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Regional Boards => Mid-Atlantic => Topic started by: CanesFan27 on September 20, 2009, 03:01:17 PM

Title: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on September 20, 2009, 03:01:17 PM
This past Thursday, WVDOH had a ribbon cutting ceremony for the completion of the South Branch of the Potomac bridge in Moorefield.  At the same time, they had a ground breaking ceremony on a paving project that will ultimately extend Corridor H another 10 plus miles from US 220 in Moorefield to Patterson Creek Road in Forman.  The next segment is planned to open in the fall of 2010.

http://theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/521857.html (http://theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/521857.html)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on September 20, 2009, 03:39:51 PM
In addition, Senator Byrd was able to procure another $4.5 million for Corridor H (along with other projects).  He considers Corridor H, "[his] transportation crusade."

http://www.statejournal.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=66847 (http://www.statejournal.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=66847)
http://www.newstribune.info/news/x576511606/Byrd-secures-more-Corridor-H-money (http://www.newstribune.info/news/x576511606/Byrd-secures-more-Corridor-H-money)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on September 21, 2009, 07:02:12 AM
When this section is completed, its time for WV to apply for numbering of Corridor H as US 48, IMHO.

Currently, from west to east, the completed section from I-79 to Elkins is a multiplex of several numbers, but primarally called "US 33" or "Corridor H" by locals.  There US 33 continues as a mountain road and when Corridor H resumes it is a complex multiplex of several numbers, with WV 55 being primary.  It then ends at Wardensville, and its just WV 55 to the state line.  But Virginia has multiplexed US 48 onto the existing VA 55 to I-81.

Now, currently, it is very difficult to follow the intended route of Corridor H.  It involves following small local routes, including a one lane road in one section over the eastern continental divide.  I have done it, but it is not for regular motorists.

However, when the current construction is finished, which is quite posibably the last construction that will ever be completed (the blue secions on this map) :

http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/lrgmap.html (http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/lrgmap.html)

the route will be the logical travelway through that area, and it would seem to me that US 48 could be applied to all completed sections, from I-79 to Wardensville, and onto WV 55 to the VA line.  Then apply "Temp 48" or "Detour 48" or "TO 48" or "WV 48, to US 48" (no AASHTO approval needed for that one) to, from west to east, US 219 from Kerens to Thomas, WV 32 from Thomas to Davis, and WV 93 from Davis to Scheer.  For the year it will take to get from Scheer to Forman, US 48 could be bannered on WV 42 and CR 5, which is a good 2 lane road in that point.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on September 21, 2009, 01:29:04 PM

the route will be the logical travelway through that area, and it would seem to me that US 48 could be applied to all completed sections, from I-79 to Wardensville, and onto WV 55 to the VA line.  Then apply "Temp 48" or "Detour 48" or "TO 48" or "WV 48, to US 48" (no AASHTO approval needed for that one) to, from west to east, US 219 from Kerens to Thomas, WV 32 from Thomas to Davis, and WV 93 from Davis to Scheer.  For the year it will take to get from Scheer to Forman, US 48 could be bannered on WV 42 and CR 5, which is a good 2 lane road in that point.



I've been across WV 42 from Petersburg to Mt. Storm Lake, then WV 93 down to Davis, WV 32 the short distance to Thomas, and US 219 down to Elkins. Did this twice. Drove it from west to east in the summer of 2000, and from east to west during a heavy snowstorm in January 2004. This was the closest approximation I could find to the Corridor H route on major maps. I know the Corridor H routing will run to the north of WV 42 and won't come near Petersburg. So there is a good way to approximate the routing from north of Moorefield (where Corridor H will cross US 220) over to the Mt. Storm Lake area?

In a couple of weeks I'll be in the area, but plan to drive the route that is continuously numbered as WV 55 all the way from the state line to Elkins. The worst section will be the US 33 part from Seneca Rocks to Harman. The rest, even the two/lane parts of WV 28/WV 55 and US 220/WV 28/WV 55, are all very good roads for this part of the country, as they pretty much go through valley areas.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on September 21, 2009, 07:20:45 PM
Heading west, towards Elkins (no pun intended) :

From the end of the current road, exit onto US 220 NORTH and go about 2 miles.  At Old Fields take a left onto CR 2 and follow it for 8 miles.  It will change numbers (although CRs are not numbered with "reassurance signs" anyway) to CR 5/2 at the Hardy/Grant line.  This will come out on CR 5.  Go SOUTH on CR 5 for 4 miles.  Then turn onto CR 3/3 which is Greenland Gap Road.  Follow this out and you come out in Scherr. 

Except for about 100 yards right at the beginning CR 2 and CR 5/2 are 2 lanes or a lane and a half.  CR 5 is equal in quality to any standard WV state route.  CR 3/3 is a lane and a half or two lanes, except for the actual Greenland Gap, which is the eastern continental divide and belongs to the Nature Converancy, which is one lane.  It is still a public road.  All is paved.

This follows the eventual Corridor H almost exactly, especially in Greenland Gap.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on September 21, 2009, 08:00:56 PM
Except for one bridge, CR 3/3 is still at least 18ft wide through the Greenland Gap/Nature Conservancy area.

As for Corridor H, it crosses CR 3/3 near Greenland Gap, but in that area, Corridor H is actually being built north-south, along the north-south leg of Scherr Rd (CR 1), and then south along what was CR 42/3.  You can see construction on a high level bridge from the CR 1/CR 3/3 intersection.

Between CR 5 and CR 3, the corridor is about halfway between CR 3/3 and CR 3/4...closer to CR 3/3 on the east end, but closer to CR 3/4 on the west end.

A couple miles north of Scherr, you can see where the connector to WV 93 is being built.

One of these days, I should post my photos of Corridor H construction from Grant and Hardy Counties online...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on September 21, 2009, 10:14:41 PM
The easiest way to get a major upgrade done to Corridor H and show considerable progress is to twin WV 93. Except for the portion around the lake, there appears to be ample ROW to add two lanes since the whole route passes through what appears to be a reclaimed surface mine.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on September 22, 2009, 06:25:55 AM
It would seem to me that the rest of Corridor H, which is unfunded (the red and yellow parts on this map http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/lrgmap.html (http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/lrgmap.html) ) would be an easy toll road.  The vast majority of traffic on that section is not going to be daily commuters who are the people disadvantaged by toll roads.  They are going to be people out of Huntington-Charleston or out of state going to the ski resorts, or people using the road as a throughway to and from the DC metro (if you look at a map, a completed H is a good way into DC from much of the midwest and upper south).  So you eliminate at grades and start a fully limited road at Kerens, with an exit for WV 72, one for US 219 and WV 32, one at Bismarck and end at Scheer.  This would get H finished in whatever amount of time the construction takes (other than the section from Wardensville to the VA line for which funding can be found, and the VA sections, which is a tempest in a teapot, VA will build it). 

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on October 03, 2009, 05:04:36 PM
Was Corridor H originally supposed to go to Cincinnati?

I found this editorial in the Charleston Gazette that reads.

However, one impediment remains. East-west Corridor H from Weston to the Virginia border is only half-finished -- after 40 years of work. The freeway intended to link Cincinnati and the nation's capital still is interrupted by stretches of old-style two-lane torment.

I was unaware of this. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: leifvanderwall on October 03, 2009, 08:04:55 PM
I'm glad to hear about Corridor H- on my revamping of the interstate system in If You Controlled the Highway System , I felt I-74 or I-66 could be extended through West Virginia for a route to Cincinnati , Columbus, and Richmond. What's this obsession about US 48? Should US 48 reappear because I-68 took its place. We might as have the AASHTO  take over a bunch of state and county roads and call it US 66.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Scott5114 on October 03, 2009, 10:23:06 PM
We might as have the AASHTO  take over a bunch of state and county roads and call it US 66.

AASHTO doesn't "take over" roads. All Interstate and U.S. routes are maintained by the states. AASHTO is merely the Keeper of the Numbers. They don't even provide Interstate funding (that's FHWA's job).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on October 03, 2009, 11:12:04 PM
AASHTO also provides the specifications for signage.  At least, the 1958 interstate signing manual I have here is courtesy of AASHO (which is what AASHTO was known as back then).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on October 05, 2009, 07:31:58 AM
Quote
Was Corridor H originally supposed to go to Cincinnati?

No.  The western end of H always was intended to be Elkins.  However that is MP 99 of I-79.  From there a motorist could go 20 miles north to MP 119 - Clarksburg, the eastern end of Corridor D, which as US 50 and then OH 32, reach Cincinnati.  If you project a completed G, H, and D on the map, you see major changes in many links between the lower midwest and upper south and the DC metro area.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 05, 2009, 09:39:15 AM
This posting is coming to you from Weston, western end of Corridor H, where I spent the night last night.

I drove part of the Corridor H route yesterday on my way back from New York. I took VA 55/US 48 from I-81 west to Wardensville. Around 20 miles, took about 25 minutes, not a bad road at all. (Randy Hersh's head will explode at that news and when he sees the video I shot).

You have to drive through Wardensville and then there's access to the new four-lane, which is a fast and scenic drive over to Moorefield. All traffic is forced off the four-lane at what I call a West Virginia diamond (examples are US 119 at WV 73 in Logan and I-64 at former US 35/current WV 817 west of Charleston) and onto a connector route that leads down to US 220, although the completed bridge over the South Branch of the Potomac can be seen in the distance. From there I deviated from the route Corridor H is supposed to follow and took WV 55/WV 28 south to Seneca Rocks. This is a very good road, mostly flat and straight, although it could use resurfacing in several places), and the worst part of the trip is US 33, where you cross three mountains before you get to the "racetrack" four-lane section east of Elkins. Traffic alway moves slowly through Elkins, that town needs a downtown bypass, but I followed US 33 out to Corridor H and over to Weston, where I decided to stop for the night.

I'll have to check my mileage on my odometer, as I filled up in Strasburg and reset it, but the mileage should be around 175 between I-81 and I-79. Time was a little less than three hours. Traffic was light on the two-lanes and there were no slow trucks to have to follow across the US 33 mountain crossings. Even as is, it's a pleasant and scenic alternative to going all the way north to I-68. When completed it will be a much more direct route from Charleston, Huntington, Lexington, Louisville, Cincinnati, and even Evansville and St. Louis to the DC area than any combination of I-70 or I-68 through Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Scott5114 on October 08, 2009, 11:53:49 AM
AASHTO also provides the specifications for signage.  At least, the 1958 interstate signing manual I have here is courtesy of AASHO (which is what AASHTO was known as back then).

These days signage specifications are found in the MUTCD and the Standard Highway Signs (SHS) books, both of which are FHWA/USDOT publications. If I remember correctly, AASHO did a lot of the legwork in getting all states on the same page with regard to color and shape standards in the early part of the 20th Century. When Chief MacDonald took over at BPR (the predecessor to FHWA), it started having a more and more active role in things.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on October 24, 2009, 06:47:51 PM
Slightly related to Corridor H is the US 220 North/South Corridor Proposal from I-68 in Cumberland, MD to Corridor H in Moorefield, WV. 

Some recent news regarding the corridor:

http://www.newstribune.info/news/x41915825/MCDA-agrees-to-support-N-S-highway-project (http://www.newstribune.info/news/x41915825/MCDA-agrees-to-support-N-S-highway-project)
Title: Re: US-48: Signed Yet?
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 28, 2009, 07:19:19 PM
Has US-48 been signed anywhere (and not just in WVA)?

It has only been signed in VA along VA-55 from I-81 to the West Virginia boarder.
Title: Re: I want pics!
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 28, 2009, 08:00:00 PM
Has US-48 been signed anywhere (and not just in WVA)?

It has only been signed in VA along VA-55 from I-81 to the West Virginia boarder.

I want pics!

http://www.usends.com/40-49/048/048.html (http://www.usends.com/40-49/048/048.html)
Title: Re: US-48: VA: Yes, WV: No?
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 28, 2009, 08:18:57 PM
So US-48 has been signed as such in Virginia but not in West Virginia as of now?

That's what I said above.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on October 28, 2009, 10:59:34 PM
Oh it's been signed in Virginia for over six years if not more now...where have you been, HighwayMaster?

http://www.gribblenation.com/vapics/corrh/ (http://www.gribblenation.com/vapics/corrh/)
Title: Re: I want pics!
Post by: hbelkins on October 29, 2009, 11:01:10 AM
I want pics!

From January 2004...

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/Washington_CD_2004/PICT1125.JPG)

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/Washington_CD_2004/PICT1127.JPG)

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/Washington_CD_2004/PICT1129.JPG)

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/Washington_CD_2004/PICT1130.JPG)

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/Washington_CD_2004/PICT1133.JPG)

From October 2009...

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2009_Northeast_Day_5/Images/764.jpg)

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2009_Northeast_Day_5/Images/765.jpg)

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 11, 2009, 09:11:42 AM
After some hiking in Maryland on Sunday (to the highest point in Maryland (http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=154), amongst other places), I headed home via the Corridor H area.  Posted an update on the blog (http://ajfroggie.blogspot.com/2009/11/corridor-h-field-checkupdate.html), but in a nutshell, there's more grading/bridgework being done between Scherr and Forman, the interchange at CR 5 in Forman will be a folded diamond, and paving between Forman and Moorefield will mostly be concrete.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: D-Dey65 on November 13, 2009, 04:17:13 PM
I want pics!

From January 2004...

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/Washington_CD_2004/PICT1133.JPG)

That explains the snow... something that hopefully I'll be seeing quite a bit of when I head to NYC & LI in December.

Removed all but one image to cut down on scrolling... - Alex



Title: Re: I want pics!
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 13, 2009, 04:24:09 PM
speaking of 48, anyone have a photo of a Maryland US 48 shield?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 14, 2009, 09:43:47 PM
That explains the snow... something that hopefully I'll be seeing quite a bit of when I head to NYC & LI in December.


The snow is the reason I traveled that route on that trip. I was coming home from a business trip to Washington DC and intended to drive I-81 to I-64 on the way home (going up I took I-79 to I-68). However it started to snow as I neared the end of I-66 and it was starting to stick on the road when I hit I-81. I do not like to drive on snowy interstates, especially ones as busy as I-81, because the trucks don't slow down to an appropriate speed. I'd rather drive a snow-covered two-lane mountain road than an interstate with a light accumulation because I don't trust other drivers. So I opted for the Corridor H route of VA/WV 55, WV 42, WV 93 and US 219 to meet up with US 33. At the time the only portion of the eastern four-lane was between the WV 259 exit and the East Moorefield exit, and there was no traffic on it. It worked out well, I ran out of the snow by the time I got to I-79 and it was smooth sailing on home.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 14, 2009, 11:22:59 PM
speaking of 48, anyone have a photo of a Maryland US 48 shield?

I have not seen one.

If you would have been along I-68 back in the 80's - early 90's, you might have seen one.  US-48 became I-68 in 1991.
http://www.usends.com/40-49/048_II/048_II.html (http://www.usends.com/40-49/048_II/048_II.html)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 14, 2009, 11:33:14 PM
I think the only time I'd have passed by US-48 is in 1986 on I-81, but I don't remember it.  Must not have had interesting signage!  I do remember '61 spec I-40 shields all down the mainline in Tennessee, though. Good luck finding any of those!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 15, 2009, 10:43:40 PM
If you would have been along I-68 back in the 80's - early 90's, you might have seen one.  US-48 became I-68 in 1991.
http://www.usends.com/40-49/048_II/048_II.html (http://www.usends.com/40-49/048_II/048_II.html)

If only I'd been taking road photos back then ... the year prior to the route's promotion to an interstate, I traveled it in its entirety. Actually spent Christmas night in LaVale, Md., which is just west of Cumberland. I remember some construction ongoing east of Cumberland to convert US 40 to a limited-access highway but did not know the route was destined for an interstate designation.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mefailenglish on November 16, 2009, 07:06:04 AM
I've only driven this between I-79 and Buckhannon but I did notice these special mile markers:

(http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2612/65/77/1510070423/n1510070423_255511_7444956.jpg)

Do other Appalachian corridors have something like this?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on November 16, 2009, 07:36:17 AM
Yes..all ARC routes in WV use them.

Bottom of this page has an example on Corridor L.

http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2008/07/trip-to-pennsylvaniafeaturing-arc.html (http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2008/07/trip-to-pennsylvaniafeaturing-arc.html)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on November 16, 2009, 07:36:32 AM
Quote
Do other Appalachian corridors have something like this?

Those in WV all do.  WV interstate 1/10 mile markers are in the same format, except these are green and have a standard interstate shield.

I have always maintained that the ARC system should have its own signage.  

The only other special signage, AFAIK, is OH 35, which has "Appalachian Highway" between the directional and the shield on most signage.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 16, 2009, 10:08:04 AM
Some of the Alabama corridors have "special signage"...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on November 16, 2009, 01:45:38 PM
It would seem to me that the rest of Corridor H, which is unfunded (the red and yellow parts on this map http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/lrgmap.html (http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/lrgmap.html) ) would be an easy toll road.  The vast majority of traffic on that section is not going to be daily commuters who are the people disadvantaged by toll roads.  They are going to be people out of Huntington-Charleston or out of state going to the ski resorts, or people using the road as a throughway to and from the DC metro (if you look at a map, a completed H is a good way into DC from much of the midwest and upper south).  So you eliminate at grades and start a fully limited road at Kerens, with an exit for WV 72, one for US 219 and WV 32, one at Bismarck and end at Scheer.  This would get H finished in whatever amount of time the construction takes (other than the section from Wardensville to the VA line for which funding can be found, and the VA sections, which is a tempest in a teapot, VA will build it). 



My first post...Va. will not build this anytime soon, unless the Feds give $$...The stretch between Wardensville/Va. line: according to the original planning book for Corridor H which I still have, this part of the road will not be built unless 55 becomes "unserviceable", or Fed $$ appears, and there is a limited timeframe for the funds to be utilized...a popular rumor recently was that W.Va. was pushing the Dept. of Homeland Security to obtain the balance of funds to build the rest, citing the road as an emergency route out of D.C. in case of disaster.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: njroadhorse on November 16, 2009, 06:17:28 PM
Hey, I just got the WVDOT Official 2008-2009 Map the other day.  Is there any legitimacy or timetable to the proposed area running from Elkins to Route 220 along WV 93 and US 219?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on November 16, 2009, 06:37:07 PM
Hey, I just got the WVDOT Official 2008-2009 Map the other day.  Is there any legitimacy or timetable to the proposed area running from Elkins to Route 220 along WV 93 and US 219?

http://www.gribblenation.com/wvpics/corrh/ (http://www.gribblenation.com/wvpics/corrh/)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: jdb1234 on November 17, 2009, 01:01:45 AM
Some of the Alabama corridors have "special signage"...

That would be like this:
(http://s761.photobucket.com/albums/xx260/jdbarnes1234/100_0151.jpg)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 17, 2009, 04:37:22 AM
I thought I'd never see a shield with a legend above the number and think it ugly ... but that thing is hideous!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 17, 2009, 05:30:04 AM
now this would be attractive.  I'd skid to a traffic-endangering halt to get a photo of this:

(http://shields.aaroads.com/misc/x78.jpg)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 17, 2009, 11:18:11 AM
Some of the Alabama corridors have "special signage"...

Georgia, as well.

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2008_NOLA_Day_1/Images/161.jpg)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mightyace on November 17, 2009, 04:20:20 PM
Some of the Alabama corridors have "special signage"...

US 72 east of Huntsville has similar signage.  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture.  (Or fortunately, if you're agentsteel53.  :sombrero:)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alex on November 17, 2009, 04:25:22 PM
Some of the Alabama corridors have "special signage"...

US 72 east of Huntsville has similar signage.  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture.  (Or fortunately, if you're agentsteel53.  :sombrero:)

(http://www.southeastroads.com/alabama070/us-072_eb_paint_rock.jpg)

Taken over six years ago, but there is an example of blue U.S. 72. Alabama 4 (http://www.southeastroads.com/alabama070/us-078_wb_app_i-022.jpg) shields are also blue in some places.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: jdb1234 on November 17, 2009, 08:17:31 PM
There are also blue AL 67, AL 20, & AL 24 shields in Alabama.  Most of the blue AL 4 shields are west of Exit 52 on US 78, but there are a few east of there.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 18, 2009, 01:04:05 PM
There are also blue AL 67, AL 20, & AL 24 shields in Alabama.  Most of the blue AL 4 shields are west of Exit 52 on US 78, but there are a few east of there.

Examples? Did someone say they wanted to see examples? Gotcha covered!
(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/June_2006_Day_1/June_2006_Day_1-Images/268.jpg)
(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/June_2006_Day_1/June_2006_Day_1-Images/302.jpg)
(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/June_2006_Day_1/June_2006_Day_1-Images/305.jpg)

Personally I"m not crazy about any of these and would prefer a separate logo shield using some variation of the ARC logo with the corridor letter included. I'm sure one of our Photoshop experts could whip up something.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 18, 2009, 01:35:06 PM
a Trail of Tears Corridor marker???  How sensitive of the government.  "This here is where we forced our inhabitants down our equivalent of the Bataan Death March.  Oh yes, we are so badass that our lower colons shine through nuclear fusion."
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 18, 2009, 02:39:14 PM
Kentucky and Missouri have different "Trail of Tears" markers.

At the moment I'm too lazy to find and post a link to a pic.  :-P
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on February 14, 2010, 06:14:04 PM
Is Corridor H the new "Goat Path Expressway"?

http://www.times-news.com/local/local_story_038135150.html
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on May 15, 2010, 04:21:54 PM
WVDOH has recently awarded two projects for the construction of Corridor H in Grant County.  The first project awarded was to Kokosing Construction Co.  The $10.9 million project will pave 3.3 miles of Corridor H.

Also, Mashuda Corp. won a bid to grade and drain another 2.09 miles of the eventual four lane highway.  The project is worth $18.6 million.

Story:
http://wvgazette.com/News/201005140795
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: LeftyJR on May 17, 2010, 10:08:46 AM
Wow, Corridor H is chugging along...

I can't see how this thing is going to get completed between Davis and Kerens, though....that is the biggest section and it hasn't even been placed under final design yet!


Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on May 17, 2010, 08:36:12 PM
I can't see how this thing is going to get completed between Davis and Kerens, though....that is the biggest section and it hasn't even been placed under final design yet!




And you would be correct.  The whole project is the subject with a supposed "settlement" with a particular group of BANANAs.  A very unwise settlement with a tiny group of people who were running out of money and had no case other than their disagreement with those elected to make decisions.

In any event, the red parts on the map, under the "settlement" can esentually never be built unless circumstances that will probably never be met happen.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on May 21, 2010, 04:29:07 PM
West Virginia needs to convince Mitch Daniels to move from Indianapolis to Charleston. He got I-69 kick-started and that route will be open from Evansville to Bloomington, through a quote-unquote environmentally sensitive area, by 2014. I-69 has been in the planning stages a lot fewer years than Corridor H but it's going to be a reality much, much sooner. Doesn't anyone in my grandfather's native state have the political will to get it done?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on May 22, 2010, 08:06:41 AM
Mitch Daniels also convinced the Indiana Legislature to "cash in" on the Indiana Toll Road to the tune of $3.85 billion.  That, in no small part, is what's paying for the I-69 extension.  West Virginia, meanwhile, is relying largely on ADHS funding to pay for Corridor H.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on May 23, 2010, 12:25:44 AM
Mitch Daniels also convinced the Indiana Legislature to "cash in" on the Indiana Toll Road to the tune of $3.85 billion.  That, in no small part, is what's paying for the I-69 extension.  West Virginia, meanwhile, is relying largely on ADHS funding to pay for Corridor H.


This is true, and of course I knew that. And I sincerely doubt that West Virginia could get that much for the WV Turnpike.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on May 24, 2010, 09:47:13 PM
Press release: Progress Continues Along Corridor H
http://www.transportation.wv.gov/communications/Press-Release/Pages/ProgressContinuesAlongCorridorH.aspx
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on June 28, 2010, 10:12:30 AM
I was up that way again a couple weeks ago.  Grading and bridgework continues in the vicinity of Scherr, which is now visible on Google Maps satellite imagery (http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=39.200467,-79.161644&spn=0.093917,0.21904&t=h&z=13).  No work begun yet on the future bridges over WV 93 or CR 1 on the north side.  The middle bridge over CR 1 is well underway, with most (if not all) of the steel girders in place, which the bridge deck is mostly complete on the southern bridge over CR 1.

Earthwork has begun on the west side of CR 3, but no work yet connecting all the way to the section near Scherr (described above).

Base paving has begun between CR 3 and CR 5.  Too early to tell whether this will be asphalt or concrete, though given they hope to have it completed this fall, it will likely be asphalt.

Paving of the interchange at CR 5 is complete and signs have also been posted (and covered by black plastic bags).  All asphalt.

Mainline paving between CR 5 and the Potomac River bridge is mostly complete.  The main lanes are concrete.  The shoulders will likely be asphalt, but paving of these has not begun yet, nor have the connections to the side roads been completed yet.  One weird aspect along here is the runaway truck ramp just west of CR 220/8.  The central part of the runaway ramp is also paved in concrete, something I've never seen before with a runaway truck ramp.

I saw no reason why they couldn't push to complete this Forman-to-Moorefield leg and have it open by Labor Day.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on August 01, 2010, 07:18:57 AM
Passed through yesterday on my way back from Spruce Knob.

- Looks like between CR 3 and CR 5 will be concrete, though the immediate CR 5 interchange area is asphalt as noted before.

- About half the signs between Forman and Moorefield are posted, including a few US 48 reassurance shields and signs for an eastbound "Mandatory Truck Stop" at the top of Patterson Creek Mountain, for what is roughly a 3-mile-long 6% grade.

- Work is underway on paving the approach roads at intersections.

Still see no reason why they couldn't push to have Forman-to-Moorefield open by Labor Day.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bryant5493 on August 24, 2010, 07:59:49 AM
WV-55/WV-259 West. Wardensville to Moorefield, WV




Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: ShawnP on August 24, 2010, 09:24:41 PM
Speaking of selling. Would any Kentucky residents be in favor of adding tolls back on the old toll roads then selling them to raise money for major upgrades needed around the Commonwealth. For instance six laning 64 Louisville to Lexington, six laning 71 Louisville to Cinncinnati, completing 75 and 65 upgrading, building a true road from Cinncinnati to Ashland, reviving 66 across southern Kentucky, upgrading Mountain parkway and all other parkways to Interstate standards. A lot of money but so, so much better infrastructure.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on August 25, 2010, 12:00:16 AM
WV-55/WV-259 West. Wardensville to Moorefield, WV

Be well,

Bryant

I like this music better:

http://www.millenniumhwy.net/videos/WV_Corridor_H.mp4
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on September 10, 2010, 12:06:26 PM
Apparently, WVDOH is combining and accelerating projects (http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/531984.html?nav=5014) to where the Davis-to-Bismark segment (generally along WV 93) will be under contract beginning this fall and could be completed in 2013...5 years ahead of schedule and about the same timeframe that Bismark-to-Forman is expected to be completed.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on September 11, 2010, 05:23:43 PM
Apparently, WVDOH is combining and accelerating projects (http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/531984.html?nav=5014) to where the Davis-to-Bismark segment (generally along WV 93) will be under contract beginning this fall and could be completed in 2013...5 years ahead of schedule and about the same timeframe that Bismark-to-Forman is expected to be completed.

For the most part, all that's needed along that portion is to build another carriageway alongside existing WV 93.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on September 11, 2010, 09:14:23 PM
As a general rule, from about a half mile east of WV 32 to about a half mile west of the dam, that is more or less the plan, though the shapefile suggests some curves would be smoothed/straightened out.  From the dam east would be off-alignment, starting with a new bridge about a third of a mile downriver from the dam.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on September 13, 2010, 08:08:55 PM
Someone I know tweeted about this one...it's a partial set of plans (http://www.transportation.wv.gov/highways/engineering/Manuals/Plan%20Presentation/Large%20Roadway/X312-H-93.37%2002/Pages%20151-179%20from%20X312-H-93.37%2002.pdf) from WVDOH for the soon-to-open segment from Forman to Moorefield, including signage plans at the CR 5 interchange at Forman.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on September 14, 2010, 01:24:37 PM
Someone I know tweeted about this one...it's a partial set of plans (http://www.transportation.wv.gov/highways/engineering/Manuals/Plan%20Presentation/Large%20Roadway/X312-H-93.37%2002/Pages%20151-179%20from%20X312-H-93.37%2002.pdf) from WVDOH for the soon-to-open segment from Forman to Moorefield, including signage plans at the CR 5 interchange at Forman.


Two observations:

1.) US 48 is the signed route. WVDOH ought to go ahead and sign the entire corridor, including the existing WV 93 and US 219 two-lane connecting segments.

2.) No Clearview. All the new signage I've seen in West Virginia lately uses Clearview.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: LeftyJR on September 14, 2010, 01:29:59 PM
Someone I know tweeted about this one...it's a partial set of plans (http://www.transportation.wv.gov/highways/engineering/Manuals/Plan%20Presentation/Large%20Roadway/X312-H-93.37%2002/Pages%20151-179%20from%20X312-H-93.37%2002.pdf) from WVDOH for the soon-to-open segment from Forman to Moorefield, including signage plans at the CR 5 interchange at Forman.


Two observations:

1.) US 48 is the signed route. WVDOH ought to go ahead and sign the entire corridor, including the existing WV 93 and US 219 two-lane connecting segments.

2.) No Clearview. All the new signage I've seen in West Virginia lately uses Clearview.

It doesn't mean that Clearview won't show up anyway!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on September 14, 2010, 05:23:15 PM
Quote
1.) US 48 is the signed route. WVDOH ought to go ahead and sign the entire corridor, including the existing WV 93 and US 219 two-lane connecting segments.

There's no reason it can't be signed east of Moorefield today.  The problem with the segment soon-to-open is that you'd have to make the connection to WV 42 via CR 5 or CR 3...the former is a decent route comparable to a state highway, but that'll leave a 3 mile spur.  The latter avoids the spur, but CR 3 is barely paved and isn't even close to being a route that could handle traffic.

Might just be easier to wait until ca. 2013 to sign US 48 west of Moorefield, at which point I'd agree with signing it along WV 93 and WV 32 to Davis, ending at US 219 there.

Quote
2.) No Clearview. All the new signage I've seen in West Virginia lately uses Clearview.

Probably because these plans date from 2002, before Clearview became used en masse...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on September 18, 2010, 03:05:22 PM
Froggie, can that shapefile be viewed online somewhere?

Links to local media stories on the subject:
http://www.wboy.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=86311
http://theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/532285.html?nav=5014

I'm thinking that once Corridor H is completed up to WV 42, WV 93 can be returned to its pre-1962 terminus at Scherr and that US 48 replaces 93 between WV routes 42 and 32...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on September 18, 2010, 10:51:10 PM
Which shapefile?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on September 18, 2010, 11:06:11 PM
As a general rule, from about a half mile east of WV 32 to about a half mile west of the dam, that is more or less the plan, though the shapefile suggests some curves would be smoothed/straightened out.  From the dam east would be off-alignment, starting with a new bridge about a third of a mile downriver from the dam.

The one mentioned in the above quoted post. Thanks!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on September 18, 2010, 11:07:31 PM
That's WVDOH's "all routes" shapefile.  I think it's downloadable from the WVDOT website, but I don't remember offhand where I got it.  Requires having a viewer that can read shapefiles.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: ShawnP on October 11, 2010, 05:12:52 PM
Corridor H very nice from Weston to east of Elkins. As we all know it ends east of there but is actually straighter and better built than I-79 west of there. One question any one notice that at the US-219 interchange that the bridges not used yet are very, very narrow almost super 2 like?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 12, 2010, 06:50:28 AM
On the really long bridges (such as on WV 55 east of Moorefield), WVDOT has typically built a 4ft shoulder instead of the "standard" 10ft.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 14, 2010, 10:43:45 PM
That's WVDOH's "all routes" shapefile.  I think it's downloadable from the WVDOT website, but I don't remember offhand where I got it.  Requires having a viewer that can read shapefiles.

Might know where on WVDOH's site I can find that?  I want to be ready when they open a new segment of Corridor H (because it's going to be posted as US-48, right? ;)).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 15, 2010, 09:11:29 AM
I don't remember offhand where I got it.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 15, 2010, 09:59:59 PM
I just mentioned it incase you ever remembered. ;)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 18, 2010, 07:55:23 AM
Forman to Moorefield is pretty much wrapped up.  Paving is done, striping is done...all that I saw left was a few signs needed posting.  WVDOH also updated all the Corridor H statuses (http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/map6.html), and they're anticipating opening it up between Moorefield and CR 3 by the end of the month.  They note that the segment between CR 5 and CR 3 will be for "local traffic only", this probably due to the narrowness and generally poor condition of CR 3.

