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Author Topic: Corridor H  (Read 436198 times)

machpost

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1275 on: July 31, 2021, 02:34:40 PM »

Thomas and Davis seem to be propped up by ski areas and Blackwater Falls visitors, so it's doubtful those two small towns will get a boom.

Thomas and Davis are already booming, as Corridor H has made these towns much more accessible to the DC area. Tourism that used to be much more seasonal has become a year-round industry. It's a lot harder to get a hotel room for the weekend there than it was a decade ago, and housing prices have skyrocketed as people from the DC area have bought up a lot of existing stock as vacation homes and/or rentals. And with the Virgin Hyperloop certification center coming to the area, I'm hearing that the population there could possibly double or triple in the coming years. So US 48 has become very important to these communities in a very short time.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1276 on: July 31, 2021, 09:07:27 PM »


Elkins was and is the primary town in the Potomac Highlands area. The development along US 219/US 250 has nothing to do with Corridor H.

Elkins is west of the Eastern Continental Divide.  It is not in the Potomac drainage. 

Tucker, Randolph, and Pocahontas Counties are traditionally grouped as part of the Potomac Highlands even though little to none of them is in the Potomac River watershed.
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hbelkins

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1277 on: July 31, 2021, 09:33:52 PM »

I think I've noted this before, but more and more mapping services and GPS units are suggesting Corridor H/I-66 as the preferred route from this area to the DC region, over I-79/I-68 and I-64/I-81/I-66. I expect that to increase as more segments of H are completed. Right now, with the unfinished segments as they are, I'd still rather take US 48 than either I-68 or I-64.

Traffic patterns from this region to DC have really morphed over the years. I know I've mentioned working with Malcolm "Mac" Kilduff before. He took a couple of trips annually back to DC. He originally used KY 15, US 119, US 23, and Alternate US 58 to access I-81 at Abingdon. When enough of the future routing of I-68 was complete, back in that route's US 48 days, he started taking that route. I don't know if he ever used the WV Turnpike and I-64 when the route was finished between Beckley and Sam Black Church or not.

On my family's vacation to DC in the early 1980s, we used the northern route. I don't think the four-lane was finished past Cumberland, but it still wasn't a bad route even then.


Elkins was and is the primary town in the Potomac Highlands area. The development along US 219/US 250 has nothing to do with Corridor H.

Elkins is west of the Eastern Continental Divide.  It is not in the Potomac drainage. 

Tucker, Randolph, and Pocahontas Counties are traditionally grouped as part of the Potomac Highlands even though little to none of them is in the Potomac River watershed.

Tourism groupings often make little sense. For years, Kentucky's tourism books had Powell and Wolfe counties, which are adjacent and both in the Red River Gorge area, in separate regions. There was even a notation acknowledging that. Seems like it would have been easier and made more sense for them to just move one the counties to a more appropriate region.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1278 on: July 31, 2021, 09:44:17 PM »

I haven’t paid attention to Corridor H that much, but looking at a map, it sort of looks like an eastward continuation of the OH 32 Corridor D to DC. This seems like a nice alternative routing from Cincinnati to DC to I-70, and I might try it out next time going to DC.
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hbelkins

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1279 on: July 31, 2021, 10:08:26 PM »

I haven’t paid attention to Corridor H that much, but looking at a map, it sort of looks like an eastward continuation of the OH 32 Corridor D to DC. This seems like a nice alternative routing from Cincinnati to DC to I-70, and I might try it out next time going to DC.

It would be worth it to avoid the tolls on the PA Turnpike and Breezewood. (Presuming your route is 71-70-270).
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1280 on: August 01, 2021, 01:39:36 AM »

I haven’t paid attention to Corridor H that much, but looking at a map, it sort of looks like an eastward continuation of the OH 32 Corridor D to DC. This seems like a nice alternative routing from Cincinnati to DC to I-70, and I might try it out next time going to DC.

