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Corrected several already and appreciate your patience as we work through the rest.

Author Topic: Corridor D in West Virginia  (Read 3322 times)

Dirt Roads

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Corridor D in West Virginia
« on: August 01, 2021, 04:08:48 PM »

4.  It is not just in West Virginia where the difficult parts are left for last.
Yeah, I get that.  But West Virginia’s history of building its Interstates and Corridors is not really a function of that.  It is really a function of basic incompetence. 

Essentially, WV had the following tasks to complete:
I-64 west of Charleston
I-64 east of Beckley
I-70/470 (the world’s least necessary bypass)
I-77 north of Charleston
I-77 south of Charleston (also the central section of I-64) AKA WV Turnpike
Corridor D
Corridor E (I-68)
Corridor G
Corridor H
Corridor L
Corridor Q

Now after the most obvious ones which were done in correct order (77N, 64W, 81, 70) considering the populations at the time, the economic potential of the areas served, and  the traffic volumes then and projected, you really could not come up with a more illogical order to build these roads than what happened.  Relatively minor projects that served really small needs were finished two decades before roads of vastly greater importance and need.

This is really different from most any other state.  Look at old maps from the 60s and 70s for about anywhere and you see a logic progression of the most important to the least important.  Except in WV.

You know, I always thought that cpzilliacus point of pushing the most difficult/expensive pieces to the end was typical of WVDOH.  But SP Cook has painted this in a new light.  Yet when I think back to the 1960s and 1970s, it seems to me that the priority of regional development in West Virginia would have included Corridor D early on.  I've combined the Wheeling and Weirton/Steubenville MSAs and the Clarksburg/Fairmont/Mongantown "urban places" for simplicity:
  • Charleston (west to Huntington/Cincinnati)(north to Clarksburg/Pittsburgh)(north to Parkersburg/Akron/Cleveland)(south to Beckley/Bluefield/Charlotte)(west to Pt. Pleasant/Columbus)(east to Richmond)
  • Huntington (east to Charleston)(west to Cincinnati)(west to Lexington)(south to Pikeville)
  • Wheeling/Weirton (east to Pittsburgh)(west to Columbus)(northwest to Akron/Cleveland)
  • Clarksburg/Fairmont/Morgantown (north to Pittsburgh)(south to Charleston)(west to Parkersburg/Cincinnati)
So indeed, SPCook is right that the correct order was (77N, 64W, 81, 70).  Next should have been US-52W from Huntington to Cincinnati, which Ohio had no interest in.  Ditto for Wheeling to Akron/Cleveland.  Next comes 77S and US-35W (opening soon).  US-23 stayed on the Kentucky side.  It seems to me that Corridor D from Clarksburg to Parkersburg fit in sequence perfectly (started in 1970), and had the benefit of being low-hanging fruit (completed in 1975). 

The problem with completion of Corridor D was two-fold:  Ohio was sluggish getting its portion east of Jackson completed, and the Ohio River crossing was difficult/expensive. 



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