Also noted that the WV State Police are actively patrolling the new segment and giving tickets to people who are "test driving" it now before the opening.  At least 4 cars driving on the new road were pulled over during the 3 hours I was in the area.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 21, 2010, 07:58:05 PM
WV Governor Manchin has announced (http://www.wvgov.org/sec.aspx?id=32&articleid=2126) a ribbon-cutting for the Forman-to-Moorefield section next Wednesday.  Although the press release mentions the roadway may open "as early as next week", it doesn't specify when the roadway would actually open to traffic.

I might be able to get Wednesday off to go over and take a look.  If not, there's a pretty good chance I could hop over the following Saturday (the 30th)...and if not then, definitely Saturday the 6th.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 21, 2010, 08:10:28 PM
If you do Froggie, let me know if US-48 shields are posted, because I would like to get to work on WV US-48's file for the CHM site. ;)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 22, 2010, 12:06:30 AM
I wonder if this might not originally be signed WV 48 initially. The first segment of the Coalfields Expressway, future US 121, is signed WV 121.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on October 22, 2010, 06:21:17 AM
WV plans are not to sign the route as US 48 until the "logical" route from Wardensville to Elkins.  Which I take to mean all of the parts shown in blue on the state's website.  The state is concerned about siphoning through traffic off I-81 and dumping it onto the local roads.  Once the blue parts are finished, the remaining (the red parts) could easily be signed as "temp 48" and be fine.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 22, 2010, 06:54:15 AM
WV plans are not to sign the route as US 48 until the "logical" route from Wardensville to Elkins.  Which I take to mean all of the parts shown in blue on the state's website.  The state is concerned about siphoning through traffic off I-81 and dumping it onto the local roads.  Once the blue parts are finished, the remaining (the red parts) could easily be signed as "temp 48" and be fine.

Then why do the signage plans mentioned in this post (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=1665.msg77307#msg77307) show US-48 shields?  If they aren't going to post it as US-48, why have US-48 shields in it instead of, say, WV-48 shields.

I'm just wondering if they are following thier own signage plans.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 22, 2010, 08:30:07 AM
Quote
If you do Froggie, let me know if US-48 shields are posted, because I would like to get to work on WV US-48's file for the CHM site.

Already done and submitted.


Quote
WV plans are not to sign the route as US 48 until the "logical" route from Wardensville to Elkins

The reality is different.  US 48 shields are posted.  I've seen and photographed them firsthand.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 22, 2010, 08:34:50 AM
Quote
If you do Froggie, let me know if US-48 shields are posted, because I would like to get to work on WV US-48's file for the CHM site.

Already done and submitted.

Huh?  I'm the guy in charge of WV.  I need to at least look over the file before it's placed online encase I need to make any changes so it works with my other WV files.  Can you please send me the file Froggie?  You have a PM with my e-mail address in your Inbox now.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on October 23, 2010, 09:51:17 PM
What's the CHM site?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 23, 2010, 10:24:45 PM
What's the CHM site?

http://cmap.m-plex.com/index.php
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on October 24, 2010, 01:19:29 PM
Thanks. Gonna go look at it right now.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 28, 2010, 07:15:20 AM
Made it to the ribbon-cutting, which started around 1:30pm.  I won't bore you with the details, but of note was one of the speakers...Gov. Manchin's chief of staff...commenting that Corridor H should be designated a "corridor of national significance" (or something along those lines) and completed all the way to I-81.  The reasoning had a Homeland Security flair to it...traffic escaping the DC/Baltimore area in the event of an emergency.

Some notes:

- Except at the Patterson Creek bridge/interchange area and at the South Branch bridge, the new extension is fully concrete.  I've commented on this previously.

- The only indication that the segment west of Patterson Creek Rd is intended for "local traffic" is a sign requiring all trucks to exit at Patterson Creek Rd.

- On my way to the event, I noticed that US 48 shields were in the process of being added to WV 55 between Moorefield and Baker...a sign crew was in the middle of a swap as I drove past.  I talked to a WVDOH sign engineer about this, and he said they plan on signing US 48 all the way to the Virginia line...keeping the WV 55 shields in the process.  As of 4pm, signs were in place out to Baker, but no signs yet east of Baker.

- Sidebar off that last note:  I'll have to fix/extend the list I made for CHM and resend to James and Tim.

- It was also announced at the ribbon-cutting that the Corridor H extension would open that afternoon (i.e. yesterday afternoon), once crews made some last-minute tweaks, cleared out the tent and stage used for the ribbon-cutting (which sat in the westbound lanes at Patterson Creek), and moved the "Road Closed" signs.  I made a side-trip up to Bismark while waiting, then came back around 3:30ish.  While crews were still in the process of working, eastbound was "driveable" by then.

- Knobley Rd (CR 3, and the west end of the completed segment) was recently repaved, with a white shoulder stripe added south of Corridor H.  Previously, the only striping on the road was the centerline, and that's still the case north of Corridor H.

- Farther west, clearing has begun where Corridor H will tie into WV 42/93 at the top of Fore Knobs.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 28, 2010, 07:19:17 AM
So, will US-48 be posted all the way to I-79, or only as far West as the newest segment of Corridor H that opened?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 28, 2010, 07:25:03 AM
I didn't ask in that direction, but presumably only to Knobley Rd.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 28, 2010, 07:31:50 AM
I didn't ask in that direction, but presumably only to Knobley Rd.

I think then I'll shoot off an e-mail to WVDOT about that later today to be on the safe side.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: LeftyJR on October 28, 2010, 12:09:56 PM
Did you snap any pics of the new section of Corridor H?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 28, 2010, 04:28:45 PM
I did, just as I have with several other trips to the area over the past 2 years to document construction.  Whether I create an actual page for them or post them to Flickr is undecided at this point.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 29, 2010, 01:00:45 AM
I didn't ask in that direction, but presumably only to Knobley Rd.

I think then I'll shoot off an e-mail to WVDOT about that later today to be on the safe side.

I have just sent the e-mail.  I'll let you guys know when I get a responce.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Chris on November 02, 2010, 05:20:17 PM
Someone called VAFreeways (is he a member here?) made a video of the new corridor H:

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 02, 2010, 08:28:21 PM
Quote
Someone called VAFreeways (is he a member here?)

Not to my knowledge.  He lives in the DC area but thus far has only posted material to YouTube.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 07, 2010, 07:37:49 PM
I'm hoping to drive the new section of Corridor H next Wednesday, on my way to the Northeast. I'll be coming in from US 219 north to WV 93 east, turning onto WV 42 south at Bismarck.

To get onto the new routing of US 48/Corridor H, where will I need to turn off of WV 42 to access the new alignment?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 07, 2010, 09:10:30 PM
Quote
- Knobley Rd (CR 3, and the west end of the completed segment)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 07, 2010, 09:31:03 PM
Quote
- Knobley Rd (CR 3, and the west end of the completed segment)

Hopefully it will be signed from WV 42, or any of the myriad of GPS devices I'll have going will have it duly marked. I've seen too many places in WV where the county route signs have been knocked down and not yet replaced.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 09, 2010, 08:20:32 PM
I just got an e-mail back from WVDOT.

Quote
The signing of Corridor H as US 48 currently is limited to the section generally between Knobley Road (Grant CR 3) to Wardensville. If additional information is needed, please contact Mr. David Bodnar of our Engineering Division at [phone number removed].

Don't know when they mention Wardensville if they meant the end of the constructed Corridor H, or the WV/VA border along WV-55.

So, if anybody is in the area of Wardensville, please check out to see if the WV US-48 is connected to the VA US-48 via WV-55.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 09, 2010, 09:10:53 PM
Quote
I talked to a WVDOH sign engineer about this, and he said they plan on signing US 48 all the way to the Virginia line...keeping the WV 55 shields in the process.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 09, 2010, 10:28:51 PM
Quote
I talked to a WVDOH sign engineer about this, and he said they plan on signing US 48 all the way to the Virginia line...keeping the WV 55 shields in the process.

Key word there is "plan".  I just want 100% conformation that it will(is) posted all the way to VA. ;)   Can't hurt to be safe before WV US-48 is put online.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on November 10, 2010, 04:03:49 PM
Have you thought about going out yourself on a Saturday and looking?  After all it's only about 2-3 hour drive from Pittsburgh.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 10, 2010, 10:02:20 PM
Have you thought about going out yourself on a Saturday and looking?  After all it's only about 2-3 hour drive from Pittsburgh.

I'd love to go down there, but have stuff that needs to be done on the weekends. :(
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 10, 2010, 10:04:07 PM

Key word there is "plan".  I just want 100% conformation that it will(is) posted all the way to VA. ;)   Can't hurt to be safe before WV US-48 is put online.

Hopefully I will be able to give you a report tomorrow evening, as I plan to drive the new route tomorrow on my way to the Northeast. I'll probably be doing real-time updating on my Millennium Highway Facebook page so feel free to check it out if you can't wait to check here tomorrow.  :-D
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 11, 2010, 09:48:40 PM
I can report that US 48 is fully signed along WV 55. There is only one assembly that the US 48 sign is missing from, and that's the WV 55/WV 259 assembly just as you rejoin the old alignment outside Wardensville.

Going east into Virginia, there is only one US 48 sign, and that's at the state line. There are no more between there and I-81. Westbound, however, there are several.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 11, 2010, 09:49:58 PM
are any of the 48 shields made to '61 spec?  (classic shield shape, usually with Series C number)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 11, 2010, 10:30:49 PM
Virginia's are, I believe. WV, not so much. I did get plenty of pics.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 11, 2010, 10:32:57 PM
cool!  would like to see an example.  hell, even a '70 spec (bloater shield) from WV is going to be a necessary thing on the shield gallery because right now we don't have a US-48 shield for either state.

(or for Maryland, for that matter.)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 12, 2010, 11:39:36 AM
West Virginia's use D-series font.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 12, 2010, 11:43:18 AM
WV's been using the fatter shield shape for a while now.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/OK/OK19612771i1.jpg)

note the two different shield shapes.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mightyace on November 12, 2010, 12:49:30 PM
^^^

Is that US 277 an error shield?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 12, 2010, 01:06:15 PM
no, it is correctly identifying US-277.  It just happens to be made to 1961 spec, complete with Series A font.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on November 12, 2010, 01:23:24 PM
Brian Powell has a photo of a US 48 shield on his flickr site (alas I am at work and can't access it) but it is the same as that Oklahoma 62.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mightyace on November 12, 2010, 01:38:12 PM
no, it is correctly identifying US-277.  It just happens to be made to 1961 spec, complete with Series A font.

I am sorry, I was assuming to picture was in WV!  I should have known better as I don't think there's anywhere that flat in that state.  :banghead:
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 12, 2010, 01:55:37 PM
heh, 62 also misses WV to the best of my knowledge.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 12, 2010, 01:56:41 PM
Brian Powell has a photo of a US 48 shield on his flickr site (alas I am at work and can't access it) but it is the same as that Oklahoma 62.

the '70 spec shields aren't exactly critical.  if I somehow fail to put one up, I won't really object.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on November 16, 2010, 11:16:44 PM
Here's the US 48 shield by Brian Powell I was referring to:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bmpowell/5145390374/in/pool-948879@N25
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 17, 2010, 10:33:00 AM
dang.  Not critical.  I'll likely run across US48 next week so if I'll grab a photo.  Here's hoping I can find a '61.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 17, 2010, 01:15:36 PM
You won't.  All the US 48 shields are in the same format as the one in the photo.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 17, 2010, 01:49:54 PM
You won't.  All the US 48 shields are in the same format as the one in the photo.


damn. 

I know WV just recently put up a bunch of '57-spec I-64 shields.  Maybe they'll perform a similar act with US-48 randomly?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 17, 2010, 09:07:01 PM
All of Virginia's posted US 48 shields look like this:

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2009_Northeast_Day_5/Images/772.jpg)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 17, 2010, 09:08:50 PM
that'll do.  that is almost '61 spec!  that is the Virginia number-only cutout that was first introduced around 1956 (slightly different shape than the classic 1926 that appears on the '61 spec shields) and now it shows up on the black square.  good job Virginia not using ugly shields!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 17, 2010, 09:17:24 PM
There are several of those 48/55 assemblies heading west from I-81 toward the state line, but only one corresponding eastbound assembly, just past the state line as you cross from WV into VA.

At least WV's US 48 shields don't look like this butt-ugly example, which can be found all over the Mountain State:

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/wvroads/hurricane.jpg)

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 17, 2010, 09:21:01 PM
gotta love it.  Alabama has similarly wretched designs.

(http://shields.aaroads.com/img/AL/AL19702172i1.jpg)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mightyace on November 18, 2010, 02:26:13 PM
^^^

In your example, the US shield's deficiencies are overshadowed by the horrible 3-digit AL state highway sign.

To me, that shape looks more like you just used the lower half of Alabama rather than stretching the state shape.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Mapmikey on November 18, 2010, 08:44:28 PM

All of Virginia's posted US 48 shields look like this:


Not quite...side road junctions have the mini-square shields although I don't seem to have a photo...here is a street view link:  http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=strasburg,+va&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=24.594583,56.25&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Strasburg,+Shenandoah,+Virginia&ll=39.054414,-78.367884&spn=0,0.109863&t=h&z=13&layer=c&cbll=39.054414,-78.367884&panoid=hJZDQtWoBd1Tn5311rQd3Q&cbp=12,295.81,,0,5 (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=strasburg,+va&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=24.594583,56.25&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Strasburg,+Shenandoah,+Virginia&ll=39.054414,-78.367884&spn=0,0.109863&t=h&z=13&layer=c&cbll=39.054414,-78.367884&panoid=hJZDQtWoBd1Tn5311rQd3Q&cbp=12,295.81,,0,5)

Looking for a good street view to use above I discovered a new US 55 error shield...

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=strasburg,+va&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=24.594583,56.25&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Strasburg,+Shenandoah,+Virginia&ll=39.054429,-78.367627&spn=0,0.109863&t=h&z=13&layer=c&cbll=39.054501,-78.367522&panoid=OzNcsxjwF-IiDtTQBVdN5g&cbp=12,305.76,,0,5 (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=strasburg,+va&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=24.594583,56.25&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Strasburg,+Shenandoah,+Virginia&ll=39.054429,-78.367627&spn=0,0.109863&t=h&z=13&layer=c&cbll=39.054501,-78.367522&panoid=OzNcsxjwF-IiDtTQBVdN5g&cbp=12,305.76,,0,5)


One full sized shield erroneously posted EAST of I-81 is not like the others...


(http://www.vahighways.com/errors/us48error.jpg)

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on November 18, 2010, 08:49:56 PM
Here is a clearer example of the smaller 48 shields Mike refers to:

http://www.gribblenation.com/vapics/corrh/us48va55atshenctyrt623.jpg (taken by Seth Dunn in 2005).

Others I have here - http://www.gribblenation.com/vapics/corrh/
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 18, 2010, 10:12:39 PM
I'm guessing by that sign East of I-81 that VDOT wants to get approval to post US-48 to US-11 at least. :happy: :-D
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 20, 2010, 09:20:24 PM
I've put my photos of new US 48 (Corridor H) up on Facebook. (http://www.facebook.com/millenniumhighway)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on November 21, 2010, 03:50:55 PM
Added five construction photos from Sherman Cahal from the Bismarck to Forman section.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: VaF on November 28, 2010, 10:56:25 PM
Someone called VAFreeways (is he a member here?) made a video of the new corridor H:


I just posted the eastbound trip on my youtube channel. I also have video of Corridor H in and around Elkins as well - only eastbound though because there would have been too much glare to do a westbound video.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bryant5493 on November 29, 2010, 12:20:29 AM
^^

Welcome aboard, VaF.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 29, 2010, 12:38:33 PM
An interesting observation: US 48 is included in the Rand McNally atlas but it is not noted on the official Virginia highway map, even though Virginia has posted the route in the field for about 8 years.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on December 09, 2010, 11:11:52 PM
http://theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/539227/Corridor-H-construction-set-for-spring.html?nav=5014
Not an especially well-written article, but news nonetheless.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: VaF on January 12, 2011, 05:29:57 PM
I wrote to VDOT about Corridor H and what (if any) plans they have... here's what they wrote back with..

"I want to thank you for and respond to your e-mail of concern regarding Corridor H.   We do not have any major projects planned or programmed in Virginia at this time for Corridor H which follows the Route 55 corridor.  This is a topic that was addressed in the mid 1990s by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. 
Initially public hearings were held to determine the entry point to Virginia. The alternatives were either Route 50 in Frederick County or Route 55 in Shenandoah County.  On May 20, 1993 the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) unanimously voted to accept the southern corridor, which generally follows Route 55 from the West Virginia boarder to Interstate 81.  In January 1995, comments on the second of a three tier planning process for Corridor H were taken at a public hearing at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown.  Michael Baker Jr. Inc. was the project consultant for Corridor H.  There was strong local opposition to the project at the hearings.
The transcripts, project material and citizen comments were submitted to the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board for review.  The Commonwealth Transportation Board had the choice of a no build option or advancing to the third tier.   February 16, 1995: The Commonwealth Transportation Board chose not to proceed with plans to build Corridor H in Virginia.  The board voted unanimously against the project during its February meeting held in Richmond.
In its resolution, the Board stated no support for a four-lane facility and no support for an improved roadway alternative (IRA).  These options were presented at the January 1995 public hearing.  The board cited a majority of citizen comments favoring the no-build option.  The last paragraph of the resolution states:  "...the Department of Transportation is hereby directed, as may be included in the Six Year Plan, to study the Route 55 corridor safety aspects such as horizontal and vertical alignments, possible need for truck climbing lanes, intersection safety improvements, and other safety related features of the roadway."
The Board's action does not affect the West Virginia portion of Corridor H.  However, all future development of Corridor H plans will be done only in West Virginia.  No Virginia funds were spent on any Corridor H plan development.  Funding for all development to date has been borne by West Virginia."
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Henry on January 28, 2011, 03:18:06 PM
I guess you can say that US 48 is making a big comeback after I-68 in MD bumped it off back in 1989.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: LeftyJR on February 15, 2011, 01:04:33 PM
Hey everyone, I noticed that Google maps just updated their section west of Moorefiled, WV to include the new construction of Corridor H (WV-55).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on February 15, 2011, 01:08:08 PM
That's been there for at least a few days.  Also of note: that segment is not part of WV 55.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: LeftyJR on February 15, 2011, 07:01:45 PM
True, 55 heads south there at Moorefield.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on April 04, 2011, 08:08:13 AM
Noticed yesterday that the initial distance sign westbound just before the river bridge in Moorefield (which had shown distances to Thomas and Elkins) has since been replaced by one that only shows the mileage to Patterson Creek Rd.  Curiously, a similar distance sign near the west end at Knobley Rd remains in place.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on April 05, 2011, 02:20:30 PM
Noticed yesterday that the initial distance sign westbound just before the river bridge in Moorefield (which had shown distances to Thomas and Elkins) has since been replaced by one that only shows the mileage to Patterson Creek Rd.  Curiously, a similar distance sign near the west end at Knobley Rd remains in place.


That Patterson Creek Road sign was in place when I drove it back on March 13. Not sure when prior to that it was replace. I drove it eastbound in November and don't remember looking over my shoulder at the WB sign at that time.

Honestly, once that next section from Knobley Road over to Bismarck near the top of the hill near the intersection of WV 42 and WV 93 (the one nearest Mt. Storm Lake) is completed, I think it will be a viable alternative route to the DC area from my part of the world over I-68 or I-64. The road from Bismarck to Thomas is not bad at all, and I honestly don't think US 219 from Thomas to the beginning of the four-lane north of Elkins (through Parsons) is that bad of a drive. Being used to mountainous two-lanes, I wouldn't mind that stretch of US 219 at all if I was driving from Kentucky to DC.

But don't tell Randy Hersh.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on April 07, 2011, 07:39:33 PM
I drove over WV 93 on the way back home yesterday. The piers are all in for the high bridges over 93 between Scherr and US 50 and the approaches are built up; I'm curious to see whether or not this is completed this summer.

Both bridges are complete over CR 1, roadbed on both sides is graded but not paved. There is a lot more earth moving/grading taking place on the east side of WV 42 since the last time I was up there.

West of the lake along 93, I noticed some tree cutting on the south side of the road in places; don't know if it's related to smoothing a couple curves or not.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on April 08, 2011, 07:38:02 AM
Quote
I drove over WV 93 on the way back home yesterday. The piers are all in for the high bridges over 93 between Scherr and US 50 and the approaches are built up; I'm curious to see whether or not this is completed this summer.

It won't.  There's still a lot of earthwork to do in two places:  the ridge west of Knobley Rd, and the ridge west of 93.  Then there'll be a paving contract to be let.  They're still looking at a late 2013 opening.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on April 08, 2011, 10:33:03 PM
Sorry, I wasn't clear on that - I meant to say the bridge(s) over 93. It's obvious that grading, while started, is far from completion between 93 and 42.

I do have to say that I enjoy driving Route 93 between Davis and Bismarck.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on June 07, 2011, 04:57:23 PM
Meeting yesterday in Elkins:
http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/543864/Corridor-H-supporters-gather.html?nav=5014
Title: Re: Corridor H - US 220 upgrade from I-68 to Corridor H
Post by: LeftyJR on September 14, 2011, 02:48:42 PM
Alternatives B, C, and D are the finalists.  A pubic hearing will take place next month with a decision being made by April.  I travel this way quite a bit from Central PA to Franklin, WV, and I hope that this comes to fruition!

http://times-news.com/local/x1095948073/Highway-officials-outline-routes-to-connect-I-68-with-Corridor-H

Here is the map (on page 12): http://apps.roads.maryland.gov/WebProjectLifeCycle/AL613_11/htdocs/Documents/Location_Design/US%20220%20Brochure%20Spreads%20with%20comment%20card.pdf
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on September 14, 2011, 03:50:56 PM
Alternatives B, C, and D are the finalists.  A pubic hearing will take place next month with a decision being made by April.  I travel this way quite a bit from Central PA to Franklin, WV, and I hope that this comes to fruition!

http://times-news.com/local/x1095948073/Highway-officials-outline-routes-to-connect-I-68-with-Corridor-H

Here is the map (on page 12): http://apps.roads.maryland.gov/WebProjectLifeCycle/AL613_11/htdocs/Documents/Location_Design/US%20220%20Brochure%20Spreads%20with%20comment%20card.pdf

D seems like a bad alignment, given that most traffic will probably want to go west on Corridor H (long-distance traffic headed east should use US 522), and staying with US 220 to Moorefield will involve crossing several ridges.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: LeftyJR on September 14, 2011, 08:49:11 PM
Alternative C seems to be the best, most direct route IMO. It runs NW to SW, and avoids going around Cumberland (if traveling westbound).  It also seems to line up closer to where US 220 heads north to MD and PA.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Kein Mitleid on September 15, 2011, 07:58:38 PM
I like highways as much as the next guy on here, and I agree that the road is very scenic. However, it's a monumental waste of money that connects nowhere to nowhere. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on September 15, 2011, 10:54:34 PM
Kein:  you're not far off there.  Though I'm sure the residents of Cumberland, MD and Moorefield, WV would like to think they're somewhere, the traffic volumes just don't support a major corridor here.  WVDOT has plenty of roads elsewhere that DO have the volumes to support improvements.  US 220 isn't one of them.  Neither, arguably, is Corridor H itself.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: LeftyJR on September 16, 2011, 11:37:21 AM
To me, West Virginia sees its eastern 1/3 as being the next area of development outside of Washington D.C.  My guess is that they are banking on development around these roads after they are built.  Selfishly, I would love this road to be built, but that's only because I travel down that way 3 times a year.  Getting through Cumberland and Keyser isn't what I would call easy.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on September 16, 2011, 01:34:55 PM
I like highways as much as the next guy on here, and I agree that the road is very scenic. However, it's a monumental waste of money that connects nowhere to nowhere. Correct me if I'm wrong.

You're right. Corridor H could be useful as a shorter route from DC to the Ohio Valley, but US 220 south of Cumberland really serves only local-regional traffic, with the biggest cities to benefit from an upgrade probably being Elkins and Buckhannon (anyone going west of Buckhanon will simply use I-68 to I-79). Spot improvements on the 220-972-50-93-42 corridor should be enough.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on September 29, 2011, 07:08:02 AM
First: I like the corridor C alternative, would run entirely thru the valleys.

Second: I just drove on Corridor H to the "new" end last month, nice drive, especially seeing all of the windmills on the mountain, they estimate the next section being built to be the most expensive, close to $23M/mile.

Third: Unless Rt. 55 from Wardensville/Va. border becomes "unserviceable" or money comes in to build w/definite timeline (this per original agreement) to finish, or stimulus money gets allocated in the future (was rerouted to other projects in W.V.) or they attempt again to mooch money from DHS (escape route from D.C.) to finish it,the last W.V. section may not be done in my lifetime to Strasburg. W.V. is trying hard to get the $$ to finish it by 2020, or it will be 2030 before it is done. :banghead:
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on December 30, 2011, 12:15:14 PM
Anybody been up there lately? Was wondering how the construction was going.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on December 31, 2011, 06:37:51 AM
Was up there a couple weekends ago. Biggest item of noteis that grading/bridgework for a new interchange where Corridor H crosses WV 93 west of Bismark is underway. I saw no discernable work westof there towards David, however.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CVski on January 09, 2012, 11:22:04 AM
An update at the Corridor H website has 4 new milestones:  Knobley Rd to Rt 93, fall of this year; up to the 93/42 crossing under the windmills, end of 2013; to the intersection with Rt 93 just north of the dam, spring of 2014; and to the intersection with Rt 32 at Davis, fall of 2014.

http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/map4.html
   
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on January 10, 2012, 06:20:49 AM
Thanks for the update, that's a pretty ambitious schedule for completion across that mtn., hope they make it.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 10, 2012, 09:17:37 PM
An update at the Corridor H website has 4 new milestones:  Knobley Rd to Rt 93, fall of this year

That will make the route really usable. Right now it's a pain to take Greenland Gap or WV 42 to Knobley to access the route. The WV 93 crossing is very close to the WV 42 intersection.

and to the intersection with Rt 32 at Davis, fall of 2014.

That should be a really easy upgrade, as most of it west of the lake should be just adding two lanes to existing WV 93.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on January 11, 2012, 07:03:07 AM
Quote
Right now it's a pain to take Greenland Gap or WV 42 to Knobley to access the route.

Matter of opinion.  I've had no problem taking Greenland Gap.

Quote
The WV 93 crossing is very close to the WV 42 intersection.

Not really "very close".  It's 2 miles.  The entirity of the Greenland Gap detour (Knobley Rd/Greenland gap Rd/Scherr Rd) is 5.3 miles.

Quote
That should be a really easy upgrade, as most of it west of the lake should be just adding two lanes to existing WV 93.

About 5 miles worth...mostly the westernmost leg...will be a twinning of existing WV 93.  The remainder will be new alignment for all 4 lanes.  In particular, the sharper curve about halfway between Davis and the lake will be bypassed.


Also, because of the backtracking involved, the extension to WV 93 will only save about 2 minutes over the existing "detour" through Greenland Gap.  Significant for trucks since they can't use Knobley Rd or Greenland Gap Rd to begin with.  But less significant for regular vehicles.  The BIG significance will be late next year when they get it finished up to the top of the hill at Mt. Storm.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 11, 2012, 02:44:58 PM
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=39.191154,-79.160872&spn=0.030866,0.054846&t=h&z=14&vpsrc=6

If there is an intersection with Scherr Road (CR 1) that would be really handy, as that is practically adjacent to the WV 42/WV 93 intersection.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on January 12, 2012, 07:29:14 AM
There isn't.  Except for 1 or 2 immediate-parcel access points, there will be no intersections between Knobley Rd and the WV 93 connector.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 12, 2012, 02:31:56 PM
Odd, since there are several at-grades along the current section east of Knobley Rd.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on January 12, 2012, 09:38:10 PM
Not really odd, if you factor in topography.  CR 1/Scherr Rd is in a valley in that location, while Corridor H will be riding the top of the ridge...hence the extra-long (and extra-high) bridge in that location.  Also the reason why Corridor H needs a connector to WV 93 instead of intersecting more directly.  That and there's basically nothing to intersect between Scherr Rd and Knobley Rd.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 13, 2012, 12:14:12 AM
Not really odd, if you factor in topography.  CR 1/Scherr Rd is in a valley in that location, while Corridor H will be riding the top of the ridge...hence the extra-long (and extra-high) bridge in that location.  Also the reason why Corridor H needs a connector to WV 93 instead of intersecting more directly.  That and there's basically nothing to intersect between Scherr Rd and Knobley Rd.

I have driven that segment of road that's multiplexed as W.Va. 42/W.Va. 93 between Scherr Road and the point where 42 continues north to U.S. 50 and 93 heads west in the direction of the Mount Storm coal-fired electric generating station and Davis. 

A very scenic drive, though challenging when headed south and east in the direction of Scherr, especially in bad weather.  So Corridor H will provide a better road for most.

The images currenrly online from Google Maps show that most of the right-of-way from the current terminus of Corridor H at Knobley Road almost to the line of windmills has been cleared. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 13, 2012, 12:38:57 AM
Third: Unless Rt. 55 from Wardensville/Va. border becomes "unserviceable" or money comes in to build w/definite timeline (this per original agreement) to finish, or stimulus money gets allocated in the future (was rerouted to other projects in W.V.) or they attempt again to mooch money from DHS (escape route from D.C.) to finish it,the last W.V. section may not be done in my lifetime to Strasburg.

There has been a lot of NIMBYist opposition to Corridor H in Virginia. 

U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va. 10th) locked horns with the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) over Corridor H (Wolf opposed, Byrd in favor) in the 1990's. 

USEPA Region III Administrator (and former congressman) Peter Kostmayer was fired (http://articles.philly.com/1995-04-20/news/25687710_1_jay-rockefeller-peter-kostmayer-key-waiver) by the Clinton Administration in 1995 in part for opposing Corridor H (and Kostmayer may have been funding groups opposed to the project with federal taxpayer dollars, a no-no).  A friend of mine who was with a different federal agency at the time told me that Kostmayer instructed his staff at Region III that his highest policy priority was to get any and all proposed highway projects in the Region III states (Pa., Del., Md., Va., W.Va. and D.C.) cancelled for environmental reasons.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 13, 2012, 02:20:29 PM
USEPA Region III Administrator (and former congressman) Peter Kostmayer was fired (http://articles.philly.com/1995-04-20/news/25687710_1_jay-rockefeller-peter-kostmayer-key-waiver) by the Clinton Administration in 1995 in part for opposing Corridor H (and Kostmayer may have been funding groups opposed to the project with federal taxpayer dollars, a no-no).  A friend of mine who was with a different federal agency at the time told me that Kostmayer instructed his staff at Region III that his highest policy priority was to get any and all proposed highway projects in the Region III states (Pa., Del., Md., Va., W.Va. and D.C.) cancelled for environmental reasons.

At the risk of going off-topic, this is one of the things that irritates me most about government.

We have one agency trying to keep another agency from doing something that would be a benefit to the public.  That is a total waste of money and time and effort.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on January 13, 2012, 03:28:06 PM
To be fair, it's both a benefit AND a detriment to the public.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 13, 2012, 11:35:51 PM
USEPA Region III Administrator (and former congressman) Peter Kostmayer was fired (http://articles.philly.com/1995-04-20/news/25687710_1_jay-rockefeller-peter-kostmayer-key-waiver) by the Clinton Administration in 1995 in part for opposing Corridor H (and Kostmayer may have been funding groups opposed to the project with federal taxpayer dollars, a no-no).  A friend of mine who was with a different federal agency at the time told me that Kostmayer instructed his staff at Region III that his highest policy priority was to get any and all proposed highway projects in the Region III states (Pa., Del., Md., Va., W.Va. and D.C.) cancelled for environmental reasons.

At the risk of going off-topic, this is one of the things that irritates me most about government.

We have one agency trying to keep another agency from doing something that would be a benefit to the public.  That is a total waste of money and time and effort.

H.B., I strongly agree.

Kostmayer also did his best to kill Maryland's InterCounty Connector project.  At the time, Maryland DOT was in the early stages of preparing a draft environmental impact statement (which was destined to be spiked by then-Gov. Parris Glendening in 1999 for political reasons, after spending millions of dollars on that DEIS), and Kostmayer's EPA Region III staff made demands (in about 1993 or 1994) that certain possible alignments for the highway (including the one that had been on the planning maps since the 1950's, and where the completed highway now runs) should be excluded from any consideration, even before alternatives were analyzed.  That's not how the environmental impact statement process, as mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act, is supposed to work.