But U.S. 50 east of I-79 (not part of Corridor D) has a lot of sharp curves and steep grades.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1281 on: August 01, 2021, 02:08:31 AM »

I haven’t paid attention to Corridor H that much, but looking at a map, it sort of looks like an eastward continuation of the OH 32 Corridor D to DC. This seems like a nice alternative routing from Cincinnati to DC to I-70, and I might try it out next time going to DC.

But U.S. 50 east of I-79 (not part of Corridor D) has a lot of sharp curves and steep grades.

Something tells me such a trip would involve a southbound jog on I-79 from Clarksburg to Weston then east on Corridor H rather than continuing east on US 50.  The latter is indeed a bit of a PITA to drive; although necessary for railfanning the old B & O "coal conduit" from Grafton to Cumberland, MD. 
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1282 on: August 01, 2021, 09:53:08 AM »

I haven’t paid attention to Corridor H that much, but looking at a map, it sort of looks like an eastward continuation of the OH 32 Corridor D to DC. This seems like a nice alternative routing from Cincinnati to DC to I-70, and I might try it out next time going to DC.

But U.S. 50 east of I-79 (not part of Corridor D) has a lot of sharp curves and steep grades.

Something tells me such a trip would involve a southbound jog on I-79 from Clarksburg to Weston then east on Corridor H rather than continuing east on US 50.  The latter is indeed a bit of a PITA to drive; although necessary for railfanning the old B & O "coal conduit" from Grafton to Cumberland, MD. 

US 50 to US 250 to Corridor H isn't bad as US 250 was rebuilt across much of Barbour County and some of Taylor County in the 1960s, but taking I-79 to Weston would still be preferable.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1283 on: August 01, 2021, 11:08:16 AM »

Tucker, Randolph, and Pocahontas Counties are traditionally grouped as part of the Potomac Highlands even though little to none of them is in the Potomac River watershed.

Isn't the nearly all of the border between Tucker County and Grant County also the Eastern Continental Divide?  With almost all of Tucker County being on the Mississippi River side of the divide?
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Bitmapped

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1284 on: August 01, 2021, 11:46:02 AM »

Tucker, Randolph, and Pocahontas Counties are traditionally grouped as part of the Potomac Highlands even though little to none of them is in the Potomac River watershed.

Isn't the nearly all of the border between Tucker County and Grant County also the Eastern Continental Divide?  With almost all of Tucker County being on the Mississippi River side of the divide?

The source of the North Branch Potomac River is at the intersection of Preston, Tucker, and Grant counties at the site of the Fairfax Stone. The North Branch heads west and then north in Tucker County from the Fairfax Stone, then east through Preston before hitting the corner of Garrett County where it becomes the MD/WV state line. On a small part of Preston and Tucker counties is in the Potomac watershed.

Large portions of the eastern borders of Tucker, Randolph, and Pocahontas Counties are on the Eastern Continental Divide.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1285 on: August 01, 2021, 01:49:34 PM »

I think I've noted this before, but more and more mapping services and GPS units are suggesting Corridor H/I-66 as the preferred route from this area to the DC region, over I-79/I-68 and I-64/I-81/I-66. I expect that to increase as more segments of H are completed. Right now, with the unfinished segments as they are, I'd still rather take US 48 than either I-68 or I-64.

Traffic patterns from this region to DC have really morphed over the years. I know I've mentioned working with Malcolm "Mac" Kilduff before. He took a couple of trips annually back to DC. He originally used KY 15, US 119, US 23, and Alternate US 58 to access I-81 at Abingdon. When enough of the future routing of I-68 was complete, back in that route's US 48 days, he started taking that route. I don't know if he ever used the WV Turnpike and I-64 when the route was finished between Beckley and Sam Black Church or not.

On my family's vacation to DC in the early 1980s, we used the northern route. I don't think the four-lane was finished past Cumberland, but it still wasn't a bad route even then.

