on other roads? Snow removal and other maintenance would be scheduled first on Corridor H, while local roads would deteriorate. Finally, the safest stretch of highway in our region, Route 55 from the W.Va. Line to Strasburg, VA, would end up being replaced by Corridor H if West Virginia politicians ever overcome Virginia opposition.




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