Supposedly Region III had "serious concerns" about the self-reproducing brown trout population in the Paint Branch of the Anacostia River (never mind that the brown trout are not native to Maryland, but were introduced from Germany many years before - and as an alien species, get no protection under the Clean Water Act and other federal environmental laws).

I also believe (but cannot prove) that Kostmayer held private meetings with opponents of both Corridor H and ICC to work out strategies for getting them cancelled.  In the judicial branch, that's called ex-parte communication and is not allowed.  Because EPA was working in a quasi-judicial role in reviewing environmental documents for both projects, I think it's high time that such meetings (with any advocate, pro- or con-) be held on-the record or forbidden entirely (ideally, advocates for or against a project under EPA review should be required to submit comments in writing and the comments should go on the public record for all interested parties to read).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on January 14, 2012, 08:22:32 AM
The EPA exists to provide cover for politicians to acomplish via regulatation things that they cannot come right out and say.  A politican that actually came out and said "I have mine and I really don't care about everybody else." would lose 95-5.  But you can, via environmental regulation, acomplish that selfish and self-centered goal. 

The answer, of course, is a "notwithstanding" clause.  Congress should appropriate funds to improve the lives of Earth's most important species "notwithstanding" any environmental regulation. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 14, 2012, 09:24:00 AM
The EPA exists to provide cover for politicians to acomplish via regulatation things that they cannot come right out and say.  A politican that actually came out and said "I have mine and I really don't care about everybody else." would lose 95-5.  But you can, via environmental regulation, acomplish that selfish and self-centered goal. 

The answer, of course, is a "notwithstanding" clause.  Congress should appropriate funds to improve the lives of Earth's most important species "notwithstanding" any environmental regulation. 

You're about as right as pooing is uncool.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 14, 2012, 04:35:06 PM
The EPA exists to provide cover for politicians to acomplish via regulatation things that they cannot come right out and say.  A politican that actually came out and said "I have mine and I really don't care about everybody else." would lose 95-5.  But you can, via environmental regulation, acomplish that selfish and self-centered goal. 

The answer, of course, is a "notwithstanding" clause.  Congress should appropriate funds to improve the lives of Earth's most important species "notwithstanding" any environmental regulation.

S.P., I am no fan of what the EPA (and other federal environmental regulators, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service) have repeatedly done to obstruct needed improvements to the transportation system.

But some things that the EPA has done, including greatly improved vehicle emission controls and reformulated motor fuels (including ultra-low-sulfur Diesel fuel) have done much to improve air quality (without social engineering schemes, like attempts to force people to use mass transit).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 15, 2012, 01:21:11 AM
To be fair, it's both a benefit AND a detriment to the public.

How is Corridor H a detriment to the public?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 15, 2012, 03:21:44 AM
To be fair, it's both a benefit AND a detriment to the public.

How is Corridor H a detriment to the public?

Surely you, as a conservative, realize that government spending is a detriment :)

(Of course there are other (often secondary) effects, but the party of "me" doesn't care about those.)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on January 15, 2012, 07:37:53 AM
Corridor H is really no different from any other road in Appalachia.  It just has bad timing.  The other interstates and corridors in WV were finished earlier for various political and social reasons.  By the time it was Corridor H's "turn" the state was bankrupt and they BANANAs had theirs and wanted no one else to have anything.

Really, you can be 2 miles from Corridor H and be unaware of its existance.  Its environmental impact (I use the common term the EPA uses, of course, nothing man does can have any real environmental impact, as man is a part of the environment) is really so near zero as to be not worth considering.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 15, 2012, 09:49:42 AM
nothing man does can have any real environmental impact, as man is a part of the environment
Wow.

Volcanos have environmental impact. Beaver dams have environmental impact. Swarms of locusts have environmental impact.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 15, 2012, 12:08:02 PM
Corridor H is really no different from any other road in Appalachia.  It just has bad timing.
 
Correct.

Quote
The other interstates and corridors in WV were finished earlier for various political and social reasons.  By the time it was Corridor H's "turn" the state was bankrupt and they BANANAs had theirs and wanted no one else to have anything.

Also correct. I understand that much of the opposition to Corridor H comes from people with money (frequently from places near Washington, D.C.) who have moved to the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia to "get away from it all," and absolutely do not want the (desirable) induced traffic that will result from a completed Corridor H. Because they have money, they have no interest in the economic benefits of the highway.  And never mind the safety benefits of a modern highway.

Maryland DOT/State Highway Administration went through similar controversies when it was building the (mostly uncompleted) segment of Corridor E (I-68 today, f/k/a U.S. 48) between Cumberland and Hancock.  But I understand that there were enough people in Allegany County (especially) that understood that upgrading from the (old and twisting) U.S. 40 would have economic and safety benefits.

Quote
Really, you can be 2 miles from Corridor H and be unaware of its existance.  Its environmental impact (I use the common term the EPA uses, of course, nothing man does can have any real environmental impact, as man is a part of the environment) is really so near zero as to be not worth considering.

I strongly agree.  The same is true for I-68.  Hence "serious concern" about air quality and "induced" traffic from groups like the Sierra Club. Never mind that air quality has improved, and is forecast to continue to improve in the coming years.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on January 15, 2012, 12:19:02 PM

Beaver dams have environmental impact. Swarms of locusts have environmental impact.

Actually no.  All are just one part of the environment using it to their advantage.  

The problem, well, one problem, with the EPA is that it starts with the incorrect assumption that the current or "natural" (again, as man is a part of nature, everything he does is, by defination "natural") state of the environment is "good" and change is "bad" and only to be permitted after some obtuse analysis.

Is the environment "better" with or without polio?  Neither "natural" nor "current" are necessiarially "good".  

The same logic needs to be appled to road construction.  The environment will be better with a Corridor H than without it.  We need to return to using terms from wiser generations like "reclamation" and "settle" and "improve".
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 15, 2012, 01:03:30 PM

Beaver dams have environmental impact. Swarms of locusts have environmental impact.

Actually no.  All are just one part of the environment using it to their advantage. 
Just as cancer is part of your body growing.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on January 15, 2012, 01:53:39 PM
Absolutly.  Cancer is "natural".  The ordinary state of a body.  Today, man has IMPROVED upon his body by learning how to cure and prevent 1000s of types of cancer, and other diseases.

How sad that there are people that equate people with a disease.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on January 15, 2012, 02:05:57 PM
Also correct. I understand that much of the opposition to Corridor H comes from people with money (frequently from places near Washington, D.C.) who have moved to the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia to "get away from it all," and absolutely do not want the (desirable) induced traffic that will result from a completed Corridor H. Because they have money, they have no interest in the economic benefits of the highway.  And never mind the safety benefits of a modern highway.


Absolutly correct.  If by "get away from it all" you mean "start a pot farm".  Many parts of Appalachia are burdened by do-gooder flatlanders who simply "know better" and whose main political agenda is to pull the ladder of success up behind them as they spend daddy and mommy's money.

I should also add that in democrat dominated West Virginia, the Potomac Highlands have always been ancestorally Republican, and thus H was placed at the bottom of the priority list.  The other roads were completed before the BANANA movement got going to the degree of today.  There is really little difference between H and E, L, G, or Q or any of the interstates.

One of the great ironies of the whole environmental movement is the further from the "natural" (original) state of the land one is, the more likely one is to be an environmental extemist.  Consider California.  Unreclaimed, it might support 500K people, max.  An entirely artificial place, filled with people living from the benefits of projects completed by previous generations, none of which the EPA would allow today.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 15, 2012, 02:51:51 PM
Absolutly.  Cancer is "natural".  The ordinary state of a body.  Today, man has IMPROVED upon his body by learning how to cure and prevent 1000s of types of cancer, and other diseases.
Way to miss the point. Even though cancer is part of the ordinary state, it affects the body, just as something that is part of the environment can impact the environment.

Unless you just like playing word games for the purpose of trolling.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 15, 2012, 05:29:52 PM
Also correct. I understand that much of the opposition to Corridor H comes from people with money (frequently from places near Washington, D.C.) who have moved to the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia to "get away from it all," and absolutely do not want the (desirable) induced traffic that will result from a completed Corridor H. Because they have money, they have no interest in the economic benefits of the highway.  And never mind the safety benefits of a modern highway.


Absolutly correct.  If by "get away from it all" you mean "start a pot farm".
 

Agreed regarding cannabis cultivation.  Especially in West Virginia, with plenty of undeveloped land and ideal growing conditions (the stuff grows naturally all over the Mountaineer State).

I've never used the stuff and don't like its vile smell.  In spite of that, I still assert that it should be legalized (not decriminalized, legalized) and taxed.  It would raise a lot of money for the state and federal governments - and possibly bankrupt the Mexican Mafias.

Quote
Many parts of Appalachia are burdened by do-gooder flatlanders who simply "know better" and whose main political agenda is to pull the ladder of success up behind them as they spend daddy and mommy's money.

Also correct.  Many of the flatlanders in question are people who have earned enough money working near the Capital Beltway (or sometimes just from real property value appreciation) to be able to relocate to West Virginia.  Yes, some of them are trust fund babies as well.  Though the syndrome is not unique to West Virginia and Corridor H.  There were similar dynamics at work in Jefferson County, W.Va., where Virginia's Piedmont Environmental Council attempted to stop WVDOH's improvements to W.Va. 9 between Charles Town and the Virginia/West Virginia border (VDOT has no money, and there is opposition in Loudoun County to improving Va. 9 between the state line and Clarke's Gap - and never mind that there have been some terrible crashes along this road in both states).

Quote
I should also add that in democrat dominated West Virginia, the Potomac Highlands have always been ancestorally Republican, and thus H was placed at the bottom of the priority list.  The other roads were completed before the BANANA movement got going to the degree of today.  There is really little difference between H and E, L, G, or Q or any of the interstates.

Western Maryland (from west to east Garrett, Alleganey and Washington Counties) was (and is) very Republican as compared to the rest of the state, though the administrations of the late Gov. William Donald Schaefer (D) and before him, Gov. Harry Hughes (also D) strongly supported completing Corridor E, in spite of (occasionally strong) environmental opposition.

Quote
One of the great ironies of the whole environmental movement is the further from the "natural" (original) state of the land one is, the more likely one is to be an environmental extemist.  Consider California.  Unreclaimed, it might support 500K people, max.  An entirely artificial place, filled with people living from the benefits of projects completed by previous generations, none of which the EPA would allow today.

S.P., sage and correct comment.  Southern California is profoundly dependent on its freeway network, its ports, its high-voltage transmission lines (like this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_DC_Intertie)) and water transportation projects (like this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_Aqueduct) and this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_River_Aqueduct)). 

San Francisco, home to the national headquarters of the Sierra Club, likely would not exist in its current form without the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hetch_Hetchy_Aqueduct) (and yes, I know that John Muir, one of the founders of the Sierra Club, was opposed to construction of the O'Shaughnessy Dam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O%27Shaughnessy_Dam) which impounds the waters of the Tuolumne River, which are then diverted to San Francisco and environs).

For more reading on so-called environmentalism in California, read this (http://www.newgeography.com/content/002610-urban-development-playing-twister-with-california%E2%80%99s-environmental-quality-act) on the NewGeorgaphy site.

For decades I have observed persons loudly (and often cravenly) opposed to the (relatively short) InterCounty Connector toll toad project in my home state of Maryland show up at public meetings and hearings in their single-occupant vehicles to claim that the road is not (and will never be) needed because mass transit is a an acceptable substitute and that "better land use patterns" (in other words, high-density apartment building development far from their single-family detached homes) will obviate the need for the road.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 15, 2012, 07:19:42 PM
I am still curious as to why Froggie might think Corridor H is a detriment.

Talking environmentalism in general, seems to me that it would be environmentally correct to have a shorter and faster route from the Midwest to the DC area that would result in the use of less gasoline, and all the supposed problems that come from gas.

Any traffic from the Midwest (Denver-KC-STL-Louisville-Lexington-Huntington-Charleston corridor) driving to DC must go well out of the way to the north via I-79, I-68, I-70 and I-270, or well out of the way to the south using I-77, I-64, I-81 and I-66. This is extra mileage, which would result in the use of more gas if the terrain was level, but add the mountains and even more gas gets burned. Corridor H will provide more of a straight route and will shorten the drive from Charleston to DC. And it seems to me that the mountain crossings are easier than the other routes, as well.

I've never used the stuff and don't like its vile smell.

I have never even so much as tried marijuana. I'm proud of that fact. And the smell of it gives me a terrible headache.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on January 15, 2012, 08:38:41 PM
A) Marijuana is wonderful.
B) Corridor H tears apart hillsides and doesn't get nearly enough traffic to justify itself as a four-lane expressway.
C) WV's tendency to build expressways instead of freeways is annoying at best.
D) No, seriously, have you smoked up yet?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on January 15, 2012, 08:39:43 PM
Absolutly.  Cancer is "natural".  The ordinary state of a body.  Today, man has IMPROVED upon his body by learning how to cure and prevent 1000s of types of cancer, and other diseases.
Way to miss the point. Even though cancer is part of the ordinary state, it affects the body, just as something that is part of the environment can impact the environment.

Unless you just like playing word games for the purpose of trolling.

Hurricanes and tornadoes and tsunamis are part of nature, as well.

Post Merge: January 16, 2012, 03:16:26 AM
A) Marijuana is wonderful.
B) Corridor H tears apart hillsides and doesn't get nearly enough traffic to justify itself as a four-lane expressway.
C) WV's tendency to build expressways instead of freeways is annoying at best.

Expressway construction cost per mile is about 1/2 that of a freeway.  They provide the benefits of 4 lanes and limited access, at a much more affordable cost, and are quite appropriate for rural interregional highways in the 7,000 to 15,000 AADT range.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 15, 2012, 08:58:10 PM
B) Corridor H tears apart hillsides and doesn't get nearly enough traffic to justify itself as a four-lane expressway.

1. But it will once the entire through route is built and it diverts some traffic off I-68 to the north and I-64 to the south.
2.) When did Randy Hersh adopt Steve Alpert's identity?

C) WV's tendency to build expressways instead of freeways is annoying at best.

They build them with few traffic lights and sign them for 65 mph. Plenty good enough.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on January 15, 2012, 09:04:08 PM
I didn't say it's not inappropriate, but annoying. Especially because they call them "freeways" and put them in Federal freeway corridors (I-73, I-66, etc.) And most especially because of the way they tear up the hillside. I don't think it's worth it at all. If you have the traffic to justify a four-lane highway, build some freaking tunnels or do some engineering instead of blasting everything away until you have a flat surface. No other state does it like WV does.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 15, 2012, 10:15:04 PM
A) Marijuana is wonderful.

I dislike the stuff.  But I still support its legalization.

Quote
B) Corridor H tears apart hillsides and doesn't get nearly enough traffic to justify itself as a four-lane expressway.

Wonder if they said the same thing about the original Pennsylvania Turnpike?  Or Corridor E/I-68?

Or any number of proposed projects elsewhere? 

"This proposed highway is not needed" is a phrase I have heard more than a few times.

Quote
C) WV's tendency to build expressways instead of freeways is annoying at best.

As long as the road does not bear an Interstate designation, I think expressways are fine.

Quote
D) No, seriously, have you smoked up yet?

Not me!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on January 15, 2012, 10:23:04 PM
I didn't say it's not inappropriate, but annoying. Especially because they call them "freeways" and put them in Federal freeway corridors (I-73, I-66, etc.) And most especially because of the way they tear up the hillside. I don't think it's worth it at all. If you have the traffic to justify a four-lane highway, build some freaking tunnels or do some engineering instead of blasting everything away until you have a flat surface. No other state does it like WV does.

How do they call them freeways?

Tunnels are extremely expensive to build, and have operational restrictions.

The cuts make up, what, about 0.0001% of the state's land area?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on January 15, 2012, 10:26:00 PM
I didn't say it's not inappropriate, but annoying. Especially because they call them "freeways" and put them in Federal freeway corridors (I-73, I-66, etc.) And most especially because of the way they tear up the hillside. I don't think it's worth it at all. If you have the traffic to justify a four-lane highway, build some freaking tunnels or do some engineering instead of blasting everything away until you have a flat surface. No other state does it like WV does.

How do they call them freeways?

Tunnels are extremely expensive to build, and have operational restrictions.

The cuts make up, what, about 0.0001% of the state's land area?
I have no idea how they define "freeway." But the cuts are visible all over the state and just scar the natural beauty. I hate it, absolutely hate it.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on January 15, 2012, 10:30:59 PM
I didn't say it's not inappropriate, but annoying. Especially because they call them "freeways" and put them in Federal freeway corridors (I-73, I-66, etc.) And most especially because of the way they tear up the hillside. I don't think it's worth it at all. If you have the traffic to justify a four-lane highway, build some freaking tunnels or do some engineering instead of blasting everything away until you have a flat surface. No other state does it like WV does.

How do they call them freeways?

Tunnels are extremely expensive to build, and have operational restrictions.

The cuts make up, what, about 0.0001% of the state's land area?
I have no idea how they define "freeway." But the cuts are visible all over the state and just scar the natural beauty. I hate it, absolutely hate it.

The cuts are not visible from 99% of the land area.

The cuts are an important part of the human environment, just like buildings in cities.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on January 15, 2012, 10:52:51 PM
I didn't say it's not inappropriate, but annoying. Especially because they call them "freeways" and put them in Federal freeway corridors (I-73, I-66, etc.) And most especially because of the way they tear up the hillside. I don't think it's worth it at all. If you have the traffic to justify a four-lane highway, build some freaking tunnels or do some engineering instead of blasting everything away until you have a flat surface. No other state does it like WV does.

How do they call them freeways?

Tunnels are extremely expensive to build, and have operational restrictions.

The cuts make up, what, about 0.0001% of the state's land area?
I have no idea how they define "freeway." But the cuts are visible all over the state and just scar the natural beauty. I hate it, absolutely hate it.

The cuts are not visible from 99% of the land area.

The cuts are an important part of the human environment, just like buildings in cities.
That last statement proves that you're just arguing for argument's sake.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 16, 2012, 12:11:11 AM
Kentucky does pretty much the same thing as West Virginia when it comes to building roads through the mountains. You ought to check out the two newest sections of US 119 for evidence.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: J N Winkler on January 16, 2012, 12:17:16 AM
One of the great ironies of the whole environmental movement is the further from the "natural" (original) state of the land one is, the more likely one is to be an environmental extemist.  Consider California.  Unreclaimed, it might support 500K people, max.  An entirely artificial place, filled with people living from the benefits of projects completed by previous generations, none of which the EPA would allow today.

S.P., sage and correct comment.  Southern California is profoundly dependent on its freeway network, its ports, its high-voltage transmission lines (like this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_DC_Intertie)) and water transportation projects (like this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_Aqueduct) and this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_River_Aqueduct)).

California does depend on infrastructure to carry its population and support its economy, but S.P.'s statement is just wrong.  California's population has been above 500,000 since 1870, when there were no surfaced roads, no aqueducts, and no electricity.  California had almost 7 million people when the first freeway opened.  The era of aqueduct construction began around 1910 (construction on Hetch Hetchy started 1914, Owens Valley aqueduct started 1913), when the population was 2.3 million, and since the main purpose of those aqueducts was to cater for planned rather than existing development, the break-even point on water sales lagged construction by decades--in the case of the Colorado River aqueduct this was 1954 for a facility which was conceived in 1923 and opened in 1935.

California is a large and resource-rich state and this has allowed it to sustain decade-on-decade population increases of more than 18% in every decade after statehood (except in the last two decades, with growth rates of 13.8% from 1990-2000 and 10% from 2000-2010), despite a small, late-developing, and poorly articulated railroad system, a long history of low per-capita and per-mile highway spending before Collier-Burns, and relatively low per-capita freeway provision (in terms both of centerline and lane mileage).

Added infrastructure in California would probably pay its way but it goes too far to say that it is "an entirely artificial place."  Today's population would probably fit in the California of 1940, albeit at some penalty in standard of living.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on January 16, 2012, 06:44:22 AM
I didn't say it's not inappropriate, but annoying. Especially because they call them "freeways" and put them in Federal freeway corridors (I-73, I-66, etc.) And most especially because of the way they tear up the hillside. I don't think it's worth it at all. If you have the traffic to justify a four-lane highway, build some freaking tunnels or do some engineering instead of blasting everything away until you have a flat surface. No other state does it like WV does.

How do they call them freeways?

Tunnels are extremely expensive to build, and have operational restrictions.

The cuts make up, what, about 0.0001% of the state's land area?
I have no idea how they define "freeway." But the cuts are visible all over the state and just scar the natural beauty. I hate it, absolutely hate it.

The cuts are not visible from 99% of the land area.

The cuts are an important part of the human environment, just like buildings in cities.
That last statement proves that you're just arguing for argument's sake.

No, it is arguing from a point of reality.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 16, 2012, 07:24:32 AM
Typical right-wing solipsistic behavior. If you don't agree with it it's not real.

Post Merge: January 17, 2012, 04:17:06 AM
a shorter and faster route from the Midwest to the DC area
Only if you count Louisville as being in the Midwest. If you're going anywhere west of St. Louis, I-270 to I-70 is shorter (and probably has better grades).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on January 16, 2012, 08:44:31 AM
A completed Corridor H would be the prefered route from St. Louis to DC.  70 to Columbus, then Corridor D, then 78, then H, then 66. 

As to California, its a comeback to say that the figure is "only" one out of 50 Californians could actually be supported by the land, unreclaimed, rather than one out of 100?

As to pot, I don't use the stuff.  I used to really not care, but the more potheads I am around, the more I think its a "chicken and egg" deal.  Is it that people that belive crazy crap also smoke pot, or that pot makes you believe crazy crap.  I am begining to think its the latter.

As to WV and expressways, our "corridor standard" is wonderful.  As our great governor once said "if you don't want to look at it, feel free to drive the old route, I'll see you next week when you get here.".  Really the mountainside cuts (which KY, TN, etc also do) are 0.001% of the surface, and if you take a walk in the woods a mile in any direction, you will find plenty of "natural" mountains to look at.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 16, 2012, 10:30:59 AM
A completed Corridor H would be the prefered route from St. Louis to DC.  70 to Columbus, then Corridor D, then 78, then H, then 66. 
(I assume you mean 79, not 78.) Maybe by passenger cars looking to avoid congestion (in which case I-64 to I-79 to Corridor H would be better, as well as shorter). But trucks benefit from flat highways, which Corridor H is not. Add to that the fact that I-70 to I-270 is shorter (as is the toll bypass via I-68), and the only reason to use Corridor H as a trucker is if you have stops along the way.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on January 16, 2012, 12:24:30 PM
The flatness of a completed H is actually pretty equal to either 70/270 70/79 (yes I made a typo) / 68/70/270.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: J N Winkler on January 16, 2012, 12:35:10 PM
As to California, it's a comeback to say that the figure is "only" one out of 50 Californians could actually be supported by the land, unreclaimed, rather than one out of 100?

Who said "only"?  What is your attribution for that quote?

In any case, "one out of 50 . . . one out of 100" misrepresents your original claim, let alone the rebuttal.  It is usually a bit silly to fact-check counterfactuals, but your claim about the carrying capacity of "land, unreclaimed" in California bears such a tenuous relationship to the historical demography of that state that it invites a skeptical and suspicious reading of your arguments about Corridor H.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 16, 2012, 05:01:07 PM
Only if you count Louisville as being in the Midwest. If you're going anywhere west of St. Louis, I-270 to I-70 is shorter (and probably has better grades).

Not really. I-70 makes that northward jaunt to Indianapolis, whereas I-64 is a straighter shot. Plus with I-70 you have to deal with:

1.) Indianapolis
2.) Columbus
3.) Wheeling
4.) The substandard portion between Washington and New Stanton
5.) Tolls on the Turnpike
6.) Breezewood

I-64/I-79/Corridor H only involves going through Louisville and Charleston, and they are not as big as Indy and Columbus. Plus the scenery is a lot prettier than slogging across Illinois, Indiana and Ohio on I-70, which I've done.

If I'm traveling east on I-70 approaching STL, I choose I-64.

A completed Corridor H would be the prefered route from St. Louis to DC.  70 to Columbus, then Corridor D, then 79, then H, then 66.

How would you get from Columbus to Corridor D? Ohio hasn't finished US 33 yet.

To me the whole point of taking I-64 would be to avoid Indy and Columbus.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 16, 2012, 06:09:32 PM
Only if you count Louisville as being in the Midwest. If you're going anywhere west of St. Louis, I-270 to I-70 is shorter (and probably has better grades).

Not really. I-70 makes that northward jaunt to Indianapolis, whereas I-64 is a straighter shot.
And I-79 winds through the mountains. According to Google Maps, from St. Louis to Washington, DC:
*I-70/270: 827 miles
*I-70/79/68/70/270: 835 miles
*I-70/US 33/D/I-79/68/70/270: 845 miles
*I-70/US 35/D/I-79/68/70/270: 847 miles
*I-64/79/H/I-66: 848 miles (using US 219-WV 93-Greenland Gap to fill the gap)
*I-70/US 33/D/I-79/H/I-66: 862 miles
*I-70/US 35/D/I-79/H/I-66: 864 miles
*I-70/D/I-79/68/70/270: 863 miles
*I-64/71/D/I-79/68/70/270: 869 miles
*I-64/79/68/70/270: 872 miles
*I-64/81/66: 879 miles

Personally, if I were making the drive, I'd probably go H one way and I-70 the other. And there are a fair number of decent alternates in the middle (such as cutting down to D on I-74 or US 33). Hell, I could probably choose a route based on where I'd be during rush hour.

But it's clear that Corridor H won't provide any significant advantage over the current routes.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on January 16, 2012, 08:43:36 PM
Only if you count Louisville as being in the Midwest. If you're going anywhere west of St. Louis, I-270 to I-70 is shorter (and probably has better grades).

Not really. I-70 makes that northward jaunt to Indianapolis, whereas I-64 is a straighter shot.
And I-79 winds through the mountains. According to Google Maps, from St. Louis to Washington, DC:
*I-70/270: 827 miles
*I-70/79/68/70/270: 835 miles
*I-70/US 33/D/I-79/68/70/270: 845 miles
*I-70/US 35/D/I-79/68/70/270: 847 miles
*I-64/79/H/I-66: 848 miles (using US 219-WV 93-Greenland Gap to fill the gap)
*I-70/US 33/D/I-79/H/I-66: 862 miles
*I-70/US 35/D/I-79/H/I-66: 864 miles
*I-70/D/I-79/68/70/270: 863 miles
*I-64/71/D/I-79/68/70/270: 869 miles
*I-64/79/68/70/270: 872 miles
*I-64/81/66: 879 miles

Personally, if I were making the drive, I'd probably go H one way and I-70 the other. And there are a fair number of decent alternates in the middle (such as cutting down to D on I-74 or US 33). Hell, I could probably choose a route based on where I'd be during rush hour.

But it's clear that Corridor H won't provide any significant advantage over the current routes.

29 miles shorter than I-64/81/66, according to your figures.  That is significant.  Avoiding 110 miles of I-81 is rather significant as well.

With regard to I-70, as HB said (also very significant) --

Plus with I-70 you have to deal with:

1.) Indianapolis
2.) Columbus
3.) Wheeling
4.) The substandard portion between Washington and New Stanton
5.) Tolls on the Turnpike
6.) Breezewood

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on January 16, 2012, 09:43:41 PM
Only if you count Louisville as being in the Midwest. If you're going anywhere west of St. Louis, I-270 to I-70 is shorter (and probably has better grades).

Not really. I-70 makes that northward jaunt to Indianapolis, whereas I-64 is a straighter shot.
And I-79 winds through the mountains. According to Google Maps, from St. Louis to Washington, DC:
*I-70/270: 827 miles
*I-70/79/68/70/270: 835 miles
*I-70/US 33/D/I-79/68/70/270: 845 miles
*I-70/US 35/D/I-79/68/70/270: 847 miles
*I-64/79/H/I-66: 848 miles (using US 219-WV 93-Greenland Gap to fill the gap)
*I-70/US 33/D/I-79/H/I-66: 862 miles
*I-70/US 35/D/I-79/H/I-66: 864 miles
*I-70/D/I-79/68/70/270: 863 miles
*I-64/71/D/I-79/68/70/270: 869 miles
*I-64/79/68/70/270: 872 miles
*I-64/81/66: 879 miles

Personally, if I were making the drive, I'd probably go H one way and I-70 the other. And there are a fair number of decent alternates in the middle (such as cutting down to D on I-74 or US 33). Hell, I could probably choose a route based on where I'd be during rush hour.

But it's clear that Corridor H won't provide any significant advantage over the current routes.

29 miles shorter than I-64/81/66, according to your figures.  That is significant.  Avoiding 110 miles of I-81 is rather significant as well.

With regard to I-70, as HB said (also very significant) --

Plus with I-70 you have to deal with:

1.) Indianapolis
2.) Columbus
3.) Wheeling
4.) The substandard portion between Washington and New Stanton
5.) Tolls on the Turnpike
6.) Breezewood


Then sacrifice a few miles and take I-68, knocking out #4-#6. I-470 knocks out #3. Indy and Columbus are all that's left. I've been through Indy during rush hour with no problem on either side of town. Time your trip right, I-70/68 is definitely the way to go.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 16, 2012, 09:50:06 PM
A completed Corridor H would be the prefered route from St. Louis to DC.  70 to Columbus, then Corridor D, then 78, then H, then 66.

I agree - but put the emphasis on completed above, including Corridor H from Wardensville, W.Va. to "suburban" Strasburg, Va.

Quote
As to California, its a comeback to say that the figure is "only" one out of 50 Californians could actually be supported by the land, unreclaimed, rather than one out of 100?

California as we know it today, would not exist without the aqueducts, high-voltage transmission lines, railroads and Interstate highways.

Quote
As to pot, I don't use the stuff.  I used to really not care, but the more potheads I am around, the more I think its a "chicken and egg" deal.  Is it that people that belive crazy crap also smoke pot, or that pot makes you believe crazy crap.  I am begining to think its the latter.

It's the politics of Prohibition, and it has been going on far longer than the real Prohibition.  The United States would be much better off putting an end to this expensive nonsense.  And it would probably bring some financial benefit to West Virginia in the form of increased tax revenue, as the current (illegal) cultivation of cannabis does not contribute much tax money to anyone.

Quote
As to WV and expressways, our "corridor standard" is wonderful.  As our great governor once said "if you don't want to look at it, feel free to drive the old route, I'll see you next week when you get here.".  Really the mountainside cuts (which KY, TN, etc also do) are 0.001% of the surface, and if you take a walk in the woods a mile in any direction, you will find plenty of "natural" mountains to look at.

I've no problem with West Virginia's four-lane divided expressways, be they U.S. 48/Corridor H or W.Va. 9 (the two expressways in the Mountaineer State that I have driven substantial segments of).

Which Governor are you speaking of?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: J N Winkler on January 16, 2012, 10:06:40 PM
Is the boldface really necessary?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on January 16, 2012, 10:34:58 PM
29 miles shorter than I-64/81/66, according to your figures.  That is significant.  Avoiding 110 miles of I-81 is rather significant as well.

With regard to I-70, as HB said (also very significant) --

Plus with I-70 you have to deal with:

1.) Indianapolis
2.) Columbus
3.) Wheeling
4.) The substandard portion between Washington and New Stanton
5.) Tolls on the Turnpike
6.) Breezewood


Then sacrifice a few miles and take I-68, knocking out #4-#6. I-470 knocks out #3. Indy and Columbus are all that's left. I've been through Indy during rush hour with no problem on either side of town. Time your trip right, I-70/68 is definitely the way to go.

I-68 is more than a "few" miles, it's more like 20.

Per Google Maps, D.C. to Indy --
I-70 W -- 584 mi
I-68 W and I-70 W -- 614 mi

Truckers report very slow speeds on the numerous steep grades on I-68.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on January 16, 2012, 11:39:02 PM
29 miles shorter than I-64/81/66, according to your figures.  That is significant.  Avoiding 110 miles of I-81 is rather significant as well.

With regard to I-70, as HB said (also very significant) --

Plus with I-70 you have to deal with:

1.) Indianapolis
2.) Columbus
3.) Wheeling
4.) The substandard portion between Washington and New Stanton
5.) Tolls on the Turnpike
6.) Breezewood


Then sacrifice a few miles and take I-68, knocking out #4-#6. I-470 knocks out #3. Indy and Columbus are all that's left. I've been through Indy during rush hour with no problem on either side of town. Time your trip right, I-70/68 is definitely the way to go.

I-68 is more than a "few" miles, it's more like 20.

Per Google Maps, D.C. to Indy --
I-70 W -- 584 mi
I-68 W and I-70 W -- 614 mi

Truckers report very slow speeds on the numerous steep grades on I-68.