I understand the interest in Kentucky (and the western part of West Virginia where I grew up) in a better route to our nations capital district, but there has been such a great need since rail travel waned in the 1940s to connect the Eastern Panhandle with the state's capital.  It's perhaps less of an issue today, but back in my day the only place to get motor vehicle license tags was at the State Capitol Complex.  The ADHS process of building a "fourlane road" has sidetracked the main goal of building a better route across the mountains where a two lane road with truck lanes upgrade would have suffiiced back in the 1960s.  It's sad that I will never see a day where it makes any sense to drive this entirely instate (even though I've done it instate many times).
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hbelkins

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1286 on: August 01, 2021, 04:25:02 PM »

I understand the interest in Kentucky (and the western part of West Virginia where I grew up) in a better route to our nations capital district, but there has been such a great need since rail travel waned in the 1940s to connect the Eastern Panhandle with the state's capital.  It's perhaps less of an issue today, but back in my day the only place to get motor vehicle license tags was at the State Capitol Complex.  The ADHS process of building a "fourlane road" has sidetracked the main goal of building a better route across the mountains where a two lane road with truck lanes upgrade would have suffiiced back in the 1960s.  It's sad that I will never see a day where it makes any sense to drive this entirely instate (even though I've done it instate many times).

Yikes. You had to drive all the way to Charleston from Berkeley Springs, Martinsburg, or Charles Town to get a license plate?

Of course, the only in-state route connecting the eastern panhandle to the rest of the state is WV 9, which would cost a fortune to upgrade. And then, you'd have to improve WV 29 to tie it in to Corridor H for the all in-state connection.

My understanding is that eastern panhandle traffic going to Charleston uses I-68 through Maryland. Would that traffic switch to Corridor H if it was completed, at least as far east as Wardensville and Virginia's section remaining unbuilt?
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1287 on: August 01, 2021, 04:45:34 PM »

I haven’t paid attention to Corridor H that much, but looking at a map, it sort of looks like an eastward continuation of the OH 32 Corridor D to DC. This seems like a nice alternative routing from Cincinnati to DC to I-70, and I might try it out next time going to DC.

But U.S. 50 east of I-79 (not part of Corridor D) has a lot of sharp curves and steep grades.


Note that Google shows an alternative routing using CR 25 from US 48-219 to make a straight line from Davis to WV 38 them over via WV 57 that is a couple minutes faster than using WV 42 to US 50.  WV 38/57 is nowhere near as bad as US 50 for curves.

Weather permitting I am going to try the CR 25 routing next weekend to see how it is.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1288 on: August 01, 2021, 06:45:37 PM »

Yikes. You had to drive all the way to Charleston from Berkeley Springs, Martinsburg, or Charles Town to get a license plate?

I doubt anyone ever did.  We always mailed in the forms, but one of my early memories is going to the Transportation Building at the State Capitol when my father went to get a form from the racks outside the DMV Office.  Strangely enough, the first DMV Office outside of Charleston was at the Teays Valley exit and incorrectly listed as my hometown of Scott Depot.  It's still there, located in Putnam Village just a few doors down from the Teays post office.  That's in the area where Hurricane addresses are along the east side of WV-34, Winfield addresses are on the west side of WV-34, and Scott Depot addresses are on the south side of I-64.  The original Teays Depot post office was along the railroad about two miles southwest of there.

Of course, the only in-state route connecting the eastern panhandle to the rest of the state is WV 9, which would cost a fortune to upgrade. And then, you'd have to improve WV 29 to tie it in to Corridor H for the all in-state connection.

My understanding is that eastern panhandle traffic going to Charleston uses I-68 through Maryland. Would that traffic switch to Corridor H if it was completed, at least as far east as Wardensville and Virginia's section remaining unbuilt?

Amazingly, the I-64/I-81 route to Martinsville is only 15 miles longer but takes about an hour longer.  I do think that more folks will take Corridor H over to I-79 just because of the tremendous scenery, even if the route is longer.  Regarding WV-9 versus VA-55 (US-48), I wonder if old-timers will recall the out-of-state route connecting the two pieces of WV-45 across northern Frederick County.  Virginia never did acknowledge that WV-45 was a big deal for the Eastern Panhandle and West Virginia finally gave up getting a through route across Virginia by 1974.
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Bitmapped

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1289 on: August 01, 2021, 06:59:10 PM »

I think I've noted this before, but more and more mapping services and GPS units are suggesting Corridor H/I-66 as the preferred route from this area to the DC region, over I-79/I-68 and I-64/I-81/I-66. I expect that to increase as more segments of H are completed. Right now, with the unfinished segments as they are, I'd still rather take US 48 than either I-68 or I-64.

Traffic patterns from this region to DC have really morphed over the years. I know I've mentioned working with Malcolm "Mac" Kilduff before. He took a couple of trips annually back to DC. He originally used KY 15, US 119, US 23, and Alternate US 58 to access I-81 at Abingdon. When enough of the future routing of I-68 was complete, back in that route's US 48 days, he started taking that route. I don't know if he ever used the WV Turnpike and I-64 when the route was finished between Beckley and Sam Black Church or not.

On my family's vacation to DC in the early 1980s, we used the northern route. I don't think the four-lane was finished past Cumberland, but it still wasn't a bad route even then.
The ADHS process of building a "fourlane road" has sidetracked the main goal of building a better route across the mountains where a two lane road with truck lanes upgrade would have suffiiced back in the 1960s.  It's sad that I will never see a day where it makes any sense to drive this entirely instate (even though I've done it instate many times).

You've hit on an important point here - WV has become obsessed with building new 4-lane alignments to the point that there haven't been many (any?) significant high speed 2-lane alignments built since the 1960s. (Excluding Corridor L, which was widened, and the maybe someday 4-lane part of the King Coal Highway.) The "Roads to Prosperity" program includes a 2-lane relocation of the Scott Miller Hill section of US 33 west of Spencer and, as far as I can think, that will be the first major new 2-lane construction in decades.

At this point, nearly every intercity corridor in WV that has the traffic counts to justify four lanes has been four-laned. A number of corridors remain, like Summersville to Sam Black Church, Clay to I-79, and Marlinton to Lewisburg, where an improved 2-lane with passing zones and/or climbing lanes would make a tremendous difference in connectivity.
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hbelkins

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1290 on: August 01, 2021, 09:17:05 PM »

Will we ever see significant improvements to the WV 2 corridor, or will West Virginia just let Ohio handle that via OH 7?

Moundsville to Chester is a slog on the east side of the river, but is much better on the Buckeye side.

On my last major trip along that corridor, I was trying to make the best possible time to my overnight destination in western Pennsylvania. I took WV 2 all the way to St. Marys, then crossed over and used OH 7 the rest of the way, especially since I was going to have to cross the river to East Liverpool anyway.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1291 on: August 01, 2021, 10:48:22 PM »

West Virginia had vastly improved their old routes with higher speed two-lanes in the 1950s and 1960s. WV 93 (replaced with US 48) and WV 28 come to mind, along with parts of WV 92 north of White Sulphur Springs and WV 39 east of Richwood. I wish the state would focus on improving these routes versus investing in new-terrain corridors. Not everything needs to be 65 MPH highways blasted through mountains.

As for WV 2, I know WVDOH is working to move the highway along the hillside slope north of New Martinsville. That corridor has a lot of plant traffic.

1995hoo

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1292 on: August 02, 2021, 08:48:00 AM »

I haven’t paid attention to Corridor H that much, but looking at a map, it sort of looks like an eastward continuation of the OH 32 Corridor D to DC. This seems like a nice alternative routing from Cincinnati to DC to I-70, and I might try it out next time going to DC.