*I-70/270: 827 miles
*I-70/79/68/70/270: 835 miles

I fail to understsand how your results vary by more than 0 miles. And I'm referring to cars. Trucks would not want to drive Corridor H any more than they would I-68.

EDIT: I-68 route becomes 592, compared to 584. Your 614 is at best mistaken, perhaps disingenuous, at worst politicking (=lying).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on January 17, 2012, 04:22:21 AM
I fail to understsand how your results vary by more than 0 miles. And I'm referring to cars. Trucks would not want to drive Corridor H any more than they would I-68.

He might be using a different starting point in Indy or ending point in D.C. than you were.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 17, 2012, 05:45:03 AM
Per Google Maps, D.C. to Indy --
I-70 W -- 584 mi
I-68 W and I-70 W -- 614 mi
Careful! I don't know where you're getting 614 miles, but drag the line to I-68 and it's 592. A whopping 8 miles extra.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2012, 07:19:53 AM
29 miles shorter than I-64/81/66, according to your figures.  That is significant.  Avoiding 110 miles of I-81 is rather significant as well.

With regard to I-70, as HB said (also very significant) --

Plus with I-70 you have to deal with:

1.) Indianapolis
2.) Columbus
3.) Wheeling
4.) The substandard portion between Washington and New Stanton
5.) Tolls on the Turnpike
6.) Breezewood


Then sacrifice a few miles and take I-68, knocking out #4-#6. I-470 knocks out #3. Indy and Columbus are all that's left. I've been through Indy during rush hour with no problem on either side of town. Time your trip right, I-70/68 is definitely the way to go.

I-68 is more than a "few" miles, it's more like 20.

Per Google Maps, D.C. to Indy --
I-70 W -- 584 mi
I-68 W and I-70 W -- 614 mi

Truckers report very slow speeds on the numerous steep grades on I-68.

*I-70/270: 827 miles
*I-70/79/68/70/270: 835 miles

I fail to understsand how your results vary by more than 0 miles. And I'm referring to cars. Trucks would not want to drive Corridor H any more than they would I-68.

EDIT: I-68 route becomes 592, compared to 584. Your 614 is at best mistaken, perhaps disingenuous, at worst politicking (=lying).

When you are losing an argument, you retaliate with personal abuse.

I got it from Google Maps.

I know what truckers say about I-68 ... you don't know that they think.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 17, 2012, 08:07:43 AM
I got it from Google Maps.
You got it wrong. Google Maps says 592 miles, not 614.
http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=washington+dc&daddr=39.6982,-79.33052+to:indianapolis&hl=en&sll=39.359785,-78.684082&sspn=1.909058,4.216003&geocode=FQh-UQIdsoRo-ylb5PZa3sa3iTEqXYjUIkVSwg%3BFRi_XQIdKINF-ymP3Sk4rLPKiTGk9kNbdai6mQ%3BFcTRXgIdBlXd-ikDanmn_1BriDF86rlA9p2O1g&vpsrc=0&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=9&via=1&t=m&z=9
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2012, 09:40:19 AM
I got it from Google Maps.
You got it wrong. Google Maps says 592 miles, not 614.
http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=washington+dc&daddr=39.6982,-79.33052+to:indianapolis&hl=en&sll=39.359785,-78.684082&sspn=1.909058,4.216003&geocode=FQh-UQIdsoRo-ylb5PZa3sa3iTEqXYjUIkVSwg%3BFRi_XQIdKINF-ymP3Sk4rLPKiTGk9kNbdai6mQ%3BFcTRXgIdBlXd-ikDanmn_1BriDF86rlA9p2O1g&vpsrc=0&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=9&via=1&t=m&z=9


I surmise that that depends on where Google Maps sets the exact point for "Washington, DC", etc. .... also, unless you zoom in and look at the whole route you might not realize that it didn't go exactly where you wanted it to.

I did this I-68/I-70 comparison on paper maps long before there was an on-line mapping tool. Per Rand McNally --

Between I-68/I-70 junction in MD and I-79/I-70 east junction in PA --
Via I-68 is 166 miles
Via I-70 is 152 miles

I-68 is 9.2% longer, which is significant.

Also, truckers report that I-68's grades make it significantly slower in average speed than on the PA Turnpike.  Time for them is money, and they would not necessarily prefer I-68 as an alternate to I-70, even with the tolls on the Turnpike.

I-68 is a beautiful highway, but it is not a panacea.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 17, 2012, 10:02:26 AM
I got it from Google Maps.
You got it wrong. Google Maps says 592 miles, not 614.
http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=washington+dc&daddr=39.6982,-79.33052+to:indianapolis&hl=en&sll=39.359785,-78.684082&sspn=1.909058,4.216003&geocode=FQh-UQIdsoRo-ylb5PZa3sa3iTEqXYjUIkVSwg%3BFRi_XQIdKINF-ymP3Sk4rLPKiTGk9kNbdai6mQ%3BFcTRXgIdBlXd-ikDanmn_1BriDF86rlA9p2O1g&vpsrc=0&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=9&via=1&t=m&z=9

I surmise that that depends on where Google Maps sets the exact point for "Washington, DC", etc. .... also, unless you zoom in and look at the whole route you might not realize that it didn't go exactly where you wanted it to.
??? You had the same figure as me for I-70 all the way (584 miles), so unless you dragged the DC marker 22 miles to the east, your 614-miles route wasn't I-70/68.

Between I-68/I-70 junction in MD and I-79/I-70 east junction in PA --
Via I-68 is 166 miles
Via I-70 is 152 miles

I-68 is 9.2% longer, which is significant.
That percentage is meaningless unless you're going from Hancock to Washington. If I'm going a block away, I can make the trip 200% longer by going around the block. But as part of a cross-country trip, those two extra blocks are nothing.

Also, truckers report that I-68's grades make it significantly slower in average speed than on the PA Turnpike.  Time for them is money, and they would not necessarily prefer I-68 as an alternate to I-70, even with the tolls on the Turnpike.

I-68 is a beautiful highway, but it is not a panacea.
But we're getting away from the big issue, which is that there's a reason truckers use I-70 over I-68: grades. Somehow I think that's going to be a problem on Corridor H too:
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 17, 2012, 10:11:55 AM
A completed Corridor H would be the prefered route from St. Louis to DC.  70 to Columbus, then Corridor D, then 78, then H, then 66.

Even if the section from Wardensville to Strasburg doesn't get finished anytime soon, that's only a 20-mile stretch of two-lane that is not a bad drive at all. I'd prefer it over I-68/I-70/I-270 or I-64/I-81.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 17, 2012, 10:53:57 AM
A completed Corridor H would be the prefered route from St. Louis to DC.  70 to Columbus, then Corridor D, then 78, then H, then 66.

Even if the section from Wardensville to Strasburg doesn't get finished anytime soon, that's only a 20-mile stretch of two-lane that is not a bad drive at all. I'd prefer it over I-68/I-70/I-270 or I-64/I-81.

In fairness, S.P. Cook wrote the words you attributed to me.

Regarding scenery, I think (a completed) Corridor H (combined with I-66 in Virginia) and I-79/I-68/I-70 are reasonably nice routes, though an uncompleted segment between Wardensville and Strasburg gives me (some) pause.

According to VDOT, Va. 55/U.S. 48 at the Virginia/West Virginia line only carried about 2,300 vehicles a day in 2010 - between the state line and I-81 it varies from 2,300 to 5,700 at I-81.  If Corridor H in West Virginia is a success and "induces" greater volumes of traffic (I-68 at Sidling Hill carries just over 20,000 per day), I would hope that Virginia would agree to improve its (short) section of H at some point. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2012, 12:14:58 PM
A completed Corridor H would be the prefered route from St. Louis to DC.  70 to Columbus, then Corridor D, then 78, then H, then 66.

Even if the section from Wardensville to Strasburg doesn't get finished anytime soon, that's only a 20-mile stretch of two-lane that is not a bad drive at all. I'd prefer it over I-68/I-70/I-270 or I-64/I-81.

There are long-distance benefits such as the route from St. Louis to DC, but as with most highways there are multiple route justifications.

Corridor H and I-66 corridor have multiple interregional roles.  The corridor itself would connect D.C., Northern VA, Northeastern WV, and Central WV, with a modern highway with 4 or more lanes.  In conjunction with other highways such as I-81, I-79, I-64 and Corridor G, it connects panhandle WV with Northeastern WV, Northeastern WV with western and southern WV, and D.C. and Northern VA with Northeastern WV with western and southern WV.

In sum, Corridor H will serve a collection of roles, that would be better handled with a modern 4-lane highway, than any form of 2-lane highway (2-lane "super 2" highways tend to have high rates of head-on collisions).
-- local access
-- interregional connections
-- national connections

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 17, 2012, 12:21:25 PM
Is the boldface really necessary?

When speaking in writing, which usually means without face-to-face contact, I do not think it does any harm.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on January 17, 2012, 06:15:56 PM
*I-70/270: 827 miles
*I-70/79/68/70/270: 835 miles

I fail to understsand how your results vary by more than 0 miles. And I'm referring to cars. Trucks would not want to drive Corridor H any more than they would I-68.

EDIT: I-68 route becomes 592, compared to 584. Your 614 is at best mistaken, perhaps disingenuous, at worst politicking (=lying).

When you are losing an argument, you retaliate with personal abuse.

I got it from Google Maps.

I know what truckers say about I-68 ... you don't know that they think.

Actually, I'm winning the argument, and there's no abuse. When you lose the argument, you make it personal so that you can appeal to emotions. I won't paint all conservatives that way, but it's a tactic used more by them than by liberals. (That's a discussion not for a roads board.) Show us your original link that gave 614 instead of 592 and prove your point.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: J N Winkler on January 17, 2012, 06:30:44 PM
When speaking in writing, which usually means without face-to-face contact, I do not think it does any harm.

Actually, it does.  It is distracting and adds little to your argument since in writing, unlike speech, members of your audience can re-read what you have written to be sure they understand what you are trying to communicate.  Also, if you use boldface more often in threads where large numbers of other posters disagree with your point of view, you invite them to construe it as a poker tell.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: qguy on January 17, 2012, 07:10:11 PM
When you lose the argument, you make it personal so that you can appeal to emotions. I won't paint all conservatives that way, but it's a tactic used more by them than by liberals. (That's a discussion not for a roads board.)

You're kidding, right?

You are right that this isn't the place. So please don't pick it up and argue it with me; I'm not interested in picking a fight. Just realize that there a lot of us on the other side of the political spectrum that are of the well-considered opinion (arrived at by both observation and personal experience) that it's just the opposite.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: J N Winkler on January 17, 2012, 08:40:32 PM
I did my own Indianapolis-to-DC route comparison (traffic circle in downtown Indianapolis to Zero Milestone in DC, to be precise), and came up with all of the distance values that have been referenced so far in this thread, plus 620 miles for a Corridor H variant routing.  The best Corridor H routing I have been able to find (passing through Parkersburg, Buckhannon, Elkins, Petersburg, and Moorefield, all of which I have seen referenced in various Corridor H construction plans I have found here and there) is 600 miles, which compares unfavorably with 584 miles by the existing shortest freeway route (I-70/I-270, including the Pennsylvania Turnpike through Somerset County).  This 600-mile routing runs along some state highways (e.g., SR 47) in West Virginia which look very tortuous.

I think some of the apparent discrepancies reported upthread (different mileages for the same general routing) are the result of loops where a routing crosses itself.  Moorefield seems to be particularly bad for this, probably because of the half-finished bit of Corridor H just to the east of town.

In terms of travel time for passenger cars, I-70/I-68 (592 miles) is the best at 10 hours 22 minutes.  I don't know if Google takes into account the delays to passenger cars caused by slow trucks.  The Pennsylvania Turnpike routing (584 miles) is third best at 10 hours 42 minutes.  (Second best is actually a variant which goes off-freeway Lancaster-Parkersburg-Morgantown:  603 miles, 10 hours 39 minutes.)  At this point I think it is a mug's game to try to estimate the mileage and driving time associated with a finished Corridor H routing because the driving time will almost certainly drop considerably, although the distance will probably not drop enough to eliminate the mileage advantage of the Pennsylvania Turnpike routing.  The 600-mile routing that currently exists has a reported travel time of 11 hours 24 minutes.

In regard to the other arguments offered for not building Corridor H, I think they need to be developed more.  The aesthetic impact of large rock cuts is real, but unless the viewshed alteration has deleterious effects (e.g., on a wilderness recreation industry) which can be quantified in dollars and cents, the rock cuts are too easy to write off as the price of progress.  I think the likelihood that Corridor H will have punishing grades is a more serious objection.  Trucks need grades as close to 3% as possible in order to make good time in hilly terrain; this is why they stick to the Pennsylvania Turnpike through Somerset County even though that is an absolutely miserable routing, with severe winter weather and fog in the summer.

I personally don't think it is unreasonable to criticize West Virginia, and for that matter Kentucky, Virginia, and the other Appalachian states, for relying too heavily on long grades and high rock cuts to traverse mountainous terrain in lieu of valley viaducts and tunnels.  It has long been my intuition that we, as a country, have priced ourselves out of mountain tunnels by requiring safety measures which are normally dispensed with in southern European countries where vastly greater numbers of freeway tunnels through mountains have operated for years with no safety problems.  However, in fairness to the Appalachian states, many of the safety features which make tunnels uneconomic (such as 24-hour monitoring and bans on dangerous cargoes) are mandated by FHWA through the federal-aid program.  It is also easier to make an economic case for extensive provision of structures to maintain low ruling grades through mountains when the proportion of freight that goes by road is much higher than it is in the US.  Road freight has a modal share of about 30% by mass in the US, while in many European countries this value is closer to 90%.

(I don't really have a dog in this fight.  Because I will almost certainly never have a chance to use it in the next 20 years or so, Corridor H will not benefit me personally, and I live largely out of reach of the indirect effects of it.  I have a personal interest in Corridor H only to the extent that I am able to obtain copies of the construction plans for the various parts of it.  Since WVDOT puts letting plans on Bid Express instead of making them available for the public to download, I can't say I'd be very sad if the entire WVDOT highway construction budget was zeroed out.)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2012, 08:53:05 PM
When you lose the argument, you make it personal so that you can appeal to emotions. I won't paint all conservatives that way, but it's a tactic used more by them than by liberals. (That's a discussion not for a roads board.)

You're kidding, right?

You are right that this isn't the place. So please don't pick it up and argue it with me; I'm not interested in picking a fight. Just realize that there a lot of us on the other side of the political spectrum that are of the well-considered opinion (arrived at by both observation and personal experience) that it's just the opposite.

Given that I don't discuss my politics here, I don't understand how "The Situation" can state anything about them.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 17, 2012, 09:17:42 PM
I did my own Indianapolis-to-DC route comparison (traffic circle in downtown Indianapolis to Zero Milestone in DC, to be precise), and came up with all of the distance values that have been referenced so far in this thread, plus 620 miles for a Corridor H variant routing.  The best Corridor H routing I have been able to find (passing through Parkersburg, Buckhannon, Elkins, Petersburg, and Moorefield, all of which I have seen referenced in various Corridor H construction plans I have found here and there) is 600 miles, which compares unfavorably with 584 miles by the existing shortest freeway route (I-70/I-270, including the Pennsylvania Turnpike through Somerset County).  This 600-mile routing runs along some state highways (e.g., SR 47) in West Virginia which look very tortuous.

Indianapolis to DC using Corridor H makes no sense. Some variation of I-70 and I-76, or I-70 and I-68, is the most logical route from Indy.

Run St. Louis to DC via I-70 and via I-64/I-79/Corridor H for a better comparison.

The Corridor H routing now won't go anywhere near Petersburg, since it is complete from Knobley Road (northwest of Petersburg and west of Moorefield) to the north of Moorefield and to Wardensville. You'd use US 33 to Elkins, US 219 to Thomas, WV 93 to Bismarck, and then either WV 42 and Knobley Road or WV 93, Scherr Road, Greenland Gap Road and Knobley Road to hit the completed Corridor H.

When you lose the argument, you make it personal so that you can appeal to emotions. I won't paint all conservatives that way, but it's a tactic used more by them than by liberals. (That's a discussion not for a roads board.)

Naturally, I would disagree. It's been my experience that conservatives tend to use facts and logic more than emotions.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 17, 2012, 09:36:35 PM

Naturally, I would disagree. It's been my experience that conservatives tend to use facts and logic more than emotions.

depends on which kind of conservative: low-tax proponent, or religious fundamentalist?  (how those two camps ended up under the same party's flag in the US is an extraordinary cockup of historical coincidence.)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on January 17, 2012, 09:41:49 PM
Well there's been precious little facts or logic by ANYONE in this thread, regardless. (I have dedicated myself to being as trollish as possible because of all the inanity being bantered about.)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 17, 2012, 11:26:24 PM
Actually, I think I've provided some logical reasons why, when completed, Corridor H would be a logical through route over I-70 from St. Louis to DC.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on January 17, 2012, 11:30:05 PM
I disconcur. Since that's a made up word, I win the argument by using it.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 18, 2012, 06:39:06 AM
Run St. Louis to DC via I-70 and via I-64/I-79/Corridor H for a better comparison.
That's the first comparison I made. I-70 wins.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on January 18, 2012, 08:21:31 AM
I also ran the St. Louis-DC comparison.  And yes, I-70 wins.

Taking a straight I-70 shot to Frederick (then 270 down to DC) yields 827 miles, though this involves tolls on the PA Turnpike between New Stanton and Breezewood, plus the Breezewood situation.

Using I-79 and I-68 to avoid the Turnpike and Breezewood yields 835 miles.

The "direct route" through West Virginia that Google Maps recommends, continuing on US 33 from Elkins to WV 55, is 842 miles.

A rough approximation of the Corridor H route is 848 miles, though I believe this will be a few miles less once construction concludes.

Conclusion:  I-70 is close to 20 miles shorter.  And having to deal with Breezewood is more than countered by the 21 miles of 2-lane US 48 between Wardensville and Strasburg.  The toll/Breezewood avoidance route likewise is more than 10 miles shorter than Corridor H along mostly-65 MPH Interstate.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: J N Winkler on January 18, 2012, 09:16:02 AM
I did a quick check of St. Louis-to-DC routings and found the mileage values Froggie reports.  However, the 842-mile "direct route" involving I-64 has a reported driving time of 14 hours 26 minutes, which is the best of the three I tried (I-70/Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-70/I-68, I-64), despite being the longest by 7 miles.  I-70/Pennsylvania Turnpike had the longest reported driving time of 14 hours 46 minutes.

I continue to believe that I-70/Pennsylvania Turnpike will be the preferred route for truckers because of the grades.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on January 20, 2012, 01:57:11 PM
Actually, I think I've provided some logical reasons why, when completed, Corridor H would be a logical through route over I-70 from St. Louis to DC.

I agree, if it is ever completed to it's intended destination.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on March 17, 2012, 09:36:21 PM
http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/550875/Corridor-H-board-pushes-ahead.html?nav=5014

http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/550876/Senate-bill-makes-highway-project-a--national-priority-.html?nav=5014
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on March 26, 2012, 01:46:36 PM
So, who's going to pay the tab for the Va. portion of the road?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on March 26, 2012, 02:08:15 PM
As of right now, nobody. Virginia doesn't have any plans to build its portion. I don't know if that will change after WV gets its part built or not. Truth be told, the Virginia portion of US 48 is not that bad of a road.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on March 26, 2012, 02:27:00 PM
Since some Kentucky corridors are two-lane, there's no reason you can't call the Virginia portion complete.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on March 26, 2012, 09:30:47 PM
I've driven US 48 in VA... it's a decent road, and it wouldn't be too difficult to "arterialize" the road like they did with US 522 north of Winchester. A short bypass around Lebanon Church would be in order.

There was a story in a local paper last year (I believe it was the Buckhannon paper) where the republican gubernatorial candidate claimed that he spoke to the gov. of VA regarding Corridor H. He claimed that the VA gov. would be interested in working with a republican gov. from WV to get H done. Seems unlikely to me, but that's politicians for you. I wish I could provide a link, but that paper never did put the article on their web site (which is just about useless, anyway).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on March 26, 2012, 09:31:58 PM
Since some Kentucky corridors are two-lane, there's no reason you can't call the Virginia portion complete.

The Kentucky (and Tennessee) two-lane corridors have passing lanes and most have 10-foot paved shoulders. Definitely not the case with US 48/VA 55.

In my experience that route is the easiest east-west border crossing in that area among surface routes, excepting US 50. US 33, US 250, SR 84 and SR 39 are pretty wicked.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on March 27, 2012, 12:36:50 PM
I've driven US 48 in VA... it's a decent road, and it wouldn't be too difficult to "arterialize" the road like they did with US 522 north of Winchester. A short bypass around Lebanon Church would be in order.

There was a story in a local paper last year (I believe it was the Buckhannon paper) where the republican gubernatorial candidate claimed that he spoke to the gov. of VA regarding Corridor H. He claimed that the VA gov. would be interested in working with a republican gov. from WV to get H done. Seems unlikely to me, but that's politicians for you. I wish I could provide a link, but that paper never did put the article on their web site (which is just about useless, anyway).

The original plan for U.S. 48/Va. 55, from the top of North Mt. at the border to I-81 at least when I went to the Corridor H meetings years ago, was a completly new highway parallelling the existing one, for the most part slightly to the north of existing Rt. 55. Estimated cost at the beginning was around 90-100M. I don't think our Gov-ner will commit anything to that, since the big deal is finishing Metro to Dulles airport. I will surprised if Corridor H in Va. will ever be built in my lifetime, maybe for you youngsters...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on March 28, 2012, 09:25:27 PM
Mike, I don't believe your gov-ner will commit to it either. When I read that story, I took it with a grain of salt - we all know that politicians will say or claim just about anything, regardless of party affiliation!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on April 30, 2012, 09:27:07 PM
(http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/556163_10100703340886150_12904118_50977683_1411683014_n.jpg)

Corridor H/US 48's western terminus at Knobley Road/CO 3 in Grant County, West Virginia northwest of Petersburg. Segments to the west are not signed US 48 currently.

(And yes, a lot of Corridor H has been completed or is under construction in West Virginia. I have more photos to process from the trip, which did not involve photographing Corridor H, but includes a few shots of the ROW clearing and construction along WV 93 east of Davis to Knobley Road.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on April 30, 2012, 09:30:00 PM
(http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/556163_10100703340886150_12904118_50977683_1411683014_n.jpg)

Corridor H/US 48's western terminus at Knobley Road/CO 3 in Grant County, West Virginia northwest of Petersburg. Segments to the west are not signed US 48 currently.

(And yes, a lot of Corridor H has been completed or is under construction in West Virginia. I have more photos to process from the trip, which did not involve photographing Corridor H, but includes a few shots of the ROW clearing and construction along WV 93 east of Davis to Knobley Road.

Looks like they have made a lot of progress on the bridge beyond the Knobley Road access since the last time I was there.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on July 03, 2012, 02:27:44 PM
(http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r519/davidlewis19/knobleyroad.jpg)
Travelled up the the construction area last Monday (6/25). This is near the same site as the above photo, closer to the bridge.

Post Merge: July 03, 2012, 08:18:22 PM
(http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r519/davidlewis19/lookingeast.jpg)
This image is at the east end of the bridge carrying US 48 over county routes 1 and 42/3 northeast of Scherr, looking eastward. The approaches to the bridges are not in yet, but the road is paved on both sides of the bridge. As for the access road between WV 93 north of Scherr and US 48, it is paved except for the bridge approaches and the intersection with 93. You can see its bridge over CR 1 from route 93. The big bridge over 93 north of here is done.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on July 03, 2012, 02:42:55 PM
(http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r519/davidlewis19/goatsunderbridge.jpg)
There is another bridge over CR 1 not too far north of the one over county routes 1 and 42/3. Here's a photo of its underside - with goats under the bridge!

I would have taken a few more photos but had tripod trouble, so I gave up.

To the west: grading continues on both sides of WV 42 south of Mt. Storm; a short relocation of 42 at the crossing is present. Grassy Ridge Road will overpass the new road; its bridge construction is well under way. The interchange between Bismarck and the dam will be getting girders installed next week. You can see the construction of the bridge over the river off to your right before you get to the RR crossing. Earthmoving continues about a mile past the Tucker County line. Trees have been cut down on the right of way until about a mile before Davis along WV 93.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on July 13, 2012, 03:19:52 PM
http://www.wvcorridorh.com/mapping/ (http://www.wvcorridorh.com/mapping/)
Title: Corridor H Upgrade to I-66?
Post by: Grzrd on July 18, 2012, 10:34:07 AM
This Op-Ed from a candidate for West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District (http://sundaygazettemail.com/Opinion/OpEdCommentaries/201207170102?page=1) makes the Homeland Security case for converting Corridor H to I-66:

Quote
Corridor H is easily the most important infrastructure project in the state and, when completed, will result in our greatest return on investment.
Unfortunately, Corridor H has long been labeled a pork-barrel project nationally with virtually no politically defensible reason to exist when viewed from that perspective.
But recasting Corridor H's political image can and should be a top priority for West Virginia's congressional delegation.
It begins by making the case for funding its completion as Interstate 66 under the auspices of Homeland Security as a planned evacuation route for Washington and Northern Virginia.
....
Direct access to the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal, Va., could benefit West Virginia tremendously by opening the state's heartland to a wide range of new international business and industrial opportunities.
This is especially true given the soon-to-be-completed Panama Canal expansion, coupled with the fact that the inland port serves as a designated U.S. Customs and U.S. Department of Agriculture point of entry ....
Let's borrow a page from the Eisenhower administration and expand upon what has been proven to be one of the greatest economic development projects in our nation's history.
I-66 is worth fighting for, and when it is completed it will yield one of the highest returns of any investment in infrastructure in West Virginia history.

An interesting dream ...
I wonder if the Homeland Security angle would also work for the VA 28 to I-366 conversion?  :bigass:
Title: Re: Corridor H Upgrade to I-66?
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 18, 2012, 12:11:47 PM
Quote
I-66 is worth fighting for, and when it is completed it will yield one of the highest returns of any investment in infrastructure in West Virginia history.

are we anticipating now that all that hot air down in Washington DC will spontaneously ignite, necessitating an evacuation?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on July 18, 2012, 12:20:22 PM
I have read this stuff before in another newspaper article regarding Mr. Swint's candidacy... I wonder if he realizes how many at-grade intersections there are on the existing sections of Corridor H that would have to be eliminated in order to meet interstate highway standards.
 
Some of the at-grade intersections that currently exist do need some safety improvements such as longer deceleration lanes.

His statements regarding I-68 and I-73/74 in WV are incorrect. He needs to really play up the connection to Front Royal and its possible economic benefits, and not worry about whether it's US 48 or I-66.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on July 18, 2012, 01:51:40 PM
<<< I wonder if he realizes how many at-grade intersections there are on the existing sections of Corridor H that would have to be eliminated in order to meet interstate highway standards. >>>

It would be very expensive, and most likely require a new NEPA EIS study on what was/is a controversial highway.

Isn't the average spacing of at-grade intersections about 1/2 mile?  That would be a huge project involving lots of right-of-way acquisition.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on July 19, 2012, 05:13:49 PM
Quote
Isn't the average spacing of at-grade intersections about 1/2 mile?

The average spacing is just under a mile.  Shortest spacing is 2/10ths, while the longest is 2-and-a-quarter.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on July 19, 2012, 05:43:05 PM
Quote
Isn't the average spacing of at-grade intersections about 1/2 mile?

The average spacing is just under a mile.  Shortest spacing is 2/10ths, while the longest is 2-and-a-quarter.

Much too close for rural Interstate interchange spacing, which is typically ranging between 2 and 8 miles, with 4 or 5 miles on the average.

So each intersection would need to be evaluated for construction of one of 3 treatments --
1) build grade-separation bridge for crossroad, and 4 ramps
2) build grade-separation bridge for crossroad, with no ramps
3) sever crossroad, no grade-separation bridge

Local population would have opinions about whether they would want to see access to the highway eliminated at a particular intersection, or have their local road severed or rerouted to another bridge crossing via construction of a service road.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 19, 2012, 07:42:12 PM
Local population would have opinions about whether they would want to see access to the highway eliminated at a particular intersection, or have their local road severed or rerouted to another bridge crossing via construction of a service road.

I would think that most people would be very unhappy to lose access to such a nice, new highway.  Even more unhappy if they lose access and the road that used to intersect with Corridor H is blocked-off.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on July 19, 2012, 09:46:10 PM
This is all craziness, anyway. There's no need for this road to become an interstate. It could serve the purpose as an evacuation route just as it is. If there is an evacuation necessary, just block the intersecting routes. There aren't any traffic lights until you get west of Elkins (at the US 250/WV 92 split) and by that point, evacuation traffic could have been dispersed to any number of local roads.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on July 19, 2012, 10:02:17 PM
I agree that it should work fine in its present form as a 4-lane expressway with interchanges at major junctions and intersections at minor junctions.

The main goal is to get it all built including the 10 miles in Virginia to connect to I-81 and I-66.

Traffic probably won't exceed 15,000 AADT or so even by 2035 assuming a fully completed highway between I-79 and I-81.  Should operate fine with its current design.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on July 21, 2012, 01:40:57 AM
Saw this posted in the "USHwys" Yahoo group today.

http://www.roadandrailpictures.com/us48links.htm

Some photos from this page show an "End US 48" sign at the end of the ramp to Patterson Creek Road. Must be an error.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on July 27, 2012, 10:38:18 AM
At present, US 48 ends at Knobley Road, and Patterson Creek Road is one interchange east. That segment, east from there to Moorefield, had opened just slightly before the section west to Knobley Road, and an "END US 48" sign was applied to the US 48 WB to Patterson Creek Road ramp. It's now outdated but just hasn't been removed.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Grzrd on July 28, 2012, 11:07:58 AM
The main goal is to get it all built including the 10 miles in Virginia to connect to I-81 and I-66.

If this July 23 article (http://blog.al.com/sweethome/2012/07/transportation_bill_eliminates.html) is correct in reporting that MAP-21 has changed the ADHS funding formula so that ADHS projects now can be paid 100% with federal dollars, then I wonder if Virginia will now make a play for the "free money" and build its ten miles?:

Quote
... the legislation ... eliminat[es] the requirement that the state provide a 20 percent match for federal funding. Now Appalachian Development Highway System projects can be paid for 100 percent with federal dollars.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: ShawnP on July 28, 2012, 11:47:03 AM
One trip on WV 72 has me completely sold on any Corridor H upgrades. I would like Interstate quality but can live with expressway like building.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on July 28, 2012, 12:14:45 PM
If this July 23 article (http://blog.al.com/sweethome/2012/07/transportation_bill_eliminates.html) is correct in reporting that MAP-21 has changed the ADHS funding formula so that ADHS projects now can be paid 100% with federal dollars, then I wonder if Virginia will now make a play for the "free money" and build its ten miles?:

Quote
... the legislation ... eliminat[es] the requirement that the state provide a 20 percent match for federal funding. Now Appalachian Development Highway System projects can be paid for 100 percent with federal dollars.


Not exactly.  The devil is in the details.

As I understand it, the previous system was thus:

There was an "ARC" pot of money that would fund ARC Corridors and only ARC Corridors on an 80-20 basis.  This was a seperate pot of money from "regular" DOT money.  Esentually this was an "earmark", because a state could not tap the money for any other project.  A state had a choice of spending its 20% match to tap the 80% or (the oppositon party would say) "gave back" the 80% money.

Now, if I have this correct, there is no ARC pot of money, nor are there really any "earmarks".  Each state just gets $X and can spend them on any "core project" it wishes.   The "core projects" include any uncompleted ARC Corridor and 1000s of other roads such as the "High Priority Corridors", and some new thing called the "National Freight System".  And, new to MAP 21, each state must spend enough to meet a federal maintence standard (apparently if a state's roads fall to a certain level of disrepair, it has to spend some of its appropriation on that, and not new construction). 

To continue with Corridor H, Virginia COULD build its part of Corridor H with 100% federal money, yes.  But that would be out of the finite regular amount appropriated to Virginia as a whole, not "free money".  Virginia could just as easily build a new road in NOVA, or the Tidewater or whatever from the list of dozens and dozens of "core projects". 

The bill does, however, require each state to come up with a "plan" on how it will eventually finish each Corridor, but that that is little more that them saying where on the list of "core projects" they place a particular road.