My wife grew up in Dayton and I've used the Corridor H/Corridor D combination several times for the trip back and forth. I much prefer it to the boring I-70 route, although there's no denying that the segment from Davis to Kerens slows things down a little. We use I-79 to connect between the two, as suggested in another reply. On our most recent trip west (last October), instead of the Corridor D part we took I-79 south to Charleston and connected to US-35. That was a very nice way to go, and when West Virginia finishes the four-laning on US-35 it'll be even better. I suspect for travel to or from Cincinnati that route might be marginally faster than the Corridor D route.

The thing that's frustrating about Virginia not showing much interest in upgrading its portion of the Corridor H route is that there's just enough traffic between Wardensville and I-81 to make passing rather difficult if you get stuck in a line of cars behind a slowpoke.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1293 on: August 02, 2021, 09:47:55 AM »

Yikes. You had to drive all the way to Charleston from Berkeley Springs, Martinsburg, or Charles Town to get a license plate?

I doubt anyone ever did.  We always mailed in the forms, but one of my early memories is going to the Transportation Building at the State Capitol when my father went to get a form from the racks outside the DMV Office.  Strangely enough, the first DMV Office outside of Charleston was at the Teays Valley exit and incorrectly listed as my hometown of Scott Depot.  It's still there, located in Putnam Village just a few doors down from the Teays post office.  That's in the area where Hurricane addresses are along the east side of WV-34, Winfield addresses are on the west side of WV-34, and Scott Depot addresses are on the south side of I-64.  The original Teays Depot post office was along the railroad about two miles southwest of there.


As to the DMV, if you go back long enough every type of plate had a month where they all expired.  IIRC, cars were July, trucks (then a separate category) were February and so on.  That was back when you got a new plate every year, and the DMV charged extra for postage.  There is an old photo in the state archive of people lined up as far as the eye can see in front of the DMV building to get plates.

Every town had somebody who was a “tag agent” which was just some guy who knew the ins and outs of the DMV and most boasted “daily trips to Charleston” (no mean feat in those days) who would take care of complex transactions, for a fee.   

The state switched to “permanent” plates in the early 70s for cars, and did away with trucks as a different category a few years later; and let the sheriffs in on renewals a few years later.  Then it opened DMV branches all over the state in the 1990s, which pretty much killed the tag agents.

The reason the only branch office was the one in Putnam County, for many decades, was that it had parking, while Charleston did not, and it was a local call to Charleston.  It is odd that the only branch was just 20 miles from HQ.  BTW, it was, and still is, called the “Winfield branch” because Exit 39 used to be labeled “Winfield” before the new US 35 was built.   The state built a branch in Martinsburg in the late 80s and then the current system of 24 branches across the state was brought in in the late 90s.

BTW, before the branch system, you got your DL photo at the State Police office, unless you lived in Charleston, where you went to the DMV.  The background sheet was yellow, but in Charleston they had a blue one they would pull down and use for the politicians and insiders.  Which indicated someone who was immune to the speeding ticket random tax.  While they don’t do it anymore “blue back” is still WV cop lingo for a connected person.

As to Hurricane-Scott Depot-Teays Valley-Winfield, the Post Office, the phone company (back when that mattered), school board, and business all have different opinions of which place was where.  There are places will all combinations such as a Scott Depot phone number, Hurricane address, etc.  The area around Exit 39 has Hurricane addresses, Scott Depot phone numbers, but most business will advertise as being in “Teays Valley” because that is what the exit sign says now.  They used to say they were in “Winfield” back when the exit read that. 

There is a Post Office for Teays, 25569, which has a population of zero.   It is just a set of boxes in an old strip mall, no service area at all.  It saves the businesses in the area a trip.   It is only staffed a few hours per day.  I look for it to close someday.

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1294 on: August 02, 2021, 10:29:53 AM »

West Virginia had vastly improved their old routes with higher speed two-lanes in the 1950s and 1960s. WV 93 (replaced with US 48) and WV 28 come to mind, along with parts of WV 92 north of White Sulphur Springs and WV 39 east of Richwood. I wish the state would focus on improving these routes versus investing in new-terrain corridors. Not everything needs to be 65 MPH highways blasted through mountains.

A lot of the backbone of WV's network, especially in the northern half of the state, is stuff that was built in the 1920s and 1930s. Things like US 119 from Morgantown to Grafton, WV 92 from US 50 to Belington, and US 250 from Huttonsville most of the way to the Virginia line. The mountain crossings aren't the greatest by today's standards, but the rest of the alignments are pretty good and easily support 55+ mph travel.

I agree that WV would be better off making piecemeal improvements to existing corridors rather than building new terrain alignments for everything. Straightening a curve or adding a turn lane or passing lane here or there would make noticeable improvements on a lot of routes.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1295 on: August 02, 2021, 10:37:48 AM »

Or adding shoulders. I've noticed with more recent repavings (WV 10, and others) that shoulders are being added where feasible. Nothing extravagant, but an extra 2' or 4' makes a huge difference when hauling RV's (as in my case lately).

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1296 on: August 02, 2021, 12:47:03 PM »

You've hit on an important point here - WV has become obsessed with building new 4-lane alignments to the point that there haven't been many (any?) significant high speed 2-lane alignments built since the 1960s. (Excluding Corridor L, which was widened, and the maybe someday 4-lane part of the King Coal Highway.) The "Roads to Prosperity" program includes a 2-lane relocation of the Scott Miller Hill section of US 33 west of Spencer and, as far as I can think, that will be the first major new 2-lane construction in decades.

This  may not be a failure of WVDOT as much as at is a "feature" of the federal ADHS network, which was presumed to be a system of four lane arterials, expressways or freeways (at least for the most part).
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1297 on: August 02, 2021, 12:51:30 PM »

Something I like about West Virginia is that they sign ADHS routes with the ADHS letter on mile markers. You would have to look up the internet to find out that OH 32 east of I-275 and US 23 south of I-270 are ADHS routes in Ohio, because it's not mentioned as such at all in the state.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1298 on: August 02, 2021, 01:03:03 PM »

You've hit on an important point here - WV has become obsessed with building new 4-lane alignments to the point that there haven't been many (any?) significant high speed 2-lane alignments built since the 1960s. (Excluding Corridor L, which was widened, and the maybe someday 4-lane part of the King Coal Highway.) The "Roads to Prosperity" program includes a 2-lane relocation of the Scott Miller Hill section of US 33 west of Spencer and, as far as I can think, that will be the first major new 2-lane construction in decades.

This  may not be a failure of WVDOT as much as at is a "feature" of the federal ADHS network, which was presumed to be a system of four lane arterials, expressways or freeways (at least for the most part).

Agree.  The funding available through the Interstate Highway System and the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) pretty much forces West Virginia to press on from end-to-end with four-lane highways. 
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #1299 on: August 02, 2021, 01:38:05 PM »

You've hit on an important point here - WV has become obsessed with building new 4-lane alignments to the point that there haven't been many (any?) significant high speed 2-lane alignments built since the 1960s. (Excluding Corridor L, which was widened, and the maybe someday 4-lane part of the King Coal Highway.) The "Roads to Prosperity" program includes a 2-lane relocation of the Scott Miller Hill section of US 33 west of Spencer and, as far as I can think, that will be the first major new 2-lane construction in decades.

This  may not be a failure of WVDOT as much as at is a "feature" of the federal ADHS network, which was presumed to be a system of four lane arterials, expressways or freeways (at least for the most part).

Kentucky failed at that task, most assuredly. KY 15 and the super-2 portion of the Mountain Parkway were grandfathered in to the ADHS, but look at the other corridors outside B, G, and Q. They are mostly two-lane or 2+1 routes. KY 90 between Burnside and Burkesville is indistinguishable from, say, KY 11 between Mt. Sterling and Maysville.
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