This does seem to be a "brave new world" as, in the politics of each state (even WV, where although the entire state is in the ARC, all of the Corridors are finished save H) as Appalachian politicians can no longer say that if the state does not build a particular road, it is just walking away from 80% funding and can't spend the money elsewhere anyway.  Now it can.  The politics of each ARC state would thus come into play here.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 28, 2012, 02:49:36 PM
If this July 23 article (http://blog.al.com/sweethome/2012/07/transportation_bill_eliminates.html) is correct in reporting that MAP-21 has changed the ADHS funding formula so that ADHS projects now can be paid 100% with federal dollars, then I wonder if Virginia will now make a play for the "free money" and build its ten miles?:

Quote
... the legislation ... eliminat[es] the requirement that the state provide a 20 percent match for federal funding. Now Appalachian Development Highway System projects can be paid for 100 percent with federal dollars.


Not exactly.  The devil is in the details.

As I understand it, the previous system was thus:

There was an "ARC" pot of money that would fund ARC Corridors and only ARC Corridors on an 80-20 basis.  This was a seperate pot of money from "regular" DOT money.  Esentually this was an "earmark", because a state could not tap the money for any other project.  A state had a choice of spending its 20% match to tap the 80% or (the oppositon party would say) "gave back" the 80% money.

S. P., I believe it was also possible to match "regular" federal highway construction money with ARC money, effectively allowing an ARC highway to be built with 100% federal dollars. 

I was told that Maryland completed Corridor E (I-68) between Cumberland and Hancock with 100% federal dollars.  Have not independently verified same, but it is from a source I trust.

Now, if I have this correct, there is no ARC pot of money, nor are there really any "earmarks".  Each state just gets $X and can spend them on any "core project" it wishes.   The "core projects" include any uncompleted ARC Corridor and 1000s of other roads such as the "High Priority Corridors", and some new thing called the "National Freight System".  And, new to MAP 21, each state must spend enough to meet a federal maintence standard (apparently if a state's roads fall to a certain level of disrepair, it has to spend some of its appropriation on that, and not new construction). 

Though that's not much of a "stick," since there is so little new construction taking place in the U.S. these days.

This provision should also have been linked to new rail projects, to prevent federal funding of new (and frequently questionable) rail transit lines and extensions unless the highway system (and rail systems, if any) were maintained to a certain "standard of good repair" (that's a rail phrase, but I think it can be applied to highways as well).

To continue with Corridor H, Virginia COULD build its part of Corridor H with 100% federal money, yes.  But that would be out of the finite regular amount appropriated to Virginia as a whole, not "free money".  Virginia could just as easily build a new road in NOVA, or the Tidewater or whatever from the list of dozens and dozens of "core projects".

Among more than a few elected members of the Virginia General Assembly, Northern Virginia is at the absolute bottom of the list of priorities when it comes to funding.  And people in Northern Virginia are (in many cases) themselves to blame for this state of affairs.

The bill does, however, require each state to come up with a "plan" on how it will eventually finish each Corridor, but that that is little more that them saying where on the list of "core projects" they place a particular road.

This does seem to be a "brave new world" as, in the politics of each state (even WV, where although the entire state is in the ARC, all of the Corridors are finished save H) as Appalachian politicians can no longer say that if the state does not build a particular road, it is just walking away from 80% funding and can't spend the money elsewhere anyway.  Now it can.  The politics of each ARC state would thus come into play here.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out - especially the segments of Corridor H between Kerens and Davis.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on July 28, 2012, 05:37:19 PM

Among more than a few elected members of the Virginia General Assembly, Northern Virginia is at the absolute bottom of the list of priorities when it comes to funding.  And people in Northern Virginia are (in many cases) themselves to blame for this state of affairs.


Sounds like something that a NOVA politician claimed ... Just look at the long list of projects on the VDOT website projects page to see that they get a lot more than any other area, and this has always been the case.  Plus they have gotten large amounts of special funding for projects such as Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Springfield Interchange, etc.  Even the I-495 HOT Lanes Project, while mostly PPTA private funding, did get $400 million in state funding, and federally guaranteed TIFIA loans.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: BigRedDog on July 28, 2012, 10:28:37 PM
One trip on WV 72 has me completely sold on any Corridor H upgrades. I would like Interstate quality but can live with expressway like building.

While I understand your sentiment and don't disagree with the Corridor H upgrades, I thought WV 72 was a lot of fun to drive and was a beautiful in mid-October.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: ShawnP on July 29, 2012, 09:42:31 AM
It was beautiful no doubt but a shocker how narrow it was. I went thru in early October in 2010 and it was peak season. I was shocked at how much wildlife was out in the open. Saw Deer, Foxes and yes even bear in the distance.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 29, 2012, 12:17:26 PM
I cannot fathom the amount of preparation H would require to be upgraded to interstatus requirements, there is no way the work could be accomplished smoothly no matter how much DC lubes the funding mechanism
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on July 29, 2012, 12:32:01 PM
I cannot fathom the amount of preparation H would require to be upgraded to interstatus requirements, there is no way the work could be accomplished smoothly no matter how much DC lubes the funding mechanism
Ha ha ha.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on July 29, 2012, 10:35:45 PM
Speaking of ARC corridors and federal funding...

Didn't Tennessee use 100 percent state funding to finish US 23 south of the Erwin area to the North Carolina state line, so as to avoid some federal environmental requirements that would have delayed construction? I am sure I have read this elsewhere in the past.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on August 01, 2012, 10:37:28 AM
I've heard of the DHS/evac. route funding game before. Where are all of these refugees going to stay, and who says we want them?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on August 01, 2012, 11:54:06 AM
They'll stay in the Superdome.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: amroad17 on August 19, 2012, 08:49:39 PM
Corridor H does not need to be an interstate highway.  It should work perfectly fine the way it is supposed to be built (assuming it does get finished).  US 50 from Clarksville to Parkersburg, OH 32 from Cincinnati (Eastgate) to Belpre, and US 30 across Ohio are similar highways that work well as expressways. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Sammer on September 20, 2012, 07:36:36 PM
OH 32 from Cincinnati (Eastgate) to Belpre, and US 30 across Ohio are similar highways that work well as expressways.
Perhaps you should correct that to "OH 32 from the western end of the Batavia bypass..." Of course Corridor H doesn't really enter any major metropolitan area so I think you're right that it doesn't need to be an interstate freeway.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: amroad17 on September 21, 2012, 05:42:24 PM
OH 32 from Cincinnati (Eastgate) to Belpre, and US 30 across Ohio are similar highways that work well as expressways.
Perhaps you should correct that to "OH 32 from the western end of the Batavia bypass..." Of course Corridor H doesn't really enter any major metropolitan area so I think you're right that it doesn't need to be an interstate freeway.
That is true, actually.  With the three traffic lights (I call the triplets) between I-275 and old OH 74 backing traffic up in that area, anything east of that is rather enjoyable.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on October 14, 2012, 10:08:08 PM
Drove up to the Mount Storm area today to enjoy the autumn colors and check out the construction. The section from Knobley Road to the WV 93 connector north of Scherr appears to be ready to open any day now - all paving is done, lines are painted, signs are erected. I was so tempted to drive around that single little "road closed" sign sitting on the connector just off Route 93 (of course, about the time I would have done that, there would have been a state cop lying in wait somewhere), and I did see a pickup truck and a couple motorcycles on the new highway. They're probably waiting until closer to election day to have a formal ribbon cutting.

Beyond that part, a lot of progress has been made with grading up around Bismarck. Bridge piers are going up just downstream from the dam. There are signs along Route 93 between Davis and the Grant Co. line showing construction segment boundaries; only section 4 appears to have any earth-moving done in it, the others just have the ROW cleared, but that's been done for awhile now.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 16, 2012, 11:12:59 PM
Drove up to the Mount Storm area today to enjoy the autumn colors and check out the construction. The section from Knobley Road to the WV 93 connector north of Scherr appears to be ready to open any day now - all paving is done, lines are painted, signs are erected. I was so tempted to drive around that single little "road closed" sign sitting on the connector just off Route 93 (of course, about the time I would have done that, there would have been a state cop lying in wait somewhere), and I did see a pickup truck and a couple motorcycles on the new highway. They're probably waiting until closer to election day to have a formal ribbon cutting.

Beyond that part, a lot of progress has been made with grading up around Bismarck. Bridge piers are going up just downstream from the dam. There are signs along Route 93 between Davis and the Grant Co. line showing construction segment boundaries; only section 4 appears to have any earth-moving done in it, the others just have the ROW cleared, but that's been done for awhile now.

Keep us up-to-date when ya see it opened so I can update my file @ the CHM project. ;)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Henry on October 17, 2012, 10:59:00 AM
OH 32 from Cincinnati (Eastgate) to Belpre, and US 30 across Ohio are similar highways that work well as expressways.
Perhaps you should correct that to "OH 32 from the western end of the Batavia bypass..." Of course Corridor H doesn't really enter any major metropolitan area so I think you're right that it doesn't need to be an interstate freeway.
That is true, actually.  With the three traffic lights (I call the triplets) between I-275 and old OH 74 backing traffic up in that area, anything east of that is rather enjoyable.
Seconded on that! Probably going to be a movement to renumber I-74 in NC, since that isn't connecting back to Cincinnati anytime soon.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 18, 2012, 12:09:37 PM
How were the foliage colors up there last weekend? Thinking about taking the old Cutlass up there for a blast soon.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on October 18, 2012, 01:17:05 PM
They're about at peak colors to a little past. Better go pretty soon...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on October 25, 2012, 10:35:23 AM
New section of Corridor H from Knobley Road to Scherr (WV 93, I guess) opened on Tuesday. http://www.statejournal.com/story/19911180/grant-county-section-of-corridor-h-opens-this-week?utm_source=StateJournal&utm_medium=twitter
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on October 25, 2012, 11:17:30 AM
http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/map5.html
"it is anticipated that the first 5.3 miles from Knobley Road to WV 93 will be completed in the fall of 2012"

Presumably that's what just opened: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=39.1946&lon=-79.1341&zoom=13&layers=M

And sorry about any edit conflicts - we were both trying to change it at the same time :)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 25, 2012, 11:23:02 AM
New section of Corridor H from Knobley Road to Scherr (WV 93, I guess) opened on Tuesday. http://www.statejournal.com/story/19911180/grant-county-section-of-corridor-h-opens-this-week?utm_source=StateJournal&utm_medium=twitter

Welcome, Brian! :-)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on October 25, 2012, 12:49:46 PM
New section of Corridor H from Knobley Road to Scherr (WV 93, I guess) opened on Tuesday. http://www.statejournal.com/story/19911180/grant-county-section-of-corridor-h-opens-this-week?utm_source=StateJournal&utm_medium=twitter
Welcome, Brian! :-)

Thanks.  I need to remember to poke around here more.  Since MTR imploded I've cut back on my general community roadgeekery.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on October 25, 2012, 07:12:50 PM
Just for background (not wanting to set off a big political postwar), the area in question is among the most Republican parts of WV.  With little coal the natural "vote the way granddaddy shot" unionist loyalties remain strong (similar to parts of Hal Roger's distict in HB's state, etc), unchanged by the advent of the unionized mine workers.  The governor's race is pretty close, although I think the democrat will win, but the rush to open this road is to insure that populace that he, unlike some previous democrat governors, actually is commited to H (which I believe he actually is, for what it is worth).

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on October 25, 2012, 09:32:11 PM
Good to know Repubs love pork too.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on October 25, 2012, 10:31:22 PM
Just for background (not wanting to set off a big political postwar), the area in question is among the most Republican parts of WV.  With little coal the natural "vote the way granddaddy shot" unionist loyalties remain strong (similar to parts of Hal Roger's distict in HB's state, etc), unchanged by the advent of the unionized mine workers.  The governor's race is pretty close, although I think the democrat will win, but the rush to open this road is to insure that populace that he, unlike some previous democrat governors, actually is commited to H (which I believe he actually is, for what it is worth).

Actually, WVDOH and the governor's office have been very quiet about Corridor H opening.  I haven't seen any press releases, just the AP article.  No ribbon-cutting ceremony for the highway.  There was one earlier in the week in Keyser for the new US 220 bridge.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 29, 2012, 10:10:37 AM
Traveled on the new section to Rt. 93 last Weds., will have pics soon..Real nice, awesome scenery
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on October 30, 2012, 11:03:43 AM
And real snow covered right now. Areas around Corridor H have received up to 1' of snow already, with another 1' to 2' expected by Wednesday evening. This is one of the earliest heavy snowfalls ever.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 30, 2012, 12:48:27 PM
Just for background (not wanting to set off a big political postwar), the area in question is among the most Republican parts of WV.  With little coal the natural "vote the way granddaddy shot" unionist loyalties remain strong (similar to parts of Hal Roger's distict in HB's state, etc), unchanged by the advent of the unionized mine workers.  The governor's race is pretty close, although I think the democrat will win, but the rush to open this road is to insure that populace that he, unlike some previous democrat governors, actually is commited to H (which I believe he actually is, for what it is worth).

Curiously, a succession of Democratic Maryland governors have spent a whole lot of (mostly federal) dollars to complete what is now I-68, even though it is pretty reliably Republican (it has long been in the congressional 6th District represented by Roscoe Bartlett (R), though the district may have been sufficiently gerrymandered recently to assure his defeat in the election next week).  These projects date back to the 1960's, when the old Cumberland Bypass (the now very substandard segment of the freeway through downtown Cumberland) was completed.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on October 30, 2012, 01:53:04 PM
Curiously, a succession of Democratic Maryland governors have spent a whole lot of (mostly federal) dollars to complete what is now I-68, even though it is pretty reliably Republican (it has long been in the congressional 6th District represented by Roscoe Bartlett (R), though the district may have been sufficiently gerrymandered recently to assure his defeat in the election next week).  These projects date back to the 1960's, when the old Cumberland Bypass (the now very substandard segment of the freeway through downtown Cumberland) was completed.

Because ADHS Corridor "E" was seen as a benefit to the whole state, and it has an inter-state function with the West Virginia segment to connect I-70 in Maryland with I-79 in WV.  In addition to promoting economic development in Western Maryland, which was rather isolated from modern highway access.

Maryland named their segment the National Freeway, as a bypass of the National Road.  One of the prime project benefits promoted by the MD state government in the 1970s and 1980s was that it would connect the Port of Baltimore with the Ohio Valley.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 30, 2012, 04:07:36 PM
Curiously, a succession of Democratic Maryland governors have spent a whole lot of (mostly federal) dollars to complete what is now I-68, even though it is pretty reliably Republican (it has long been in the congressional 6th District represented by Roscoe Bartlett (R), though the district may have been sufficiently gerrymandered recently to assure his defeat in the election next week).  These projects date back to the 1960's, when the old Cumberland Bypass (the now very substandard segment of the freeway through downtown Cumberland) was completed.

Because ADHS Corridor "E" was seen as a benefit to the whole state, and it has an inter-state function with the West Virginia segment to connect I-70 in Maryland with I-79 in WV.  In addition to promoting economic development in Western Maryland, which was rather isolated from modern highway access.

Maryland named their segment the National Freeway, as a bypass of the National Road.  One of the prime project benefits promoted by the MD state government in the 1970s and 1980s was that it would connect the Port of Baltimore with the Ohio Valley.

The larger reason (according to a longtime senior planner with SHA, now retired) was that "induced" demand for highway capacity that might result from the construction of what became I-68 was desirable.  In other words, the state wanted more highway traffic headed to and coming from that part of the state.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Beltway on October 30, 2012, 05:56:39 PM
Because ADHS Corridor "E" was seen as a benefit to the whole state, and it has an inter-state function with the West Virginia segment to connect I-70 in Maryland with I-79 in WV.  In addition to promoting economic development in Western Maryland, which was rather isolated from modern highway access.

Maryland named their segment the National Freeway, as a bypass of the National Road.  One of the prime project benefits promoted by the MD state government in the 1970s and 1980s was that it would connect the Port of Baltimore with the Ohio Valley.

The larger reason (according to a longtime senior planner with SHA, now retired) was that "induced" demand for highway capacity that might result from the construction of what became I-68 was desirable.  In other words, the state wanted more highway traffic headed to and coming from that part of the state.

I have MDSHA public hearing brochures from the 1970s and 1980s for the National Freeway projects.

Stated prime project benefit goals did include connecting the Port of Baltimore with the Ohio Valley, as well as connecting the rest of the state to Western Maryland and to the Ohio Valley.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 31, 2012, 02:07:55 PM
The larger reason (according to a longtime senior planner with SHA, now retired) was that "induced" demand for highway capacity that might result from the construction of what became I-68 was desirable.  In other words, the state wanted more highway traffic headed to and coming from that part of the state.

Once Corridor H is finished, I will certainly use I-68 a lot less than I use it now.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 02, 2012, 10:37:04 PM
Does anybody know if the new connector road from US-48 to WV-93 has a name?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on November 02, 2012, 11:22:23 PM
Probably Joe Goodsoldier Memorial Bridge. Otherwise I doubt it - it's just a long ramp.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 03, 2012, 12:05:57 AM
Does anybody know if the new connector road from US-48 to WV-93 has a name?

To US 48? Or To WV 93?  :-D
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 04, 2012, 12:13:17 PM
Does anybody know if the new connector road from US-48 to WV-93 has a name?

To US 48? Or To WV 93?  :-D

It's just a connector, basically a glorified ramp.  It's doubtful it will have a name of its own unless Grant County decides it needs ones for E911 purposes.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 05, 2012, 05:03:11 AM
Does anybody know if the new connector road from US-48 to WV-93 has a name?

To US 48? Or To WV 93?  :-D

It's just a connector, basically a glorified ramp.  It's doubtful it will have a name of its own unless Grant County decides it needs ones for E911 purposes.

That's what I kinda thought would be the case, but just wanted to be sure before I submitted an update for the CHM project extending US-48. ;)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on November 05, 2012, 06:46:21 PM
Does anybody know if the new connector road from US-48 to WV-93 has a name?

To US 48? Or To WV 93?  :-D

H.B., you nailed it!  I was there earlier today.  The connector has no signed name or separate route number.  On US 48, it's signed only as "To WV 93".  On WV 93, it's signed only as "To US 48".
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 24, 2012, 11:44:47 PM
I drove the new part of Corridor H today.  It's a very nice road with concrete travel lanes and shoulders.  About half of the new section, the part nearest CR 3, has a Jersey barrier median.  The rest has a narrow grass median.

Now that the road has a better connection to existing state routes, it seems that traffic is picking up a bit.  Still not a ton of cars but it wasn't completely deserted as it has been in the past.

With the new pieces of Corridor H that are now open, this route is starting to look like a viable alternative for heading from the I-68 corridor to the Shenandoah Valley.  I suspect this route will start to pop-up on more people's radar screens especially once the last piece to Bismarck is done in about two years.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 24, 2012, 11:53:39 PM
With the new pieces of Corridor H that are now open, this route is starting to look like a viable alternative for heading from the I-68 corridor to the Shenandoah Valley.  I suspect this route will start to pop-up on more people's radar screens especially once the last piece to Bismarck is done in about two years.

If driving to DC, I would pick Corridor H over either I-68 to I-70, or I-64 to I-81 to I-66, without hesitation right now.

Kerens to Davis isn't that bad of a road, and neither is Wardensville to Strasburg. Davis to Mount Storm Lake is practically like a Super-2.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 25, 2012, 11:19:45 AM
I posted photos from the new part of Corridor H to Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bmpowell/sets/72157606237347352/with/8217668114/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bmpowell/sets/72157606237347352/with/8217668114/).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on November 25, 2012, 06:01:10 PM
Thanks for these. I head up that way a lot to do some backpacking in the mountains, and have watched various segments of Corridor H inch along. The Kerens - Davis segment isn't that bad - for a two-lane, and moves fairly quick. I've been stuck behind some logging trucks on the one long grade but it's easy to pass them on the incline.

I'm not sure why the Davis - Mt. Storm segment is such a high priority though. WV 93 was built on a new alignment in 1963-1964 to serve Mt. Storm Lake and its (very large) power plant that was finished in 1965. It has practically no traffic - although snow clearing may take a higher priority than years past with it being four-laned and a corridor route.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bugo on November 25, 2012, 08:15:04 PM
This thread makes me miss Racist Randy  :-/ :-/ :-/
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 25, 2012, 10:52:25 PM
Thanks for these. I head up that way a lot to do some backpacking in the mountains, and have watched various segments of Corridor H inch along. The Kerens - Davis segment isn't that bad - for a two-lane, and moves fairly quick. I've been stuck behind some logging trucks on the one long grade but it's easy to pass them on the incline.

The drive from Kerens to Davis is not dissimilar to the drive I make to work every day -- around 30 miles through rural, hilly to mountainous terrain. If I drive a similar route every day, driving this part of US 219 while on my way to points east and north is not a big deal.

Quote
I'm not sure why the Davis - Mt. Storm segment is such a high priority though. WV 93 was built on a new alignment in 1963-1964 to serve Mt. Storm Lake and its (very large) power plant that was finished in 1965. It has practically no traffic - although snow clearing may take a higher priority than years past with it being four-laned and a corridor route.

It's a quick fix. Basically, all that has to be done is build a stream crossing below the dam and then build two lanes parallel to the existing route. Very little earth-moving will have to be done from the west side of the dam on to Davis. It's a great PR move; shows that progress is being made. Not to mention that it will be a lot cheaper than building from Davis on to Parsons and then on to Kerens.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 26, 2012, 08:02:33 PM
Quote
Quote
I'm not sure why the Davis - Mt. Storm segment is such a high priority though. WV 93 was built on a new alignment in 1963-1964 to serve Mt. Storm Lake and its (very large) power plant that was finished in 1965. It has practically no traffic - although snow clearing may take a higher priority than years past with it being four-laned and a corridor route.

It's a quick fix. Basically, all that has to be done is build a stream crossing below the dam and then build two lanes parallel to the existing route. Very little earth-moving will have to be done from the west side of the dam on to Davis. It's a great PR move; shows that progress is being made. Not to mention that it will be a lot cheaper than building from Davis on to Parsons and then on to Kerens.

Looking at the plans WVDOH has for Corridor H at http://www.wvcorridorh.com/mapping/ (http://www.wvcorridorh.com/mapping/), I'd say probably half of the Davis-Bismarck segment will actually be on a new alignment.  It's not just a dualization.  From a PR perspective it does show more getting done but it doesn't really add any functional value.  I'd have rather seen the money spent on Kerens-Parsons or Parsons-Davis where there would a practical improvement.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 26, 2012, 08:37:40 PM
I'd have rather seen the money spent on Kerens-Parsons or Parsons-Davis where there would a practical improvement.

I agree. 

Existing U.S. 219 from Kerens to Davis is a pretty twisty and winding road, and having a new highway on a new alignment will be a major (and probably expensive) improvement.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 28, 2012, 12:08:17 AM
Looking at the plans WVDOH has for Corridor H at http://www.wvcorridorh.com/mapping/ (http://www.wvcorridorh.com/mapping/), I'd say probably half of the Davis-Bismarck segment will actually be on a new alignment.  It's not just a dualization.

That seems a real waste, given that Virginia has four-laned a lot of roads by building a parallel carriageway and not improving the old one, and in this case the existing route is pretty flat and straight.

Quote
From a PR perspective it does show more getting done but it doesn't really add any functional value.  I'd have rather seen the money spent on Kerens-Parsons or Parsons-Davis where there would a practical improvement.

Agreed. And I still think there needs to be a US 219/US 250 bypass of Elkins.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 28, 2012, 06:27:36 PM
Agreed. And I still think there needs to be a US 219/US 250 bypass of Elkins.

WVDOH actually has plans for 3-phase Elkins bypass but there is no funding currently identified.  Phase 1 would be 2 lanes from WV 92 near its Corridor H intersection, crossing the Tygart Valley River twice, and ending near Sullivan Junction (where Scott Ford and Ward Roads intersect).  Phase 2 would be 4 lanes from there to US 219/US 250.  Phase 3 would be 4 lanes from US 219/US 250 along the Isner Creek Road corridor to US 33 where the 4-lane segment ends east of Elkins.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on December 12, 2012, 10:14:57 AM
Drove the new route last week as part of my trip to the Pennsylvania meet. Lots of construction along WV 93; they've made a lot of progress since the last time I was across that area.

Found it interesting that there is no signage for US 48 at the WV 42/WV 93 intersection at the bottom of the hill at Scherr, the way there is at Knobley Road on WV 42.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on December 12, 2012, 10:47:20 AM
Quote
That seems a real waste, given that Virginia has four-laned a lot of roads by building a parallel carriageway and not improving the old one, and in this case the existing route is pretty flat and straight.

I believe there are 2 reasons for this.  First, unlike Virginia, West Virginia has made it a point to improve the old carriageway to modern standards whenever it was used on a 4-laning project.  This is a good thing, IMO, and I am very annoyed with Virginia taking the "cheap way out" when there is documented need to smooth out hills, curves, and add shoulders on its old carriageways.

The second reason is that many of the curves along WV 93 don't meet design standards for 65 MPH.  Especially one almost 90-degree curve west of the dam.  I believe this is why only about 5 miles of the existing WV 93 alignment will be used for the dualization.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on December 12, 2012, 12:36:31 PM
Quote
That seems a real waste, given that Virginia has four-laned a lot of roads by building a parallel carriageway and not improving the old one, and in this case the existing route is pretty flat and straight.

I believe there are 2 reasons for this.  First, unlike Virginia, West Virginia has made it a point to improve the old carriageway to modern standards whenever it was used on a 4-laning project.  This is a good thing, IMO, and I am very annoyed with Virginia taking the "cheap way out" when there is documented need to smooth out hills, curves, and add shoulders on its old carriageways.

The second reason is that many of the curves along WV 93 don't meet design standards for 65 MPH.  Especially one almost 90-degree curve west of the dam.  I believe this is why only about 5 miles of the existing WV 93 alignment will be used for the dualization.

Never meant to imply that WV should not improve the existing carriageway. It does look like in some places, they will be building a second carriageway and then improving the existing. There's no good way to expand the dam to four lanes so it makes sense that a bridge would be built below the dam.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 12, 2012, 01:03:00 PM
Quote
That seems a real waste, given that Virginia has four-laned a lot of roads by building a parallel carriageway and not improving the old one, and in this case the existing route is pretty flat and straight.

I believe there are 2 reasons for this.  First, unlike Virginia, West Virginia has made it a point to improve the old carriageway to modern standards whenever it was used on a 4-laning project.  This is a good thing, IMO, and I am very annoyed with Virginia taking the "cheap way out" when there is documented need to smooth out hills, curves, and add shoulders on its old carriageways.

Virginia is not alone in such practices. 

Maryland has done it as well.  An especially egregious example is Maryland 4 in Calvert County, between Md. 260 (Anne Arundel County line) and Prince Frederick.  Have you ever driven from metropolitan D.C. to NAS Patuxent River by way of Md. 4 (instead of Md. 5 and Md. 235)?

Some sections of U.S. 29 in Howard County were also dualized using the "cheap way out" method.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on December 12, 2012, 01:21:53 PM
That seems a real waste, given that Virginia has four-laned a lot of roads by building a parallel carriageway and not improving the old one, and in this case the existing route is pretty flat and straight.

I believe there are 2 reasons for this.  First, unlike Virginia, West Virginia has made it a point to improve the old carriageway to modern standards whenever it was used on a 4-laning project.  This is a good thing, IMO, and I am very annoyed with Virginia taking the "cheap way out" when there is documented need to smooth out hills, curves, and add shoulders on its old carriageways.

I've been on that stretch of Rt. 4, it is terrible. As far as Rt. 48/proposed in Va. is concerned, there are pieces of it that will either use or parallel the existing route according to the original design I saw, especially thru GWNF.

how the heck did you quote like that?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on December 12, 2012, 10:04:18 PM
Try driving on US 460 in Virginia in rain. While the improved carriageway was very nice with shoulders, good sight distances, smooth pavement - when it reverted to the old carriageway (and swapped between the old and new quite frequently), it was quite terrible. Narrower lanes, poor sight distances - with a lot of sharp crests, and wavy pavement.

As for Corridor H, I estimated that 70% of the roadway (and general alignment) west of the dam would be used based on my last trip. They were smoothing out some curves with preliminary grading, but there were difficulties with alignment selection due to Canaan Valley and Canaan Valley Institute bordering it to the south.

There is an old rail grade for part of the length, an old WM line, that should be repurposed for a rail to trail. It'd be a great connection to the ongoing efforts to convert the WM line through Thomas into a trail to connect the Blackwater Canyon Trail (http://www.americanbyways.com/2012/06/15/blackwater-canyon-trail/).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on December 18, 2012, 06:39:06 AM
Quote
As for Corridor H, I estimated that 70% of the roadway (and general alignment) west of the dam would be used based on my last trip. They were smoothing out some curves with preliminary grading, but there were difficulties with alignment selection due to Canaan Valley and Canaan Valley Institute bordering it to the south.

I'd looked up the actual plans awhile back.  About 5 miles worth will use the existing lanes.  Your percentage is about right for the general alignment.

Quote
There is an old rail grade for part of the length, an old WM line, that should be repurposed for a rail to trail. It'd be a great connection to the ongoing efforts to convert the WM line through Thomas into a trail to connect the Blackwater Canyon Trail

Concur.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: jpi on December 20, 2012, 12:57:07 AM
I was going to check out the progress on corridor H this weekend when Steph and I head home to PA for Christmas but thanks to winter storm Draco, looks like I will have to put this off until the spring.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on December 20, 2012, 06:22:59 AM
Quote
thanks to winter storm Draco

(off-topic)  Please tell me you're saying this in jest and not actually using these bastard winter storm names from TWC...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on December 20, 2012, 08:22:08 AM
People outside of The Weather Channel actually use those names?  I purposely don't watch TWC so I don't know how hard they've been pushing it.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on December 20, 2012, 09:12:23 AM
People outside of The Weather Channel actually use those names?  I purposely don't watch TWC so I don't know how hard they've been pushing it.

Parts of Ontario and Quebec are due to get a big chunk of the winter storm TWC calls "Draco".  The Weather Network (Canadian counterpart to TWC) isn't playing along with that name, nor is it contriving a name of its own. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on December 20, 2012, 10:01:54 AM
TWC is owned by NBCUniversal. Their goal is to milk TWC for every bit that it is worth - which is why you now have named winter storms, "reality" programming, even more "brave" weatherfolks standing in inch-deep water proclaiming how dangerous the situation is...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 20, 2012, 06:32:42 PM
People outside of The Weather Channel actually use those names?  I purposely don't watch TWC so I don't know how hard they've been pushing it.

Parts of Ontario and Quebec are due to get a big chunk of the winter storm TWC calls "Draco".  The Weather Network (Canadian counterpart to TWC) isn't playing along with that name, nor is it contriving a name of its own. 

"Draco?"  As in Malfoy? As in Harry Potter (admittedly a Warner Brothers production, but the Harry Potter theme park is part of the NBCUniversal operation in Orlando).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on December 21, 2012, 01:11:43 AM
TWC is owned by NBCUniversal. Their goal is to milk TWC for every bit that it is worth - which is why you now have named winter storms, "reality" programming, even more "brave" weatherfolks standing in inch-deep water proclaiming how dangerous the situation is...

I honestly thought that "Storm Stories" was a decent program.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on December 21, 2012, 04:16:43 AM
TWC is owned by NBCUniversal. Their goal is to milk TWC for every bit that it is worth - which is why you now have named winter storms, "reality" programming, even more "brave" weatherfolks standing in inch-deep water proclaiming how dangerous the situation is...

I honestly thought that "Storm Stories" was a decent program.

Agreed.  But now TWC is straying too much into non-weather programming.  "Coast Guard Alaska" (TWC's contribution to the glut of Alaska "reality" shows) and "Ice Pilots" come to mind.  It's getting harder and harder to get actual weather information when you tune in. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 21, 2012, 09:10:45 AM
TWC is owned by NBCUniversal. Their goal is to milk TWC for every bit that it is worth - which is why you now have named winter storms, "reality" programming, even more "brave" weatherfolks standing in inch-deep water proclaiming how dangerous the situation is...

I honestly thought that "Storm Stories" was a decent program.

Agreed.  But now TWC is straying too much into non-weather programming.  "Coast Guard Alaska" (TWC's contribution to the glut of Alaska "reality" shows) and "Ice Pilots" come to mind.  It's getting harder and harder to get actual weather information when you tune in. 

You have been in Alaska.  What  is your opinion of those shows?

I personally like Alaska State Troopers on National Geographic Channel (because I like cop reality shows, but also because this show seems to strive to show the entire huge state, and not just Anchorage and Fairbanks, as well as a lot of the gorgeous Alaska landscape).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on December 21, 2012, 12:00:01 PM

Agreed.  But now TWC is straying too much into non-weather programming.  "Coast Guard Alaska" (TWC's contribution to the glut of Alaska "reality" shows) and "Ice Pilots" come to mind.  It's getting harder and harder to get actual weather information when you tune in. 

You have been in Alaska.  What  is your opinion of those shows?

I personally like Alaska State Troopers on National Geographic Channel (because I like cop reality shows, but also because this show seems to strive to show the entire huge state, and not just Anchorage and Fairbanks, as well as a lot of the gorgeous Alaska landscape).

There is such a glut of Alaska-based shows, that I don't try to watch them all.  My favorite was "Flying Wild Alaska" (series just concluded), which featured the really remote places in northwestern Alaska.  I also watch "Ice Road Truckers", though it includes even more obviously phony drama than usual, including but not limited to the use of trick photography to make the Dalton Highway look even scarier than it really is.

I've seen snippets of "Alaska State Troopers" and "Coast Guard Alaska," but not enough to inspire me to watch those shows regularly.  Ditto "Ice Pilots" which is set only in northern Canada.  I have never watched "Deadliest Catch" (landlubber that I am, even though I spent a few days in Dutch Harbor), and while I DVR'd all the episodes of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" I haven't gone back to watch any of them.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 21, 2012, 12:09:40 PM
My favorite was "Flying Wild Alaska" (series just concluded)

I like that show, but they really do time it around the commercials - exaggerating a dramatic point just before a break. 

it helps to

a) watch using Netflix/Amazon/whatnot, where there is no pause
b) remember that they have interviews with the presented subjects, so clearly they made it out alive

but still, after the break, they return and immediately resolve the problem (other pilot takes over, that kind of thing).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on January 26, 2013, 08:32:39 PM
Button-copy sign about to bite the dust...
http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/558791/Icy-roads-hamper-travel-in-region.html?nav=5014
The Intermountain web site also has a gallery of 51 Corridor H construction photos. None has a caption saying where exactly they were taken, and they have a load of stupid watermarks all over them. They were taken from a helicopter; after the first 5 photos they start west of the dam and go east, though not always in order, over to the newly opened part, then back to the dam area.
http://cu.theintermountain.com/NewsEvents/Corridor-H-construction/27605428_bLs6Ms#!i=2324534397&k=fMMMmWm
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 27, 2013, 12:16:09 AM
Those watermarks make those pictures un-viewable.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on January 27, 2013, 10:44:59 AM
Button-copy sign about to bite the dust...
http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/558791/Icy-roads-hamper-travel-in-region.html?nav=5014
R.I.P. www.alpsroads.net/roads/wv/us_33
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 27, 2013, 01:35:25 PM
Most of the button copy between Weston and Elkins has been replaced already. Only the exit signs at Buckhannon, a couple of county route crossing signs and a couple of signs at the US 250 intersection remain. I'm surprised the existing ones have survived as long as they have.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on January 27, 2013, 02:15:04 PM
I'm surprised the existing ones have survived as long as they have.
Yeah, that's why I posted that. And those watermarked pix certainly suck; I have no idea why they thought that was necessary.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on January 28, 2013, 10:01:55 AM
The button copy signs on I-64 from Beckley east to Sam Black Church, dating to 1988, were replaced I think in 2012 or 2011. The signs on I-64 near Huntington were replaced very recently - new sign supports, LED lighting and all.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 28, 2013, 02:24:13 PM
The signs on I-64 near Huntington were replaced very recently - new sign supports, LED lighting and all.

With Clearview.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on February 08, 2013, 10:03:29 AM
http://www.journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/589796.html
Some bank on Corridor H being completed sooner rather than later; others not as optimistic
January 18, 2013
By Katie Kuba - Ogden Newspapers
         
BUCKHANNON - The completion of Corridor H might seem miles away to some West Virginians, but Jim Strader is banking on it being done sooner rather than later.

[...]

In fact, the road is slated to be 75 percent complete in the Mountain State by the end of 2013, a fact many people in Randolph, Tucker and other counties may not realize, said Robbie Morris, executive director of the Randolph County Development Authority.

"Unless you make regular trips to the Eastern Panhandle or to the D.C. and Baltimore area, you don't really see it," Morris said. "People view the progress on the Corridor from where it stands at Kerens, and nothing's being done from Kerens to Parsons ... but that doesn't mean nothing's being done."

Most of the current construction work visible from the air is concentrated near Mount Storm, where backhoes, dozers and other pieces of heavy equipment dot the landscape. Along W.Va. 93, there are several places where forest has been cleared to make way for the highway. Buttresses for bridges are beginning to come together, and several bridges have decks installed and are nearing completion. As the road snakes its way around mountains near Scherr Mountain, the pathway for the future road is visible.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on February 08, 2013, 10:33:26 AM
There's a glaring error in that story.

Quote
First proposed in 1964, the 143-mile-long highway is the only leg of the federal Appalachian Corridor System - a network of roads designed to open Appalachia up to economic development - that has yet to be finished, according to information from the Corridor H Authority, a group advocating for the Corridor's completion.

US 119 in Kentucky isn't finished yet. The portion from the Harlan/Letcher county line to Whitesburg is not done. Some portions are under construction or recently went to contract, but the Pine Mountain crossing remains as an obstacle. The current idea is to tunnel under the mountain, but that will cost a lot of money.

I think there is also a portion of highway in Tennessee in the Cookeville area that isn't even under consideration for construction at this time.

20 years ago I can see why reporters would make errors like this, because you didn't have the Internet to research this stuff. Today, a quick glance at the ARC Website will show what corridors are not yet completed. There's no excuse for this type of easily-avoided error.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on February 08, 2013, 10:42:11 AM
There's also I-99 (Corridor U-1) south of Corning, not complete yet. And Corridor X-1 is porkier than most. Bits and pieces of others are also not done (A, C, K, V, X...).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on February 08, 2013, 06:50:16 PM
H is the only remaining corridor in West Virginia.  That's most likely what they were referring to.  Given the small geographical (and exclusively West Virginian) area of the paper's coverage, it's the most logical conclusion.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on February 08, 2013, 10:08:26 PM
H is the only remaining corridor in West Virginia.  That's most likely what they were referring to.  Given the small geographical (and exclusively West Virginian) area of the paper's coverage, it's the most logical conclusion.

Entirely possible, and I did not think of that likelihood.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on February 09, 2013, 06:18:14 AM
H is the only remaining corridor in West Virginia.  That's most likely what they were referring to.  Given the small geographical (and exclusively West Virginian) area of the paper's coverage, it's the most logical conclusion.

Entirely possible, and I did not think of that likelihood.

I'm sure that is what the author is refering to.  The last section of D was finished a few years ago, and, excepting that, all ARC projects were finished by the early 90s.  The political perception among people in that area is that the order in which Interstates and Corridors were finished was highly political.  Really, if you look at traffic volumes, and national and local impact, WV pretty much built its roads in reverse order of importance.

On a side note WV, the last state to complete its original interstate allottment, will probably be the first to finish its ARC.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on February 09, 2013, 06:52:26 AM
On a side note WV, the last state to complete its original interstate allottment, will probably be the first to finish its ARC.
Mississippi, New York, and South Carolina are closer to completion: http://www.arc.gov/program_areas/StatusofCompletionoftheADHS.asp http://www.arc.gov/program_areas/StatusoftheAppalachianDevelopmentHighwaySystemasofSeptember302011.asp
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: jpi on February 15, 2013, 01:27:11 AM
On a trip to Knoxville a couple weeks ago, I took the "scenic" route which led me along TN 52 from Red Boiling Springs east to Celina, first time in 2 years I was in that part of TN and discoverde a BIG 4 lane project for TN 52 from Celina to outside of Livingston. Nice stretch of highway, about 4 miles of it now 4 lane app. corridor grade. I wonder if this is supposed to come down to the Cookeville area and tie into a new interchange that is planned on I-40 west of Cookeville.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on February 15, 2013, 01:48:11 AM
That's Corridor J: http://www.arc.gov/images/programs/transp/adhs_status_report_2011/ADHS2011StatusReportTennessee.pdf
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 15, 2013, 01:51:17 AM
On a side note WV, the last state to complete its original interstate allottment, will probably be the first to finish its ARC.

Does Maryland (with an admittedly small land area in ARC-land) have any corridors left to build?

Maybe a tiny part of Corridor N (U.S. 219 near Grantsville).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on February 15, 2013, 01:56:50 AM
Does Maryland (with an admittedly small land area in ARC-land) have any corridors left to build?

Maybe a tiny part of Corridor N (U.S. 219 near Grantsville).
http://www.arc.gov/program_areas/StatusofCompletionoftheADHS.asp http://www.arc.gov/program_areas/StatusoftheAppalachianDevelopmentHighwaySystemasofSeptember302011.asp
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on February 15, 2013, 03:37:44 PM
On a side note WV, the last state to complete its original interstate allottment, will probably be the first to finish its ARC.

Does Maryland (with an admittedly small land area in ARC-land) have any corridors left to build?

Maybe a tiny part of Corridor N (U.S. 219 near Grantsville).

I don't look for anything else to be done on Corridor O (US 220) since Pennsylvania has abandoned plans to build its portion of the route from the state line to Bedford. The road quality deteriorates considerably when you cross the state line going north.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 15, 2013, 06:01:40 PM
On a side note WV, the last state to complete its original interstate allottment, will probably be the first to finish its ARC.

Does Maryland (with an admittedly small land area in ARC-land) have any corridors left to build?

Maybe a tiny part of Corridor N (U.S. 219 near Grantsville).

I don't look for anything else to be done on Corridor O (US 220) since Pennsylvania has abandoned plans to build its portion of the route from the state line to Bedford. The road quality deteriorates considerably when you cross the state line going north.

Wonder if Pennsylvania was afraid that an upgrade of U.S. 220 between Bedford and Maryland  might cost the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission revenue?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Mr_Northside on February 15, 2013, 07:27:00 PM
Wonder if Pennsylvania was afraid that an upgrade of U.S. 220 between Bedford and Maryland  might cost the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission revenue?

I doubt the welfare of the PTC's revenues had anything to do with it.
I think the fact that they're trying to focus resources ($$$) one county over to finally get an upgraded US-219 between Somerset and I-68 probably had a good bit to do with it. 
I can't remember for sure, but they may have actually shifted the ARC  south of the Turnpike from US-220 to US-219 to try and get more $$$.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on February 15, 2013, 10:10:07 PM
Wonder if Pennsylvania was afraid that an upgrade of U.S. 220 between Bedford and Maryland  might cost the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission revenue?

I doubt the welfare of the PTC's revenues had anything to do with it.
I think the fact that they're trying to focus resources ($$$) one county over to finally get an upgraded US-219 between Somerset and I-68 probably had a good bit to do with it. 
I can't remember for sure, but they may have actually shifted the ARC  south of the Turnpike from US-220 to US-219 to try and get more $$$.

Actually, I think US 220 got swapped out for US 322.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on February 15, 2013, 10:24:50 PM
Actually, I think US 220 got swapped out for US 322.
Yep. N always went south to E.

And then US 322 got swapped for US 15-PA 147 in 2010: http://www.csvt.com/assets/pdfs/ADHS%20Map%20with%20Corridor%20P-1.pdf

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e7/1966_map_of_the_Appalachian_Development_Highway_System.jpg/3568px-1966_map_of_the_Appalachian_Development_Highway_System.jpg)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1966_map_of_the_Appalachian_Development_Highway_System.jpg
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on February 16, 2013, 02:17:12 PM
Does Maryland (with an admittedly small land area in ARC-land) have any corridors left to build?

Maybe a tiny part of Corridor N (U.S. 219 near Grantsville).

I don't look for anything else to be done on Corridor O (US 220) since Pennsylvania has abandoned plans to build its portion of the route from the state line to Bedford. The road quality deteriorates considerably when you cross the state line going north.

I drive that stretch of US 220 several times a year.  Traffic easily flows 55+ through here.  While some wider shoulders and turn lanes would be nice, the only real issue I have with the existing road is that traffic is heavy enough that passing can be difficult.  A couple of passing lanes would easily solve this problem.  A full relocation would really be a waste of money.

US 219 to the west, on the other hand, would greatly benefit from its planned full relocation.  The existing alignment is very indirect, has some sharp curves, and is pretty slow.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on February 16, 2013, 02:37:32 PM
I drive that stretch of US 220 several times a year.  Traffic easily flows 55+ through here.  While some wider shoulders and turn lanes would be nice, the only real issue I have with the existing road is that traffic is heavy enough that passing can be difficult.  A couple of passing lanes would easily solve this problem.  A full relocation would really be a waste of money.

US 219 to the west, on the other hand, would greatly benefit from its planned full relocation.  The existing alignment is very indirect, has some sharp curves, and is pretty slow.

Agreed about passing on 220, especially given the amount of truck traffic I've witnessed on that road.

Also agreed on 219. I drove it once, coming home from State College, and said "never again." I will be much more likely to use 219 once the road from I-68 to Somerset is complete.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 26, 2013, 05:10:58 AM
The Journal (Martinsburg, W.Va.): Study: highways should be finished (http://www.journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/592569/Study--highways-should-be-finished.html)

Quote
HAGERSTOWN - Completing Corridor H is one of the most important projects identified in the Appalachian Regional Commission Interstate 81 Corridor Study.

Quote
"One of the most important gaps that should be completed is connecting Corridor H to I-81 to provide direct access to I-81 and the Virginia Inland Port," the study concludes. "This would provide intermodal access for much of northern West Virginia and an east/west highway for Virginia to Cincinnati, Ohio; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Chicago."

Quote
The study, titled Network 81: Defining the I-81 Corridor, was presented Monday during the I-81 Corridor Coalition annual conference, which is being held in Hagerstown. The coalition consists of state and local governments along the I-81 corridor from New York to Tennessee, including West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

Quote
"West Virginia is building a four-lane, high-speed highway up to the Virginia line, where it becomes a two-lane highway," said Ray Pethtel, who authored the study and is the former interim executive director of the I-81CC.

For those that may not remember, Ray Pethtel was Virginia's Commissioner of Highways for two periods, first 1986 to 1994, and then in 2002.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 14, 2013, 10:25:51 PM
Charleston Daily Mail: Mock Corridor H decorates Capitol (http://www.dailymail.com/News/statehouse/201304140079)

Quote
The Corridor H Authority laid a "stage version" of Corridor H on the second floor of the Capitol on Friday, connecting the Senate chambers to the House of Delegates. The mock highway was dotted with significant markers, information booths and video about Corridor H's path, with special detail paid to a 25-mile uncompleted section midway along the route.

The Inter-Mountain.Com: Corridor H - Legislators view model of highway (http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/560666/Corridor-H.html?nav=5014)

Quote
Local economic leaders from a seven-county region gathered in Charleston Friday to lobby for the completion of Corridor H - and garnered pledges of support from state lawmakers.

Quote
The Corridor H Authority, a group that advocates for the completion of the highway by the year 2020, set up a lifelike model of the 130-mile highway in the State Capitol Rotunda so legislators could actually see what has - and hasn't - been completed on the road, which begins at the intersection of Interstate 79 and U.S. Route 33 near Weston and will end at the junction of Interstates 81 and 66 in Front Royal, Va.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 29, 2013, 04:14:55 PM
Took a trip on the "eastern" part of Corridor H for the first time in many years this past weekend (there was only one relatively small part open between Baker and Wardensville the last time I was out that way).  Did not take any pictures, though I may do that in the future.  Some observations:

There has been a lot of discussion about what should happen east of Wardensville - to I-81 in Virginia near Strasburg.  I noticed that U.S. 48/Va. 55 is now marked as a "scenic byway," but only in Shenandoah County (not Frederick County). The grade from the ridgecrest of North Mountain (at the Va./W.Va. state line) down to Wardensville is steeper than I remember, and there was plenty of summertime traffic (more traffic there than on eastern Corridor H itself).

The current eastern terminus of Corridor H approaching Wardensville is at the end of a pretty steep downhill grade.

All of eastern Corridor H is marked as a bike trail (on the  shoulders), yet the bridges on the massive bridges that carry the highway across many of the valleys have very narrow shoulders.  And the grades are still plenty steep.  Wonder how much bike traffic will use it?

The rock cuts through the ridges are massive, as big (in terms of scale) as I-68 crossing Sideling Hill in Maryland.

The vistas from eastern Corridor H are absolutely spectacular.  With a little selling, this could be an uncongested alternative to Skyline Drive during leaf season.

Eastern Corridor H comes to an end (for now) at a connector to W.Va. 93 near Greenland, but the massive bridge that carries Corridor H over W.Va. 93 appears to be complete.  Once off of Corridor H, I drove north (east according to WVDOH) on 93 to U.S. 50 to turn east toward Romney.  The trip on U.S. 50 reminded me why Corridor H is a good project. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on July 29, 2013, 07:14:28 PM
I went through there today, the full length of the currently-open eastern portion. Not sure how pictures will come out: Ms1995hoo was taking pictures as I drove but does not always do well because she tries to "frame" the pictures too much, and at some point my dashcam froze. So I'll see as the week goes on whether I have any good pictures.

I concur with cpzilliacus about what a great road that is. The speed limit is 65 and I had my cruise control set at 75. Very few other cars on the road. I didn't feel comfortable going faster because of the curves and because the car was somewhat heavily loaded (two sets of golf clubs plus a four-day weekend's worth of luggage). I noted the bike route signs too, but I would NOT want to ride a bike on there at all.

I came from the opposite direction from cpzilliacus. We were at the Omni Bedford Springs for the weekend (our anniversary is July 28) and we decided to go see Fallingwater afterwards. So from Fallingwater I came down PA-381 and US-40 to US-219, took that to Oakland and stopped for gas, and then I picked up US-50 east to WV-42. The view from the top of WV-42 where the Corridor H construction is underway, and from where you can see the huge bridge cp mentions, is a stunning view.

Corridor H is now my default route to or from either Western Maryland, Pittsburgh, or farther west. I'm simply utterly tired of I-270 and I-70 in Maryland. It's just too bad there's no new option across Virginia other than VA-7, US-50, I-66, or US-211 (unless I go WAY too far out of the way, and the Wife Acceptance Factor for that is LESS THAN ZERO....she indulged me quite a bit today with the Corridor H route). I'm always looking for new routes through very familiar territory.


Edited to add: I don't know what happened, but it appears my dashcam malfunctioned and got very little of Corridor H itself. Guess that just means another trip out there is in order, maybe the weekend in September when Ms1995hoo will be out of town. Good opportunity to go clinch a bunch of West Virginia routes.


Edited a second time to fix a typo.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on July 29, 2013, 07:56:31 PM
Biking it is no problem, especially with the light traffic. When I was in Austin, TX for a while, I biked on many of the local highways and freeways that were not interstates, and were signed for cyclists. The shoulders were wide and cyclists had the option of continuing down the ramp or across the lane and onto the mainline shoulder. I actually saw quite a few cyclists out on those highways out there.

I've biked Corridor H and some of the routes out there (WV 93, US 219, etc.). Very scenic. Yeah, the grades on Corridor H are long, but it's not incredibly steep.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on July 29, 2013, 08:35:52 PM
Yeah, for me it's the long grades. I'm not in good enough shape to bike that sort of road.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 29, 2013, 09:48:57 PM
I've biked Corridor H and some of the routes out there (WV 93, US 219, etc.). Very scenic. Yeah, the grades on Corridor H are long, but it's not incredibly steep.

I am not in any  shape to be biking Corridor H either (but maybe at some point in the future, the Mountaineer State could do a Tour de West Virginia?).  It would make West Virginia look great to a television audience, just like the Tour de France does.

As for bikes and safety, the shoulders are plenty wide enough for safe bike use.  My problem is the very  narrow shoulders on some of those long and high bridges.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on July 29, 2013, 09:50:18 PM
So don't use the shoulder. We've already discussed this ad nauseam and there's no point in going through the motions again.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 29, 2013, 09:58:58 PM
I went through there today, the full length of the currently-open eastern portion. Not sure how pictures will come out: Ms1995hoo was taking pictures as I drove but does not always do well because she tries to "frame" the pictures too much, and at some point my dashcam froze. So I'll see as the week goes on whether I have any good pictures.

I did not bother with any images at all, since I was driving so much of it for the very first time.

One other comment, FWIW - I noticed a lot of dead spots in terms of cellular phone coverage along eastern Corridor H.  Wonder if WVDOT will be encouraging the cell providers to build some new cell sites along it? There would seem to be plenty of space along the ridgetops for cell towers.

I concur with cpzilliacus about what a great road that is. The speed limit is 65 and I had my cruise control set at 75. Very few other cars on the road. I didn't feel comfortable going faster because of the curves and because the car was somewhat heavily loaded (two sets of golf clubs plus a four-day weekend's worth of luggage). I noted the bike route signs too, but I would NOT want to ride a bike on there at all.

Yeah, the little bit of traffic that there is dwindles as one goes west.

I will add that the grades on Corridor H are a little steeper than on I-68 between Cumberland and Hancock.  On 68 I did not once have to shift the truck out of overdrive - on Corridor H I  had to drop down one gear to maintain 65 on some of the grades.

I came from the opposite direction from cpzilliacus. We were at the Omni Bedford Springs for the weekend (our anniversary is July 28) and we decided to go see Fallingwater afterwards. So from Fallingwater I came down PA-381 and US-40 to US-219, took that to Oakland and stopped for gas, and then I picked up US-50 east to WV-42. The view from the top of WV-42 where the Corridor H construction is underway, and from where you can see the huge bridge cp mentions, is a stunning view.

This road should be "marketed" to residents of the D.C. and Baltimore media markets as great drive for the views.  I don't know if there was a deliberate effort by WVDOT to route and align the road to make the views more spectacular, but they have done just that.

And  coming up to the (current) east end west end of eastern Corridor H at W.Va. 93, the windmills on the ridge near Mount Storm are pretty neat as well.

Corridor H is now my default route to or from either Western Maryland, Pittsburgh, or farther west. I'm simply utterly tired of I-270 and I-70 in Maryland. It's just too bad there's no new option across Virginia other than VA-7, US-50, I-66, or US-211 (unless I go WAY too far out of the way, and the Wife Acceptance Factor for that is LESS THAN ZERO....she indulged me quite a bit today with the Corridor H route). I'm always looking for new routes through very familiar territory.

I don't mind I-70 and I-68 at all.  I do mind I-270 between Germantown and Frederick, which is an inadequate road for the amount of traffic it has to serve - and the blame for that state of affairs should mostly be placed at the doorstep of the Montgomery County Council, which has stonewalled widening proposals for many years. 

Edited to add: I don't know what happened, but it appears my dashcam malfunctioned and got very little of Corridor H itself. Guess that just means another trip out there is in order, maybe the weekend in September when Ms1995hoo will be out of town. Good opportunity to go clinch a bunch of West Virginia routes.

That sounds like a good reason.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on July 30, 2013, 07:14:22 AM
Well, you guys passed close to my house, should have stopped in for a beer...Yes, cell coverage is minimal out there, no ugly towers, or other signs of urban life needed out that way, but that is not a sermon, just a thought...

The deal with the Wardensville-Va. line is that it will not be built until:

Rt. 55 becomes "unserviceable", or..
Money with time limitations in which to spend it, or
Congress appropiates money for completion.

Not sure if I'll ever see it completed to I-81 in my lifetime, Va. will not spend the money, unless W.V./Feds lay it out. it will go right thru property that belongs to folks who have owned land on the proposed right of way for generations, about 3 mi. from me.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on July 30, 2013, 08:53:59 AM
....

This road should be "marketed" to residents of the D.C. and Baltimore media markets as great drive for the views.  I don't know if there was a deliberate effort by WVDOT to route and align the road to make the views more spectacular, but they have done just that.

And  coming up to the (current) east end at W.Va. 93, the windmills on the ridge near Mount Storm are pretty neat as well.

....

The other thing is that it's a far more direct and faster way to places like the Canaan Valley than the traditional routes via I-70 and I-68. It might, and I have to emphasize "might," be faster to Deep Creek Lake as well depending on one's point of origin—while you still have the two-lane sections of WV-42, US-50, and either US-219 or MD-560 depending on your route, you can move right along on those because everyone else is using the Interstate.

In my case, the primary motivation, aside from checking out the construction, was simply wanting a different route through very familiar territory. I'm sure we've all been in that situation.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on July 30, 2013, 09:37:50 AM
A friend who lives in Springfield has a place near Jennings Randolph lake, goes to the end of 48, just a short run up 93 to 50, and he's there, says it saves him 40-45 min from driving up 50 thru Winchester.  I have told a lot of folks here at work (Reston) to go out on 48 in the fall to see color rather than the "tame" and crowded Skyline Drive...

If you really want to do a neat all day, or most of the day drive, go to the end of 48, go south back thru Petersburg, then south to Seneca Rocks, then 33 east back to I-81...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 30, 2013, 11:52:05 AM
Well, you guys passed close to my house, should have stopped in for a beer...Yes, cell coverage is minimal out there, no ugly towers, or other signs of urban life needed out that way, but that is not a sermon, just a thought...

A road that big should probably have cell tower coverage.  And I suppose it will happen over time.

Been listening to Pastor Lon's commercials on WTOP?  ;-)

The deal with the Wardensville-Va. line is that it will not be built until:

Rt. 55 becomes "unserviceable", or..
Money with time limitations in which to spend it, or
Congress appropiates money for completion.

I think it's the  last one that will get it done.  There was also a "stand still" agreement that I think was part of the Record of Decision for Corridor H between Wardensville and the Virginia border (and maybe  all the way to Strasburg).

Not sure if I'll ever see it completed to I-81 in my lifetime, Va. will not spend the money, unless W.V./Feds lay it out. it will go right thru property that belongs to folks who have owned land on the proposed right of way for generations, about 3 mi. from me.

I  cannot answer that.  Though in this case Virginia is playing the obstructionist role that Maryland has played on a project that many in Virginia want to see built. 

As for running the highway through someones property, that is always a problem, though  they are supposed to be made whole as part of any condemnation process.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on July 30, 2013, 12:29:42 PM
Well, you guys passed close to my house, should have stopped in for a beer...Yes, cell coverage is minimal out there, no ugly towers, or other signs of urban life needed out that way, but that is not a sermon, just a thought...

A road that big should probably have cell tower coverage.  And I suppose it will happen over time.

Been listening to Pastor Lon's commercials on WTOP?  ;-)

The deal with the Wardensville-Va. line is that it will not be built until:

Rt. 55 becomes "unserviceable", or..
Money with time limitations in which to spend it, or
Congress appropiates money for completion.

I think it's the  last one that will get it done.  There was also a "stand still" agreement that I think was part of the Record of Decision for Corridor H between Wardensville and the Virginia border (and maybe  all the way to Strasburg).

Not sure if I'll ever see it completed to I-81 in my lifetime, Va. will not spend the money, unless W.V./Feds lay it out. it will go right thru property that belongs to folks who have owned land on the proposed right of way for generations, about 3 mi. from me.

I  cannot answer that.  Though in this case Virginia is playing the obstructionist role that Maryland has played on a project that many in Virginia want to see built. 

As for running the highway through someones property, that is always a problem, though  they are supposed to be made whole as part of any condemnation process.

I understand that some time ago, W.Va. was seeking money from DHS to complete the road, on the basis that it would serve as an emergency evac. route out of the D.C. Metro area in case SHTF... (Do we need all of those city folk coming out into our neck of the woods?)

Used to hear Pastor Lon's words of wisdom on WTOP, but listen to Sirius/WMAL mostly now.

I still have the original (thick!) binder for the planning of Corridor H, got it at a meeting I went to in Wardensville a long time ago....

I don't really consider it obstructionist to not fund a highway that primarily benefits W.Va. (nothing personal to those residents), but no Fed $$, no road, why should we Virginians pick up the entire tab for it?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on July 30, 2013, 01:42:35 PM
Quote
I understand that some time ago, W.Va. was seeking money from DHS to complete the road, on the basis that it would serve as an emergency evac. route out of the D.C. Metro area in case SHTF... (Do we need all of those city folk coming out into our neck of the woods?)

When the segment from Moorefield over to Knobley Rd opened a couple years ago, there were several officials at the dedication ceremony (I was present) that used the "emergency evacuation route" line in promoting the corridor's completion.

Quote
I don't really consider it obstructionist to not fund a highway that primarily benefits W.Va. (nothing personal to those residents), but no Fed $$, no road, why should we Virginians pick up the entire tab for it?

Completely benefits West Virginia...CP's comments about the Port of Virginia notwithstanding.  I just don't see a lot of truck traffic using it to get to the Port of Virginia even if it was completed.  And traffic volumes by far don't even come close to warranting 4-lanes.  Virginia has other 2-lane segments far more in need of 4-laning than VA 55.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on July 30, 2013, 02:02:32 PM
Quote
I understand that some time ago, W.Va. was seeking money from DHS to complete the road, on the basis that it would serve as an emergency evac. route out of the D.C. Metro area in case SHTF... (Do we need all of those city folk coming out into our neck of the woods?)

When the segment from Moorefield over to Knobley Rd opened a couple years ago, there were several officials at the dedication ceremony (I was present) that used the "emergency evacuation route" line in promoting the corridor's completion.

"Emergency evacuation" was also the excuse for jamming down Arlington's throats a few miles of auxiliary lanes on westbound I-66 inside the Capital Beltway.  I was one of the few in Arlington to support the project, but I found the evacuation excuse unconvincing there, as I do for Corridor H. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on July 31, 2013, 12:18:59 PM
Completely benefits West Virginia...CP's comments about the Port of Virginia notwithstanding.  I just don't see a lot of truck traffic using it to get to the Port of Virginia even if it was completed.  And traffic volumes by far don't even come close to warranting 4-lanes.  Virginia has other 2-lane segments far more in need of 4-laning than VA 55.

Kentucky and Tennessee built a lot of ARC corridors as two-lane roads. Now, 40 or so years later, they're coming back and either widening the existing routes or building new segments of the routes as four-lane highways.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2013, 02:59:00 PM
Quote
I don't really consider it obstructionist to not fund a highway that primarily benefits W.Va. (nothing personal to those residents), but no Fed $$, no road, why should we Virginians pick up the entire tab for it?

Completely benefits West Virginia...CP's comments about the Port of Virginia notwithstanding.  I just don't see a lot of truck traffic using it to get to the Port of Virginia even if it was completed.  And traffic volumes by far don't even come close to warranting 4-lanes.  Virginia has other 2-lane segments far more in need of 4-laning than VA 55.

Same reasoning that Montgomery County, Md. politicians use to oppose new crossings of the Potomac River - it "only benefits Virginia."  We are a United States, and that kind of thinking should (IMO) be dismissed. 

Regarding four lane divided versus two lanes - most U.S. drivers do not know how to drive on a Super-2 type highway any longer (the old West Virginia Turnpike was a Super-2 for many years, and  had a pretty bad crash rate, as were the I-695 approaches to the Francis Scott Key Bridge), because such roads are rare in the U.S. and Canada.
 
That's also why I dislike the two-way operation on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge so much. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 31, 2013, 03:00:45 PM

Regarding four lane divided versus two lanes - most U.S. drivers do not know how to drive on a Super-2 type highway any longer (the old West Virginia Turnpike was a Super-2 for many years, and  had a pretty bad crash rate, as were the I-695 approaches to the Francis Scott Key Bridge), because such roads are rare in the U.S. and Canada.

what is so different about it it, with respect to a regular two-lane? 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2013, 03:36:52 PM

Regarding four lane divided versus two lanes - most U.S. drivers do not know how to drive on a Super-2 type highway any longer (the old West Virginia Turnpike was a Super-2 for many years, and  had a pretty bad crash rate, as were the I-695 approaches to the Francis Scott Key Bridge), because such roads are rare in the U.S. and Canada.

what is so different about it it, with respect to a regular two-lane? 

(1) Higher speeds.

(2) More than a few drivers forget that they are on a two-lane highway (and not a four lane).  When I-95 was first completed from Bangor, Maine to Houlton, it was also a Super-2 (except at the interchanges).  There were many signs warning drivers that they were on a two-lane highway.

Md. 90 (Ocean City Expressway) in Worcester County is almost a Super-2, and has suffered plenty of head-on crashes, even with mandatory headlight use and special "rumble" treatment in the middle. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 31, 2013, 03:39:44 PM

(1) Higher speeds.

got it.  I think I'm just used to two-laners out west which may as well be super-2 given the lack of side roads. 

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on July 31, 2013, 03:53:20 PM
I think a lot of drivers, at least here on the East Coast, seem to have forgotten, or never learned, how to pass on two-lane roads, regardless of whether it's a "Super-2" or a regular old two-lane road. No doubt part of this may be due to a higher percentage of drivers hailing from, and learning to drive in, urban areas and not encountering two-lane roads nearly as often as was the case even 25 years ago. But I'm rather astonished whenever I drive on a two-lane road nowadays (other than a twisty mountain road) and I see how far back people stay even when the guy in front is a slowpoke. The reason it astonishes me is that on the Interstate or in urban areas, the same people are the ones glued to your rear bumper even if there's nowhere you can go. On a two-lane road it can sometimes be darn difficult to pass if you don't close up the gap first. I sometimes wonder how much of this is also a function of the prevalence of automatic-transmission vehicles simply in terms of many drivers not having the sense for understanding how the car's gearing can help execute the pass when necessary.

Even my wife seems guilty of it....this past weekend whenever I pulled out to pass on a two-lane road (main instances being Friday on US-220 between Cumberland, MD, and Bedford, PA, which gets a fair amount of tractor-trailer traffic) she seemed not to like it at all, even though I wasn't going terribly fast (60 to 65 in a 55 zone). I don't see what the big deal is.

One of the things that irks me about typical US road design is that two-lane roads often have a relatively narrow shoulder (if they have one at all), and even when there is a shoulder, the vast majority of drivers refuse to move to the right while maintaining speed to help others pass. I encountered several situations on Monday on US-219 in far western Maryland where truck drivers easily could have moved to the right halfway onto the shoulder to help let the long line of cars get by, but failed to do so. In Canada and the parts of Mexico I've visited, it's a given that people do that, especially truck and RV drivers.

Anyway, returning to Corridor H, if/when the West Virginia portion is ever finished, I'll be interested in seeing to what extent it siphons off any long-distance traffic that currently uses I-70 to I-68; going to southern Ohio, for example, it's easy to use Corridor H, I-79, and Corridor D, and for travel to Charleston and beyond out I-64 I could certainly see Corridor H to southbound I-79 being preferable to mixing it up with all the trucks on I-81. I wonder to what extent people see the US shield instead of the Interstate shield and automatically rule it out as an option because they assume it will be a slow road riddled with traffic lights. Of course, if the Virginia portion stays as it is today you'll have people who won't consider going that way just because they automatically rule out two-lane roads. I've given people directions to various places over the years using two-lane roads and many of them have objected because they assume the two-lane roads will be too slow (though the funny thing there is that with the route I use between Fairfax County and Charlottesville—the one via Fredericksburg, Orange and Gordonsville, emerging at Shadwell—the two-lane portions move along a lot better than the I-95 portion most of the time).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2013, 06:03:43 PM
I think a lot of drivers, at least here on the East Coast, seem to have forgotten, or never learned, how to pass on two-lane roads, regardless of whether it's a "Super-2" or a regular old two-lane road. No doubt part of this may be due to a higher percentage of drivers hailing from, and learning to drive in, urban areas and not encountering two-lane roads nearly as often as was the case even 25 years ago. But I'm rather astonished whenever I drive on a two-lane road nowadays (other than a twisty mountain road) and I see how far back people stay even when the guy in front is a slowpoke. The reason it astonishes me is that on the Interstate or in urban areas, the same people are the ones glued to your rear bumper even if there's nowhere you can go. On a two-lane road it can sometimes be darn difficult to pass if you don't close up the gap first. I sometimes wonder how much of this is also a function of the prevalence of automatic-transmission vehicles simply in terms of many drivers not having the sense for understanding how the car's gearing can help execute the pass when necessary.

I believe this is correct.  At least among drivers who spend most of their time behind the wheel on divided highways of four or more lanes.  Busy high-speed two lane roads are increasingly rare.  MdTA added two lanes on the west side approach on 695 to the F. S. Key Bridge in the 1980's, and in the late 1990's, they reconstructed the east side approach (past the now-defunct Sparrows Point steel mill) to four lanes. 

The busiest high(er)-speed two lane roads anywhere close to Washington, D.C. that I can think of are U.S. 15 and parts of U.S. 50 in Loudoun County, Va.; U.S. 15 in Frederick County, Md. (between U.S. 340 and Point of Rocks); U.S. 340 between Harpers Ferry, W.Va. and Knoxville, Md. (passes through a small slice of Loudoun County); Md. 2 between Md. 4 in Calvert County and Edgewater - there are a lot of bad wrecks along this road); Md. 27 between I-270 and Westminster; Md. 32 between Clarksville and Sykesville in Howard County; and Md. 404 between U.S. 50 and the Delaware border on the Eastern Shore (Md. 404 is slowly morphing into a four lane divided highway).

Even my wife seems guilty of it....this past weekend whenever I pulled out to pass on a two-lane road (main instances being Friday on US-220 between Cumberland, MD, and Bedford, PA, which gets a fair amount of tractor-trailer traffic) she seemed not to like it at all, even though I wasn't going terribly fast (60 to 65 in a 55 zone). I don't see what the big deal is.

It takes experience and some teaching to learn how to pass on a two-lane highway.  If she's not used to it, I can understand her concern.

One of the things that irks me about typical US road design is that two-lane roads often have a relatively narrow shoulder (if they have one at all), and even when there is a shoulder, the vast majority of drivers refuse to move to the right while maintaining speed to help others pass. I encountered several situations on Monday on US-219 in far western Maryland where truck drivers easily could have moved to the right halfway onto the shoulder to help let the long line of cars get by, but failed to do so. In Canada and the parts of Mexico I've visited, it's a given that people do that, especially truck and RV drivers.

In part because the shoulders, though they are usually paved, are not full-depth (in terms of subgrade), so their use for anything except breakdowns is discouraged or in some states illegal. 

Anyway, returning to Corridor H, if/when the West Virginia portion is ever finished, I'll be interested in seeing to what extent it siphons off any long-distance traffic that currently uses I-70 to I-68; going to southern Ohio, for example, it's easy to use Corridor H, I-79, and Corridor D, and for travel to Charleston and beyond out I-64 I could certainly see Corridor H to southbound I-79 being preferable to mixing it up with all the trucks on I-81. I wonder to what extent people see the US shield instead of the Interstate shield and automatically rule it out as an option because they assume it will be a slow road riddled with traffic lights. Of course, if the Virginia portion stays as it is today you'll have people who won't consider going that way just because they automatically rule out two-lane roads. I've given people directions to various places over the years using two-lane roads and many of them have objected because they assume the two-lane roads will be too slow (though the funny thing there is that with the route I use between Fairfax County and Charlottesville—the one via Fredericksburg, Orange and Gordonsville, emerging at Shadwell—the two-lane portions move along a lot better than the I-95 portion most of the time).

I have driven Va. 3 and (mostly) Va. 20 from Fredericksburg to Charlottesville, and it seemed to have very little traffic moving along at decent enough speeds, though I recall the local law enforcement doing some radar checks of passing traffic in a few places.

More than a few drivers will reject a non-freeway route, or, as you suggest above, a route which  has two-lane roads (and it's not much  fun stuck behind a truckload of logs or finished lumber on a steep grade like Va./W.Va. 55/U.S. 48 between Strasburg and Wardensville.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 31, 2013, 06:10:32 PM
Busy high-speed two lane roads are increasingly rare.

and here I am thinking of just how awfully many of them there are.  out here, it is CA-138.  in Pennsylvania, it is US-6.  Mass. has particular segments of MA-2.  just slogging roads with a high speed limit that is never met in real life. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on July 31, 2013, 06:40:03 PM
....

Even my wife seems guilty of it....this past weekend whenever I pulled out to pass on a two-lane road (main instances being Friday on US-220 between Cumberland, MD, and Bedford, PA, which gets a fair amount of tractor-trailer traffic) she seemed not to like it at all, even though I wasn't going terribly fast (60 to 65 in a 55 zone). I don't see what the big deal is.

It takes experience and some teaching to learn how to pass on a two-lane highway.  If she's not used to it, I can understand her concern.

....

That's the weird part: She's a couple of years older than I am and she grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and drove on lots of two-lane roads, so you'd think she'd be used to it. Maybe living in the DC area and driving a lot less than I do has caused her passing skills to get rusty!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2013, 07:43:09 PM
Quote
I understand that some time ago, W.Va. was seeking money from DHS to complete the road, on the basis that it would serve as an emergency evac. route out of the D.C. Metro area in case SHTF... (Do we need all of those city folk coming out into our neck of the woods?)

When the segment from Moorefield over to Knobley Rd opened a couple years ago, there were several officials at the dedication ceremony (I was present) that used the "emergency evacuation route" line in promoting the corridor's completion.

"Emergency evacuation" was also the excuse for jamming down Arlington's throats a few miles of auxiliary lanes on westbound I-66 inside the Capital Beltway.  I was one of the few in Arlington to support the project, but I found the evacuation excuse unconvincing there, as I do for Corridor H. 

You did not get banished from Arlington County for uttering such heresy?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2013, 07:49:24 PM
....

Even my wife seems guilty of it....this past weekend whenever I pulled out to pass on a two-lane road (main instances being Friday on US-220 between Cumberland, MD, and Bedford, PA, which gets a fair amount of tractor-trailer traffic) she seemed not to like it at all, even though I wasn't going terribly fast (60 to 65 in a 55 zone). I don't see what the big deal is.

It takes experience and some teaching to learn how to pass on a two-lane highway.  If she's not used to it, I can understand her concern.

....

That's the weird part: She's a couple of years older than I am and she grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and drove on lots of two-lane roads, so you'd think she'd be used to it. Maybe living in the DC area and driving a lot less than I do has caused her passing skills to get rusty!

I think it takes practice to be able to safely execute passing on a 2 lane arterial highway.

Such roads (often  serving as what we in the U.S. would classify  as a principal arterial) are pretty common in Finland and  Sweden (and they  have relatively  more Super-2's as well), so drivers (including truck and bus drivers) know how to safely pass on them. 

Though a relative of mine (a good and experienced driver) was badly injured in a head-on wreck on a Nordic Super-2 many years ago (he is fine now).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2013, 07:54:13 PM
A road that big should probably have cell tower coverage. 

Someone pointed out to me elsewhere that some or all of eastern Corridor H is within the United States National Radio Quiet Zone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_National_Radio_Quiet_Zone), which it is!

In addition to the relatively small (and spread-out) resident population, that might explain why there is relatively little cell phone coverage along most of eastern Corridor H.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2013, 08:13:31 PM
Not sure if I'll ever see it completed to I-81 in my lifetime, Va. will not spend the money, unless W.V./Feds lay it out. it will go right thru property that belongs to folks who have owned land on the proposed right of way for generations, about 3 mi. from me.

I suspect that the financial arrangements can be worked out.  Especially since it's not "regular" federal highway funding, but ARC highway funding.

I understand that some time ago, W.Va. was seeking money from DHS to complete the road, on the basis that it would serve as an emergency evac. route out of the D.C. Metro area in case SHTF... (Do we need all of those city folk coming out into our neck of the woods?)

I am not so confident that just getting everyone to get in their car and drive to West Virginia would work very well.

Used to hear Pastor Lon's words of wisdom on WTOP, but listen to Sirius/WMAL mostly now.

He's on WMAL and Sirius? I was not aware of that.

I still have the original (thick!) binder for the planning of Corridor H, got it at a meeting I went to in Wardensville a long time ago....

The arguments about Corridor H have been going on  for decades, and apparently it will be several more decades until it is complete all the way from I-79 at Weston to I-81.

I don't really consider it obstructionist to not fund a highway that primarily benefits W.Va. (nothing personal to those residents), but no Fed $$, no road, why should we Virginians pick up the entire tab for it?

I agree that most of the benefits of getting four lane Corridor H connected to I-81 will accrue to West Virginia, though as we have been discussing here quite a bit, I believe there is some benefit to improving truck access to the Virginia Inland Port, located on U.S. 340/522 north of Front Royal.  But I also think it could have an added benefit of removing at least some truck trips from I-81 between Strasburg and I-64 west near Lexington. That ought to win the project some added support in Virginia.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: J N Winkler on July 31, 2013, 08:15:11 PM
I think a lot of drivers, at least here on the East Coast, seem to have forgotten, or never learned, how to pass on two-lane roads, regardless of whether it's a "Super-2" or a regular old two-lane road. No doubt part of this may be due to a higher percentage of drivers hailing from, and learning to drive in, urban areas and not encountering two-lane roads nearly as often as was the case even 25 years ago. But I'm rather astonished whenever I drive on a two-lane road nowadays (other than a twisty mountain road) and I see how far back people stay even when the guy in front is a slowpoke. The reason it astonishes me is that on the Interstate or in urban areas, the same people are the ones glued to your rear bumper even if there's nowhere you can go. On a two-lane road it can sometimes be darn difficult to pass if you don't close up the gap first. I sometimes wonder how much of this is also a function of the prevalence of automatic-transmission vehicles simply in terms of many drivers not having the sense for understanding how the car's gearing can help execute the pass when necessary.

I think traffic volumes are a more important variable.  A two-lane road is considered to be operating at an acceptable level of service (which for this roadway type is defined in terms of percentage of driving time spent following other vehicles) at AADTs of up to 10,000 VPD in level terrain.  For rolling and mountainous terrain this value drops to 7,000 VPD and 5,000 VPD respectively.  This means that an increase in traffic that is small in both absolute and percentage terms is far more likely to "break" a two-lane road (in terms of LOS) than a four-lane freeway.

The East Coast butts up against the Appalachians, so a fair proportion of its two-lane rural arterial mileage falls within the rolling and mountainous categories.  This region of the country has also seen significant population growth, especially in the Baltimore-Washington area, and that kind of growth brings an increase in traffic volumes in periurban rural areas as well as suburbanization.  I would expect that in the last twenty years, there has been a considerable increase in the mileage of two-lane state highway for which it is no longer a realistic prospect to execute a successful overtaking maneuver during daylight hours.

Quote
One of the things that irks me about typical US road design is that two-lane roads often have a relatively narrow shoulder (if they have one at all) . . .

Shoulder provision is a function of state DOT design policy, which is typically less generous in this regard in Eastern states than in the Midwest or West, where it is increasingly the norm not just to build a shoulder, but also to surface it with a material that will support movement at high speed.

Quote
. . . and even when there is a shoulder, the vast majority of drivers refuse to move to the right while maintaining speed to help others pass.

I think it is unrealistic to expect this courtesy as a matter of course, again because of state-by-state variation in design standards.  Some states extend the crossfall of the traveled way over the shoulder, while other states use a steeper crossfall on the shoulder.  In states that do the latter, a typical crossfall over the traveled way may be 2% (crossfalls range from about 1.5% to 2.5% in the US) while the shoulder crossfall is 4%.  It is difficult to steer smoothly while straddling a grade break that large.

There are also variations in how guardrail is treated, and how shoulder drainage is handled on superelevated curves.  Some states reduce shoulder width to accommodate guardrail.  Some states also start rolling out the superelevation on the high side of the road virtually at the edge line, which leaves only a very narrow width of shoulder that is suitable for maneuvering, generally to recover from tracking errors rather than to allow someone else to pass.

Quote
In Canada and the parts of Mexico I've visited, it's a given that people do that, especially truck and RV drivers.

You haven't visited Mexico outside Cancún and the surrounding resort areas, have you?  In the parts I have travelled in (mainly Chihuahua and Sonora), there are generally no shoulders, so drivers turn out to allow following vehicles to pass.  In Canada it helps that traffic densities are generally very low outside the 100-mile-wide belt just north of the US border, but there are plenty of places where two-lane roads operate at bad LOS and drivers don't generally pull onto the shoulder to let others pass--when traffic increases beyond a certain point, that just becomes an exercise in exchanging front position in one queue for tail position in another.  When I visited western Canada in 2003, I found long lengths of BC 99 between Vancouver and Whistler and TCH 1 northeast of Kamloops (now being four-laned) that operated that way.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2013, 10:08:38 PM
I think a lot of drivers, at least here on the East Coast, seem to have forgotten, or never learned, how to pass on two-lane roads, regardless of whether it's a "Super-2" or a regular old two-lane road. No doubt part of this may be due to a higher percentage of drivers hailing from, and learning to drive in, urban areas and not encountering two-lane roads nearly as often as was the case even 25 years ago. But I'm rather astonished whenever I drive on a two-lane road nowadays (other than a twisty mountain road) and I see how far back people stay even when the guy in front is a slowpoke. The reason it astonishes me is that on the Interstate or in urban areas, the same people are the ones glued to your rear bumper even if there's nowhere you can go. On a two-lane road it can sometimes be darn difficult to pass if you don't close up the gap first. I sometimes wonder how much of this is also a function of the prevalence of automatic-transmission vehicles simply in terms of many drivers not having the sense for understanding how the car's gearing can help execute the pass when necessary.

I think traffic volumes are a more important variable.  A two-lane road is considered to be operating at an acceptable level of service (which for this roadway type is defined in terms of percentage of driving time spent following other vehicles) at AADTs of up to 10,000 VPD in level terrain.  For rolling and mountainous terrain this value drops to 7,000 VPD and 5,000 VPD respectively.  This means that an increase in traffic that is small in both absolute and percentage terms is far more likely to "break" a two-lane road (in terms of LOS) than a four-lane freeway.

In Maryland the states (at least to some extent) must follow county (usually) and municipal (somewhat rarely, since we don't have that many municipalities) planning documents when it comes to the number of lanes in a road.  As a result, there are many two-lane roads that are well over capacity (Md. 32 in Howard County, Md. 27 in Montgomery, Howard and Carroll Counties and Md. 2 in Calvert and Anne Arundel Counties are probably three of the worst), yet the counties in these cases do not want to add lane capacity or  otherwise improve the road - and all of them have had some pretty severe wrecks over the years.

The East Coast butts up against the Appalachians, so a fair proportion of its two-lane rural arterial mileage falls within the rolling and mountainous categories.  This region of the country has also seen significant population growth, especially in the Baltimore-Washington area, and that kind of growth brings an increase in traffic volumes in periurban rural areas as well as suburbanization.  I would expect that in the last twenty years, there has been a considerable increase in the mileage of two-lane state highway for which it is no longer a realistic prospect to execute a successful overtaking maneuver during daylight hours.

In Maryland and Virginia, the suburban and exurban sprawl has only somewhat  reached out to the Blue Ridge and its foothills, and some of that is due to "leapfrog" development caused by agricultural preservation efforts by closer-in counties.

Quote
One of the things that irks me about typical US road design is that two-lane roads often have a relatively narrow shoulder (if they have one at all) . . .

Shoulder provision is a function of state DOT design policy, which is typically less generous in this regard in Eastern states than in the Midwest or West, where it is increasingly the norm not just to build a shoulder, but also to surface it with a material that will support movement at high speed.

Most Maryland state highways classified as minor arterial or higher have shoulders of 10 or 12 feet if they were built or rebuilt since the 1960's.  Some older roads do not.  But the bigger contrast is crossing into Pennsylvania, where shoulders are pretty rare along arterial highways.  Especially annoying in places with high concentrations of Amish people, like Lancaster County, where there is substantial horse-drawn vehicular traffic. 

Three Maryland counties have substantial Amish populations, Cecil, Charles and St. Mary's.  Most of the state highways (always numbered) have decently wide shoulders, and those shoulders get a lot of use by horse-drawn traffic.

Quote
. . . and even when there is a shoulder, the vast majority of drivers refuse to move to the right while maintaining speed to help others pass.

I think it is unrealistic to expect this courtesy as a matter of course, again because of state-by-state variation in design standards.  Some states extend the crossfall of the traveled way over the shoulder, while other states use a steeper crossfall on the shoulder.  In states that do the latter, a typical crossfall over the traveled way may be 2% (crossfalls range from about 1.5% to 2.5% in the US) while the shoulder crossfall is 4%.  It is difficult to steer smoothly while straddling a grade break that large.

I agree.  And in some places, driving on the shoulder, even for a good reason, can lead to a citation or summons.

There are also variations in how guardrail is treated, and how shoulder drainage is handled on superelevated curves.  Some states reduce shoulder width to accommodate guardrail.  Some states also start rolling out the superelevation on the high side of the road virtually at the edge line, which leaves only a very narrow width of shoulder that is suitable for maneuvering, generally to recover from tracking errors rather than to allow someone else to pass.

And then there is the SNAP pattern cut in to most paved shoulders now, which many people do not want to drive on, even though it is not supposed to do any damage to the car.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on August 01, 2013, 12:26:21 AM
Anyway, returning to Corridor H, if/when the West Virginia portion is ever finished, I'll be interested in seeing to what extent it siphons off any long-distance traffic that currently uses I-70 to I-68; going to southern Ohio, for example, it's easy to use Corridor H, I-79, and Corridor D, and for travel to Charleston and beyond out I-64 I could certainly see Corridor H to southbound I-79 being preferable to mixing it up with all the trucks on I-81.

This is the argument that I frequently had with the late Randy Hersh about Corridor H.

By rights, it should become the preferred route from St. Louis and points east to Washington, D.C. once it's finished. As of now, your choices are either to follow I-79/I-68/I-70/I-270, or I-77 (WV Turnpike) I-64/I-81/I-66. One goes too far out of the way to the north and involves having to deal with Cumberland, the other goes too far out of the way to the south, has tolls and a long underposted 60 mph section. An all I-70 route from STL eastward involves a short concurrency with I-57; going through Indy, Columbus and Wheeling; the substandard section in SW Pennsylvania; tolls on the PA Turnpike and Breezewood with its attendant traffic problems.

Even at this point, enough of Corridor H is finished that if I was driving to DC from Kentucky, I would not hesitate to use it despite having to deal with two-lane US 219 from Kerens to Davis over I-68.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on August 01, 2013, 01:47:21 AM
Yawn. You've definitely pushed this bogus talking point before. According to the Goog, Corridor H is 10 miles longer than 70-79-68-70-270. It's a tradeoff of cities on one route vs. cities on the other (I-64 to H also overlaps I-57, and passes through Louisville and Charleston). Creating a roughly equivalent alternate route is a poor reason for an expensive porkway.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on August 01, 2013, 02:08:45 AM
But remember, SPUI, HB hates cities and traffic.  So to him, the Corridor H route being longer is of no concern because it has less traffic.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on August 01, 2013, 02:12:07 AM
"No one drives on this highway. It's too crowded."

I can understand wanting to avoid traffic. But (a) the Corridor H routing also passes through major cities and (b) building a 150-mile four-lane through the mountains to serve the small amount of intercity traffic that would divert to it is not a reasonable use of pork funds.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on August 01, 2013, 06:35:45 AM

(1) Higher speeds.

got it.  I think I'm just used to two-laners out west which may as well be super-2 given the lack of side roads. 



Regarding four lane divided versus two lanes - most U.S. drivers do not know how to drive on a Super-2 type highway any longer (the old West Virginia Turnpike was a Super-2 for many years, and  had a pretty bad crash rate, as were the I-695 approaches to the Francis Scott Key Bridge), because such roads are rare in the U.S. and Canada.

what is so different about it it, with respect to a regular two-lane? 

(1) Higher speeds.

(2) More than a few drivers forget that they are on a two-lane highway (and not a four lane).  When I-95 was first completed from Bangor, Maine to Houlton, it was also a Super-2 (except at the interchanges).  There were many signs warning drivers that they were on a two-lane highway.

Md. 90 (Ocean City Expressway) in Worcester County is almost a Super-2, and has suffered plenty of head-on crashes, even with mandatory headlight use and special "rumble" treatment in the middle. 

You must be about the same age as I am....I remmeber when 66 was only open between Centreville to the Beltway...and 95 stopped at Rocky Mount N.C. I basically got my driving education driving on 301 all the way into fla. when we visited Dad's family..

Also, to keep things slightly on topic, if any of you are going for a cruise on corridor H, be sure to stop at the Stray Cat Cafe in moorefield, good Mexican food, ice cold beer... :nod:
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on August 01, 2013, 07:51:23 AM
Yawn. You've definitely pushed this bogus talking point before. According to the Goog, Corridor H is 10 miles longer than 70-79-68-70-270. It's a tradeoff of cities on one route vs. cities on the other (I-64 to H also overlaps I-57, and passes through Louisville and Charleston). Creating a roughly equivalent alternate route is a poor reason for an expensive porkway.

That's a rather serious red herring. "10 miles longer" doesn't automatically equal a longer travel time because it ignores so many other variables.

I'm not saying the cost of the road is/was justified; I'm speculating on how it might be used since it's indisputably there (in other words, it's pointless now to say the part already built shouldn't have been—rightly or wrongly, it has been). FWIW my dashcam picked up my comment to Ms1995hoo on Sunday that Corridor H is the ultimate pork-barrel project. Doesn't mean I can't/won't enjoy driving it.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 01, 2013, 09:32:27 AM
This is the argument that I frequently had with the late Randy Hersh about Corridor H.

By rights, it should become the preferred route from St. Louis and points east to Washington, D.C. once it's finished. As of now, your choices are either to follow I-79/I-68/I-70/I-270, or I-77 (WV Turnpike) I-64/I-81/I-66. One goes too far out of the way to the north and involves having to deal with Cumberland, the other goes too far out of the way to the south, has tolls and a long underposted 60 mph section. An all I-70 route from STL eastward involves a short concurrency with I-57; going through Indy, Columbus and Wheeling; the substandard section in SW Pennsylvania; tolls on the PA Turnpike and Breezewood with its attendant traffic problems.

Even at this point, enough of Corridor H is finished that if I was driving to DC from Kentucky, I would not hesitate to use it despite having to deal with two-lane US 219 from Kerens to Davis over I-68.

At least for the time being (and especially when it is completed to Davis next year (according to WVDOT), I agree with you (and at some point, eastern Corridor H may start to fill with some traffic - now it's a drivers delight).  Though I have only driven U.S. 219 between Davis and Kerens in daylight, and I presume there are a lot of critters (especially deer) along and in that road at dusk and at night.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on August 01, 2013, 09:52:05 AM
At least for the time being (and especially when it is completed to Davis next year (according to WVDOT), I agree with you (and at some point, eastern Corridor H may start to fill with some traffic - now it's a drivers delight).  Though I have only driven U.S. 219 between Davis and Kerens in daylight, and I presume there are a lot of critters (especially deer) along and in that road at dusk and at night.

Earlier this year Car and Driver ran a one-page "story" about average number of deer collisions per miles driven (or something similar) that showed West Virginia having the highest rate in the country by a substantial margin. I just search their website but couldn't find that particular item, so the next time I have to pay a visit to the toilet I will check the magazine rack to try to find it!

As I noted earlier, the funny thing about the eastern portion of Corridor H is that while the traffic is light enough to allow you to go pretty much as fast as you want, the road has enough significant curves and hills to act as a natural check on your speed, depending of course on what you're driving and other variables. When I pushed it over 75 mph shortly after entering from the current western end at WV-93 I quickly backed off because it just felt too fast. No doubt I'd probably feel more comfortable going faster in my RX-7 than in my Acura sedan (the Acura is far more top-heavy by comparison), but the RX-7's engine is so much smaller and older that I probably couldn't go all that much faster!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on August 01, 2013, 10:25:49 AM
Yawn. You've definitely pushed this bogus talking point before. According to the Goog, Corridor H is 10 miles longer than 70-79-68-70-270. It's a tradeoff of cities on one route vs. cities on the other (I-64 to H also overlaps I-57, and passes through Louisville and Charleston). Creating a roughly equivalent alternate route is a poor reason for an expensive porkway.

Yeah, but if you get your way and tear down I-64 in Louisville, the route will go around, not through.  :pan:

Traffic in Charleston really isn't an issue now with the completion of the second bridge for I-64 at South Charleston.

But the larger question is, why does Corridor H come under so much more criticism than the other ARC corridors? Why is it any different than, say, Columbus to Asheville? Cincinnati to Parkersburg and Clarksburg? London to Chattanooga by way of Somerset, Burkesville and Cookeville? Lake City to Pikeville? Pikeville to Charleston? Pikeville to Blacksburg/Christiansburg by way of Bluefield? Beckley to Sutton? Middlesboro/Harrogate to Morristown? Bedford to Corning/Elmira? Morgantown to Hancock? (Remember, I-68 is also an ARC corridor. Was it pork?)

The ARC corridors were intended to open up inaccessible areas for economic development.

Earlier this year Car and Driver ran a one-page "story" about average number of deer collisions per miles driven (or something similar) that showed West Virginia having the highest rate in the country by a substantial margin.

Doesn't surprise me. Anytime I travel I-79 in the fall, the carcass count never ceases to amaze me. And I remember meeting the guy at Lewisburg, WV who'd hit one the night before and said there were so many on I-64 between Lewisburg and I-81 that traffic was doing about 35 mph on the interstate.

But remember, SPUI, HB hates cities and traffic.  So to him, the Corridor H route being longer is of no concern because it has less traffic.

Plus, I could very easily make up the time lost by those 10 extra miles and then some. The only real advantage the northern route has is that it avoids Virginia.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on August 01, 2013, 10:46:08 AM
....

But remember, SPUI, HB hates cities and traffic.  So to him, the Corridor H route being longer is of no concern because it has less traffic.

Plus, I could very easily make up the time lost by those 10 extra miles and then some. The only real advantage the northern route has is that it avoids Virginia.

Heh. One reason I like the Corridor H route is that it avoids Maryland (and, if I'm heading to Ohio, it also avoids Pennsylvania's substandard Interstates).



I found the Car and Driver item about the deer. It's on page 16 of the February 2013 issue and it includes a map showing the odds of hitting a deer in any given state as calculated by State Farm (they've been doing it since 2007). West Virginia has led the rankings every year. Odds for selected states:

Five most dangerous states:
West Virginia, 1:40
South Dakota, 1:68
Iowa and Michigan, 1:72
Pennsylvania, 1:76

Other states below 1:100—Montana (1:78), Wisconsin (1:79), and Minnesota (1:80); Virginia and Arkansas (1:103) and North Dakota (1:105) just miss.

Five least dangerous states:
Hawaii, 1:6801 (also the lowest in raw collision numbers with 134)
Arizona, 1:1658
Nevada, 1:1429
Florida, 1:991
California, 1:940

It says the total number of reported collisions between vehicles and deer in the U.S. "in the last reported year" was 1,231,710. Top five states in raw numbers of collisions: Pennsylvania (115,571), Michigan (97,856), New York (80,262), Ohio (67,699), and Wisconsin (52,525). That means those states taken together represented 33.6% of the total reported collisions. ("Reported collisions" is important because not everyone reports deer strikes and not all drivers are insured.)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on August 01, 2013, 11:12:55 AM
A road that big should probably have cell tower coverage. 

Someone pointed out to me elsewhere that some or all of eastern Corridor H is within the United States National Radio Quiet Zone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_National_Radio_Quiet_Zone), which it is!

In addition to the relatively small (and spread-out) resident population, that might explain why there is relatively little cell phone coverage along most of eastern Corridor H.

NRQZ isn't the issue.  It's the low population and traffic levels relative to the expense because of the terrain causing the dead spots.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on August 01, 2013, 11:33:21 AM
I found the Car and Driver item about the deer. It's on page 16 of the February 2013 issue and it includes a map showing the odds of hitting a deer in any given state as calculated by State Farm (they've been doing it since 2007). West Virginia has led the rankings every year. Odds for selected states:

Five least dangerous states:
Hawaii, 1:6801 (also the lowest in raw collision numbers with 134)

Plus, the average cost per collision is lower, since there are no native large mammals on the islands.  There's the occasional feral donkey or wayward horse, but pigs, dogs and cats, and birds are the biggest wildlife collision problems.  But if you run down a nene (Hawaiian goose, endangered by among other things their walking across roads without looking both ways first), the damage to your car can be the least of your problems.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on August 01, 2013, 12:03:59 PM
I found the Car and Driver item about the deer. It's on page 16 of the February 2013 issue and it includes a map showing the odds of hitting a deer in any given state as calculated by State Farm (they've been doing it since 2007). West Virginia has led the rankings every year. Odds for selected states:

Five least dangerous states:
Hawaii, 1:6801 (also the lowest in raw collision numbers with 134)

Plus, the average cost per collision is lower, since there are no native large mammals on the islands.  There's the occasional feral donkey or wayward horse, but pigs, dogs and cats, and birds are the biggest wildlife collision problems.  But if you run down a nene (Hawaiian goose, endangered by among other things their walking across roads without looking both ways first), the damage to your car can be the least of your problems.

Heh. I've never been to the Big Island, but I love this sign seen in a picture my brother took. (I suppose we're getting off topic.)

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/d282dc50.jpg)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on August 01, 2013, 12:20:28 PM
(I suppose we're getting off topic.)

But worth it anyway.  I'd forgotten about that introduced species, or the interesting warning sign.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 01, 2013, 12:34:53 PM
California, 1:940


the only state in which I've ever hit a deer.  I hit one once, and swerved into an embankment to avoid one, causing damage to the car, another time.  both times, though, I wasn't going particularly fast.

my closest call to a nasty accident was Utah - I came over a hill going about 50mph on UT-9 (the road to Zion) and there were two deer, one in each lane.  I drove between the two, with maybe a combined total of 6 inches of room to spare.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on August 01, 2013, 12:58:56 PM
Heh. One reason I like the Corridor H route is that it avoids Maryland (and, if I'm heading to Ohio, it also avoids Pennsylvania's substandard Interstates).

Yeah, but my V-1 is not illegal in Maryland. It is in Virginia.  :bigass:
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on August 01, 2013, 01:30:29 PM
Heh. One reason I like the Corridor H route is that it avoids Maryland (and, if I'm heading to Ohio, it also avoids Pennsylvania's substandard Interstates).

Yeah, but my V-1 is not illegal in Maryland. It is in Virginia.  :bigass:

True enough—well, it's illegal to use, not to possess, anyway. I have a V-1 as well from my law school days in North Carolina, though I haven't upgraded it to the newest model. I used to use it in Virginia all the time on trips to and from Durham by driving at night and using the concealed display module. Never got caught. What I always hated about using the V-1 in Maryland is that it seemed like on the I-95 corridor I got an inordinate number of false positives whenever I'd pass under an overpass. But that's when the bogey counter is nice because if it always says "1" and then suddenly one day it says "2," you know something's up.

I haven't used it in several years because lately I just don't usually go fast enough to bother. I wasn't at all concerned about getting nailed for speeding at 75 mph on Corridor H earlier this week, for example, even though the V-1 was in a drawer at home. I still enjoy the idea of going nice and fast, but the low Wife Acceptance Factor for extremely high speeds coupled with my appreciation for our rather low insurance premiums make me not bother very often.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 01, 2013, 01:44:43 PM
Earlier this year Car and Driver ran a one-page "story" about average number of deer collisions per miles driven (or something similar) that showed West Virginia having the highest rate in the country by a substantial margin. I just search their website but couldn't find that particular item, so the next time I have to pay a visit to the toilet I will check the magazine rack to try to find it!

I did not look very closely to see if any part of Corridor H (and I have driven the western part between Kerens and Weston in the past) is fenced.  Though  it might not matter that much, because the critters can enter at the at-grade intersections and at the interchanges.  Even on Md. 200, which is completely and heavily fenced, I nearly hit a deer on an exit ramp last week.

As I noted earlier, the funny thing about the eastern portion of Corridor H is that while the traffic is light enough to allow you to go pretty much as fast as you want, the road has enough significant curves and hills to act as a natural check on your speed, depending of course on what you're driving and other variables. When I pushed it over 75 mph shortly after entering from the current western end at WV-93 I quickly backed off because it just felt too fast. No doubt I'd probably feel more comfortable going faster in my RX-7 than in my Acura sedan (the Acura is far more top-heavy by comparison), but the RX-7's engine is so much smaller and older that I probably couldn't go all that much faster!

In my F250 truck, 65 felt "right" for most of Corridor H.   I had to downshift to maintain speed on some of the grades going up, and I deliberately downshifted to use the engine to keep me between 55 and 65 MPH on the long downward grade (westbound) to Moorefield since I had not driven it before.

NRQZ isn't the issue.  It's the low population and traffic levels relative to the expense because of the terrain causing the dead spots.

I do not know enough about radio waves to know what impact cell towers might have on the Quiet Zone, but I suppose that the cell tower antennae be designed to "direct" their signals where there is less (or no?) impact on the Green Bank Telescope (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bank_Telescope) and the National Security Agency's SIGINT gathering operations at Sugar Grove.

But the larger question is, why does Corridor H come under so much more criticism than the other ARC corridors? Why is it any different than, say, Columbus to Asheville? Cincinnati to Parkersburg and Clarksburg? London to Chattanooga by way of Somerset, Burkesville and Cookeville? Lake City to Pikeville? Pikeville to Charleston? Pikeville to Blacksburg/Christiansburg by way of Bluefield? Beckley to Sutton? Middlesboro/Harrogate to Morristown? Bedford to Corning/Elmira? Morgantown to Hancock? (Remember, I-68 is also an ARC corridor. Was it pork?)

Excellent questions and observations. 

My answer is that Corridor H is closer to Washington, D.C., and there are people from the D.C. area that have moved to the Potomac Highlands counties of West Virginia to get away from it all, and do not want this nice new highway in their backyards (and perhaps some of them learned their anti-highway antics in the freeway wars of the D.C. area).  And there's the matter of the short section of the corridor in Frederick and Shenandoah Counties, which anti-highway activists in Virginia have (in the past) gotten all upset about.

The ARC corridors were intended to open up inaccessible areas for economic development.

As a former head of planning for the Maryland State Highway Administration put it, I-68 (Corridor E) was about "inducing" demand and stimulating economic activity in the three Western Maryland counties that it serves, and in adjoining parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Plus, I could very easily make up the time lost by those 10 extra miles and then some. The only real advantage the northern route has is that it avoids Virginia.

Even though I drive on its streets and highways every day, that is how I feel about the District of Columbia with its automated commuter tax collection devices ooops, automated speed enforcement systems all over the  city.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on August 01, 2013, 02:04:33 PM
Heh. One reason I like the Corridor H route is that it avoids Maryland (and, if I'm heading to Ohio, it also avoids Pennsylvania's substandard Interstates).

Yeah, but my V-1 is not illegal in Maryland. It is in Virginia.  :bigass:

True enough—well, it's illegal to use, not to possess, anyway. I have a V-1 as well from my law school days in North Carolina, though I haven't upgraded it to the newest model. I used to use it in Virginia all the time on trips to and from Durham by driving at night and using the concealed display module. Never got caught. What I always hated about using the V-1 in Maryland is that it seemed like on the I-95 corridor I got an inordinate number of false positives whenever I'd pass under an overpass. But that's when the bogey counter is nice because if it always says "1" and then suddenly one day it says "2," you know something's up.

I haven't used it in several years because lately I just don't usually go fast enough to bother. I wasn't at all concerned about getting nailed for speeding at 75 mph on Corridor H earlier this week, for example, even though the V-1 was in a drawer at home. I still enjoy the idea of going nice and fast, but the low Wife Acceptance Factor for extremely high speeds coupled with my appreciation for our rather low insurance premiums make me not bother very often.

I understand that the newest breed of radar detector detectors can sniff out V-1s in use.  I would assume that the Virginia and maybe D.C. cops have made the upgrade.  So I suggest you continue leaving your V-1 at home for short trips into WV (less hazardous environment than, say, Montgomery County MD).   
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on August 01, 2013, 02:25:41 PM
Some of the opposition dealt with Corridor H running close to Dolly Sods Wilderness/Bear Rocks, adjacent to Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge (Canaan Valley (National Natural Landmark, unique northern boreal community, highest valley east of the Mississippi), its proximity to Greenland Gap (National Natural Landmark) among other naturally sensitive areas..

One of the early proposals for Corridor H, dating to the US 33 days, had the highway running through Greenland Gap. That was quickly eliminated for obvious reasons.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 01, 2013, 03:32:37 PM
Some of the opposition dealt with Corridor H running close to Dolly Sods Wilderness/Bear Rocks, adjacent to Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge (Canaan Valley (National Natural Landmark, unique northern boreal community, highest valley east of the Mississippi), its proximity to Greenland Gap (National Natural Landmark) among other naturally sensitive areas..

Isn't that why Corridor H rather "threads the needle" where (when  headed west) it turns sharply to the north, bypassing Greenland Gap (on the right when going west and then north), and then the sharp turn to the west to cross W.Va. 93 on the (unopened) bridge and then another turn to the south and then west again to hook up with existing W.Va. 93 as it passes Dominion Virginia Power's coal-fired Mount Storm Generating Station? 

The selected route also bypasses Dolly Sods, which is left alone well to the south of Mount Storm Lake.

One of the early proposals for Corridor H, dating to the US 33 days, had the highway running through Greenland Gap. That was quickly eliminated for obvious reasons.

I thought the U.S. 33 alternative was well to the south of Greenland Gap and Dolly Sods?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on August 01, 2013, 04:08:31 PM
I suspect so. Corridor H from Davis eastward to the crest of the Allegheny Front also uses WV 93's existing alignment, with some modifications, so the impact is going to be lower than something totally new. I am surprised at how much WV 93 west of the lake is being discarded - it was only built in 1964.

As for the US 33 alternative - I'm not sure. I've read some reports that mentioned a WV 93 relocation going through Greenland Gap, and then Corridor H. I wonder if their information was skewed or if it was an editor confusing WV 93 for US 33.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on August 01, 2013, 04:46:18 PM
Heh. One reason I like the Corridor H route is that it avoids Maryland (and, if I'm heading to Ohio, it also avoids Pennsylvania's substandard Interstates).

Yeah, but my V-1 is not illegal in Maryland. It is in Virginia.  :bigass:

True enough—well, it's illegal to use, not to possess, anyway. I have a V-1 as well from my law school days in North Carolina, though I haven't upgraded it to the newest model. I used to use it in Virginia all the time on trips to and from Durham by driving at night and using the concealed display module. Never got caught. What I always hated about using the V-1 in Maryland is that it seemed like on the I-95 corridor I got an inordinate number of false positives whenever I'd pass under an overpass. But that's when the bogey counter is nice because if it always says "1" and then suddenly one day it says "2," you know something's up.

I haven't used it in several years because lately I just don't usually go fast enough to bother. I wasn't at all concerned about getting nailed for speeding at 75 mph on Corridor H earlier this week, for example, even though the V-1 was in a drawer at home. I still enjoy the idea of going nice and fast, but the low Wife Acceptance Factor for extremely high speeds coupled with my appreciation for our rather low insurance premiums make me not bother very often.

I understand that the newest breed of radar detector detectors can sniff out V-1s in use.  I would assume that the Virginia and maybe D.C. cops have made the upgrade.  So I suggest you continue leaving your V-1 at home for short trips into WV (less hazardous environment than, say, Montgomery County MD).   

Frankly, it's been several years since I used it; last time was on a trip to Mont-Tremblant and I pulled over at the last rest area before the border to hide it in our luggage since mere possession of a detector is illegal in Quebec. We've made several drives to Florida since then (ranging as far down as Miami) and I haven't brought it on any of those, though maybe last December I might have wanted it when I got fed up with traffic jams and was doing in excess of 90 mph on I-95 between St. Augustine and Daytona. Didn't encounter any cops, though.

Nowadays I suppose I'd have a bit of a problem running a radar detector and a dashcam at the same time, actually, unless I were to buy a dual-plug adapter for the lighter plug (assuming that wouldn't interfere with the six-speed manual). While I have two separate lighter plugs, one of those is inside the center armrest and I therefore use that one for an iPhone charger.

Looking back at this past weekend's trip (home to Bedford Springs, PA, via the Oldtown Low Water Toll Bridge on Friday, then on Monday out the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Fallingwater and back home via US-40, US-219, US-50, WV-42, Corridor H, and I-66) the only time I really went particularly fast was the brief push up to 80 at the western end of Corridor H before deciding it felt too fast. I suppose I was doing 65 in a 55 on most of the two-lane roads, but I was never particularly concerned about getting pulled over, and the only time we saw a cop who would have nailed us (at the Mason-Dixon Line on US-40), Ms1995hoo spotted him in advance before we crossed into Maryland.

Corridor H is the type of road that, if it were in Virginia, would be posted at 60 mph (due to the at-grade intersections) and would receive a fair amount of utterly unnecessary speed enforcement. I'm glad West Virginia seems a bit more enlightened on both fronts. I think we might have passed maybe five other vehicles (at most) in the entire eastern segment from the WV-93 access road to Wardensville.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 01, 2013, 04:49:40 PM
Some readers of this thread may have already seen it, but Gribblenation (http://www.gribblenation.com/) has a superb overview of the history and controversies associated with Corridor H that makes for interesting reading.

Conflict in the Mountains: The Story of Corridor H in West Virginia (http://www.gribblenation.com/wvpics/corrh/)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 01, 2013, 05:04:53 PM
Frankly, it's been several years since I used it; last time was on a trip to Mont-Tremblant and I pulled over at the last rest area before the border to hide it in our luggage since mere possession of a detector is illegal in Quebec. We've made several drives to Florida since then (ranging as far down as Miami) and I haven't brought it on any of those, though maybe last December I might have wanted it when I got fed up with traffic jams and was doing in excess of 90 mph on I-95 between St. Augustine and Daytona. Didn't encounter any cops, though.

I don't usually drive fast enough to need a detector [virtual knock on wood], have never owned one, and it's not really worth speeding in the District of Columbia anyway, where I do a fair amount of driving.

Nowadays I suppose I'd have a bit of a problem running a radar detector and a dashcam at the same time, actually, unless I were to buy a dual-plug adapter for the lighter plug (assuming that wouldn't interfere with the six-speed manual). While I have two separate lighter plugs, one of those is inside the center armrest and I therefore use that one for an iPhone charger.

I have two as well.  One is usually for my Galaxy Tab (Android) tablet, on which I keep Inrix running most of the time.  The other one is for my cell phones (one for work, one for personal).

I have a "splitter" as well, but it is easy  to overload (and blow a fuse) in my experience.

Looking back at this past weekend's trip (home to Bedford Springs, PA, via the Oldtown Low Water Toll Bridge on Friday, then on Monday out the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Fallingwater and back home via US-40, US-219, US-50, WV-42, Corridor H, and I-66) the only time I really went particularly fast was the brief push up to 80 at the western end of Corridor H before deciding it felt too fast. I suppose I was doing 65 in a 55 on most of the two-lane roads, but I was never particularly concerned about getting pulled over, and the only time we saw a cop who would have nailed us (at the Mason-Dixon Line on US-40), Ms1995hoo spotted him in advance before we crossed into Maryland.

Speed limit enforcement on I-68 is usually light-to-none, but every once in a while (on warm season weekends) I have observed that the MSP, and the Sheriff's Offices of Garrett and Allegany Counties (with help from the Cumberland municipal police) will do "saturation" speed limit enforcement on I-68.  The Cumberland cops can use up the ink in their pens writing tickets on I-68 through Cumberland (where the posted limit is appropriately 40 MPH).

Corridor H is the type of road that, if it were in Virginia, would be posted at 60 mph (due to the at-grade intersections) and would receive a fair amount of utterly unnecessary speed enforcement. I'm glad West Virginia seems a bit more enlightened on both fronts. I think we might have passed maybe five other vehicles (at most) in the entire eastern segment from the WV-93 access road to Wardensville.

I did see one West Virginia trooper car driving east on 48 between W.Va. 93 and Knobley Road.

Though  Virginia, to its immense credit, has posted 70 MPH speed limit signs on I-66 between I-81 and U.S. 15 at Haymarket.  Just wish that VDOT would get a decent barrier on the median of the old part of I-66 around Marshall (it was an "orphaned" section of Interstate for many years).  As it is now, there is little to deter "crossover" head-on wrecks there.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on August 01, 2013, 05:38:27 PM
....

In Canada and the parts of Mexico I've visited, it's a given that people do that, especially truck and RV drivers.

You haven't visited Mexico outside Cancún and the surrounding resort areas, have you?  In the parts I have travelled in (mainly Chihuahua and Sonora), there are generally no shoulders, so drivers turn out to allow following vehicles to pass.  In Canada it helps that traffic densities are generally very low outside the 100-mile-wide belt just north of the US border, but there are plenty of places where two-lane roads operate at bad LOS and drivers don't generally pull onto the shoulder to let others pass--when traffic increases beyond a certain point, that just becomes an exercise in exchanging front position in one queue for tail position in another.  When I visited western Canada in 2003, I found long lengths of BC 99 between Vancouver and Whistler and TCH 1 northeast of Kamloops (now being four-laned) that operated that way.

Never been to Cancun, actually, but the rest of my travel in Mexico has all been on the Yucatan or Cozumel, so yes, I know that's not necessarily representative of the entire country. Still, driving south on Route 307 down past Tulum it's quite nice when you're going 130 in a 110 zone and the guy in the car in front of you moves partly or entirely onto the shoulder to help you get past (and I did the same when someone would come up on me going 140 or 150).

I haven't driven in western Canada (did not rent a car when we visited Vancouver), but I've travelled quite a bit around eastern Canada ranging from Sault Ste. Marie and Cochrane east to the western part of the Island of Newfoundland. Outside of Quebec, I found the idea of moving to the shoulder to be very common when road design permitted it, especially in Nova Scotia. No doubt part of it is that because Canadians probably spend more time, on average, on two-lane roads than the average American driver, they better understand how frustrating it is to be stuck for long periods unable to pass.

The point someone—I think cpzilliacus—made about the increasing use of rumble strips on shoulders being a deterrent to moving to the right is certainly very valid. I'm somewhat ambivalent towards those on the whole, but I must say the ones on the center stripe can be damn annoying when you're looking to pass a large vehicle and you need to pull left more or less onto the center line to see whether it's clear enough to begin to pass.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on August 01, 2013, 06:11:46 PM
But the larger question is, why does Corridor H come under so much more criticism than the other ARC corridors?

IMHO, a combination of factors.

- The area covered by H is historically "vote the way granddaddy shot" Republican.  That caused two things to happen.  First, it went right to the bottom of the priority list in a heavily democrat state, with all the corridors elsewhere in the state finished first.  That allowed time for the BANANA crowd to get organized.  As I stated elsewhere, none of the great public works that make modern life possible would be built today.  Second, the state's interest in fighting it was limited, since the political gain was limited.

- The area really is thinly populated.  Among the lowest population densities east of the Mississippi.  So that leaves not that many people to agitate and organize against the enemies of progress.

- Its not a coal producing area, really, other than Tucker County, which is already served by an H ending at Elkins and other roads.  A lot of the corridors (G, L, B, Q, E) really help in the modern production of coal via the land improvement method (so called mountaintop removal or strip mining).  The coal companies really don't care if H gets built or not.

- The area has a heavy newcomer population that is similar to rural Vermont, Maine, upstate NY, etc.  Old hippies that want to play farmer, generally supported by parents that are glad to see them finally out of the house.  Since environmentalism is just another word for selfishness, the last thing these people want to see is a good road, so they would have to SHARE their little slice of heaven with others. 

- The "economic development" aspect, to be fair, is overblown.  The only economic potential of that virtually vertical part of the country is tourism.  Nobody is going to build an auto plant in Moorefield.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 01, 2013, 06:12:40 PM

Never been to Cancun, actually, but the rest of my travel in Mexico has all been on the Yucatan or Cozumel, so yes, I know that's not necessarily representative of the entire country. Still, driving south on Route 307 down past Tulum it's quite nice when you're going 130 in a 110 zone and the guy in the car in front of you moves partly or entirely onto the shoulder to help you get past (and I did the same when someone would come up on me going 140 or 150).

gotta love Mexican drivers.  very courteous in general.  the opposite end of the speed spectrum is true as well: a few months ago I was driving MX-2 from Imuris to Cananea across a large mountain pass, and there were lines upon lines of trucks doing 10-15mph.  everyone was doing all they could to allow for cars to get around, including waving out the window that it is safe to pass around a blind curve.

the only drivers I've seen in Mexico that are obstructionist hogs are, you guessed it... Americans.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on August 01, 2013, 07:13:16 PM
Since environmentalism is just another word for selfishness
Fuck you.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 01, 2013, 07:19:48 PM
But the larger question is, why does Corridor H come under so much more criticism than the other ARC corridors?

IMHO, a combination of factors.

- The area covered by H is historically "vote the way granddaddy shot" Republican.  That caused two things to happen.  First, it went right to the bottom of the priority list in a heavily democrat state, with all the corridors elsewhere in the state finished first.  That allowed time for the BANANA crowd to get organized.  As I stated elsewhere, none of the great public works that make modern life possible would be built today.  Second, the state's interest in fighting it was limited, since the political gain was limited.

In a perfect (probably fantasy) world, party affiliations would simply not matter when it comes to highway projects.  It took a GOP Governor of Maryland, Bob Ehrlich (only served one term in the one of the most-Democratic states in the Union), to undo some of the worst policies of his predecessor, Parris Glendening, and get an EIS done for Md. 200. 

- The area really is thinly populated.  Among the lowest population densities east of the Mississippi.  So that leaves not that many people to agitate and organize against the enemies of progress.

That's true - though have any county or state elected officials (e.g. legislators) from the  Corridor H area really been opposed to the project?

- Its not a coal producing area, really, other than Tucker County, which is already served by an H ending at Elkins and other roads.  A lot of the corridors (G, L, B, Q, E) really help in the modern production of coal via the land improvement method (so called mountaintop removal or strip mining).  The coal companies really don't care if H gets built or not.

The generating station at Mount Storm consumes coal - and lots of coal, and apparently it all arrives on rubber tires or by a conveyor system for seams closer to the plant (there is a railroad spur that comes up to the plant property from the Potomac River, but I don't think it is used by any coal trains).  On the flipside, the coal has obviously been getting to Mount Storm without Corridor H.

And the other significant natural resource along much of Corridor H are trees - and lots and lots of trees.  Logs that are not going to be transported to the sawmill or pulpmill by light rail.  And the finished lumber from the sawmills needs to be transported to market, probably by truck.

- The area has a heavy newcomer population that is similar to rural Vermont, Maine, upstate NY, etc.  Old hippies that want to play farmer, generally supported by parents that are glad to see them finally out of the house.  Since environmentalism is just another word for selfishness, the last thing these people want to see is a good road, so they would have to SHARE their little slice of heaven with others.

Absolutely correct.  And I believe lot of those newcomers are from areas closer to Washington, D.C., where some people are taught  that highway engineers and planners are the spawn of Satan.

- The "economic development" aspect, to be fair, is overblown.  The only economic potential of that virtually vertical part of the country is tourism.  Nobody is going to build an auto plant in Moorefield.

I agree that there's not likely to be much heavy industry, but in addition to forestry, there is a fair amount of farming along Corridor H (including chicken farms that the environmentalists have tried to limit and shut down, usually claiming they want to save the Chesapeake Bay (the Eastern Continental Divide crosses Corridor H someplace between the power plant and Davis, and everything to the east along Corridor H is in the Chesapeake's watershed)), and I assert that the farmers will benefit by being able to get their chickens and other products to market a little easier and at lower cost.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on August 01, 2013, 07:20:21 PM

- The area has a heavy newcomer population that is similar to rural Vermont, Maine, upstate NY, etc.  Old hippies that want to play farmer, generally supported by parents that are glad to see them finally out of the house.  Since environmentalism is just another word for selfishness, the last thing these people want to see is a good road, so they would have to SHARE their little slice of heaven with others. 

So glad you can be of such use to this forum.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bugo on August 01, 2013, 07:47:58 PM
Since environmentalism is just another word for selfishness
Fuck you.

Kook fight!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on August 01, 2013, 07:52:32 PM
Since environmentalism is just another word for selfishness
Fuck you.

Kook fight!
Take it outside.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on August 01, 2013, 11:52:46 PM
   I drove up to the Mt. Storm area two days ago. There has been a significant amount of earth moving and grading along WV 93 in Tucker County since the last time I was up there about two months ago. That area is divided into five sections, and all but one has had a lot of work done in them.
   Almost all of the beams are in place for the bridge over the Stony River (below the dam breast). The overpass of the railroad spur leading into the power plant is taking shape (and yes, there is rail traffic in and out of there - I didn't see any on this trip, but the rail head was shiny; I have had to stop for a train there on another occasion).
   It looks like they are ready to start paving east of WV 42. The bridges over where 42 will be relocated are in place (42 will be straightened out and pass underneath US 48). From there to the interchange west of Bismarck, it looks like they are about done with grading, but not as ready for paving as the area east of WV 42 is.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on August 02, 2013, 12:08:17 AM
OK, so what is the next segment to open and when?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 02, 2013, 12:20:28 AM
The overpass of the railroad spur leading into the power plant is taking shape (and yes, there is rail traffic in and out of there - I didn't see any on this trip, but the rail head was shiny; I have had to stop for a train there on another occasion).

This is interesting. 

I have never seen a train in or out of Mount Storm when I have driven by  there (admittedly much less frequently than you). 

I  know the tracks go down the mountain to the old Western Maryland line that runs roughly parallel to the Potomac River - and between Bayard (where the spur to the power plant diverges) and Davis, the line has been out of service for many years - I believe it once continued to Parsons and presumably beyond.

Maybe Dominion Virginia Power is now having coal shipped in on those train tracks?  At one time, all of the coal burned at Mount Storm was coming by truck from a mine in southern Garrett County, Md., but that mine may be mined-out at this point.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 02, 2013, 12:25:09 AM
OK, so what is the next segment to open and when?

WVDOT has a pretty detailed Corridor H (http://www.wvcorridorh.com/) Web site. .

According to the Davis to Bismark page (http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/map4.html) on that site:

Quote
A contract was awarded in December 2010 to Trumbull Corporation for the construction of 6.2 miles of Corridor H, from the existing corridor at Bismarck in Grant County to the WV 93 connector at Mount Storm in Tucker County; construction of that project is anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2014. Construction of the remaining portion of the Davis to Bismarck section is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2012, and the WVDOH intends to complete construction of the 16-mile section in the fall of 2014.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on August 02, 2013, 06:10:07 AM

The generating station at Mount Storm consumes coal

The Mt. Storm plant has always consumed coal mined within 20 miles of its location.  They pretty much built the plant on top of the coal.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on August 02, 2013, 06:48:39 AM
Quote
- The area has a heavy newcomer population that is similar to rural Vermont,

You really don't understand rural Vermont.  Contrary to popular belief, there has been little "newcomer population" in Vermont outside of far southwestern Vermont, the Rutland area, and the area immediately around Burlington.

Quote
A contract was awarded in December 2010 to Trumbull Corporation for the construction of 6.2 miles of Corridor H, from the existing corridor at Bismarck in Grant County to the WV 93 connector at Mount Storm in Tucker County; construction of that project is anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2014. Construction of the remaining portion of the Davis to Bismarck section is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2012, and the WVDOH intends to complete construction of the 16-mile section in the fall of 2014.

Delays in both cases.  As I recall, when that 2010 contract was signed, the goal at the time was to have both segments completed by the end of this year.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on August 02, 2013, 08:14:55 AM

The generating station at Mount Storm consumes coal

The Mt. Storm plant has always consumed coal mined within 20 miles of its location.  They pretty much built the plant on top of the coal.

80%: http://www.power-eng.com/articles/print/volume-109/issue-4/features/managing-the-plant-dominion-mt-storm.html

Mount Storm coal fired power plant produces 1,600 MW and contribute 12.5 million tons of CO2, 3,139 tons of sulfur dioxides, 22,464 tons of nitrous oxides and 340 lbs. of mercury each year. Nearby, the NedPower Mountain Storm wind turbines produce 264 MW of power on 132 turbines.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CanesFan27 on August 02, 2013, 10:11:47 AM

The generating station at Mount Storm consumes coal

The Mt. Storm plant has always consumed coal mined within 20 miles of its location.  They pretty much built the plant on top of the coal.

80%: http://www.power-eng.com/articles/print/volume-109/issue-4/features/managing-the-plant-dominion-mt-storm.html

Mount Storm coal fired power plant produces 1,600 MW and contribute 12.5 million tons of CO2, 3,139 tons of sulfur dioxides, 22,464 tons of nitrous oxides and 340 lbs. of mercury each year. Nearby, the NedPower Mountain Storm wind turbines produce 264 MW of power on 132 turbines.

Jumping in, Sherman where are you going to put the additional 800 windmills to produce the same amount of electricity? 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on August 02, 2013, 10:55:17 AM
Veering off-topic, but there are thousands upon thousands of acres identified as prime locations for wind farms on mountaintop removal sites. If the land has already been devastated and scarred, why not at least put it to some productive use?

Without going into specifics, coal production is declining sharply, partially because coal seams are becoming too thin, the quality is becoming too poor (e.g. too much sulphur), fracking in unveiling plentiful, cheaper and cleaner burning sources of energy. If we think that the Mount Storm power station will be around burning coal for another 30 to 40 years - then I'd suggest checking out all of the abandoned and disused mining sites within 30 miles of the plant. There are only a handful of mining operations in existence with only a few high volume underground mines left.

Plus, there are now limits on how much fish you can catch in Summersville Lake thanks to mercury contamination (just for one instance). You can consume bass and catfish just once a month, and walleye six times a year.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Grzrd on August 02, 2013, 11:34:18 AM
Veering off-topic, but there are thousands upon thousands of acres identified as prime locations for wind farms on mountaintop removal sites. If the land has already been devastated and scarred, why not at least put it to some productive use?

A May 15 Seattle Times article (http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020993836_windfarmsbirdsxml.html) reports on an Associated Press investigation which concludes that even wind farms can have severe environmental consequences:

Quote
The Obama administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind farm for killing eagles and other protected bird species, shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret, an Associated Press investigation found.
More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.
Each killing of a protected bird is a federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines. No wind-energy company has been prosecuted ....
“It is the rationale that we have to get off of carbon, we have to get off of fossil fuels, that allows them to justify this,” said Tom Dougherty, a longtime environmentalist who worked for nearly 20 years for the National Wildlife Federation in the West. “But at what cost? In this case, the cost is too high.”

When companies voluntarily report deaths, the Obama administration in many cases refuses to make the information public, saying it belongs to the energy companies or would expose trade secrets or implicate enforcement investigations.
“What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces, that is OK,” said Tim Eicher, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement agent.

I guess environmentalists are not a monolithic block .......
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 02, 2013, 12:06:14 PM

The generating station at Mount Storm consumes coal

The Mt. Storm plant has always consumed coal mined within 20 miles of its location.  They pretty much built the plant on top of the coal.

That's what I thought.  But I also read (some years ago) in one of the Maryland papers (maybe the Baltimore Sun - see 2006 article below) that the easily extractable coal in that mine in southern Garrett County was pretty well exhausted.

After the discussion above, I looked at the Google images of the former Western Maryland Railway tracks between Bayard, W.Va. and Piedmont, W.Va. (across the Potomac River from Luke, Md.) and I did see what appear to be long (but empty) strings of coal hopper cars, which makes me think that maybe some of the coal burned at Mount Storm is coming in on those rails.

After 29 years, coal runs out at Western Maryland mine - Last ton to be pulled next week - operations to end soon (http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2006-09-23/news/0609230142_1_coal-mining-western-maryland-coal-runs)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 02, 2013, 12:13:48 PM
Veering off-topic, but there are thousands upon thousands of acres identified as prime locations for wind farms on mountaintop removal sites. If the land has already been devastated and scarred, why not at least put it to some productive use?

That is a relatively low-impact way to put  some of the land to good use.

Without going into specifics, coal production is declining sharply, partially because coal seams are becoming too thin, the quality is becoming too poor (e.g. too much sulphur), fracking in unveiling plentiful, cheaper and cleaner burning sources of energy. If we think that the Mount Storm power station will be around burning coal for another 30 to 40 years - then I'd suggest checking out all of the abandoned and disused mining sites within 30 miles of the plant. There are only a handful of mining operations in existence with only a few high volume underground mines left.

And I understand that coal in the West (in particular Wyoming) is much  easier and cheaper to mine (as compared to coal mines east of the Mississippi River), and even with  the added cost of transport by railroad, is cost-effective for some coal-fired generation in the East.

Plus, there are now limits on how much fish you can catch in Summersville Lake thanks to mercury contamination (just for one instance). You can consume bass and catfish just once a month, and walleye six times a year.

If I had my way, the nation would be looking to displace coal-fired electric generation with nuclear.  Unlike wind and solar power, nuke power works very well (as does coal) to supply baseload power to the grid.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 02, 2013, 12:23:45 PM
If I had my way, the nation would be looking to displace coal-fired electric generation with nuclear.  Unlike wind and solar power, nuke power works very well (as does coal) to supply baseload power to the grid.

but think of the children who will be born with two heads!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 02, 2013, 01:22:17 PM
Quote
- The area has a heavy newcomer population that is similar to rural Vermont,

You really don't understand rural Vermont.  Contrary to popular belief, there has been little "newcomer population" in Vermont outside of far southwestern Vermont, the Rutland area, and the area immediately around Burlington.

I had a cousin once removed that lived in various places in Vermont (he loved the state), but was definitely an "outsider" (he was born in Finland, but spent a lot of his youth in the U.S., in particular in Cos Cob, Connecticut).  Interestingly, he did live near Rutland for a while, and also in Burlington.

Quote
A contract was awarded in December 2010 to Trumbull Corporation for the construction of 6.2 miles of Corridor H, from the existing corridor at Bismarck in Grant County to the WV 93 connector at Mount Storm in Tucker County; construction of that project is anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2014. Construction of the remaining portion of the Davis to Bismarck section is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2012, and the WVDOH intends to complete construction of the 16-mile section in the fall of 2014.

Delays in both cases.  As I recall, when that 2010 contract was signed, the goal at the time was to have both segments completed by the end of this year.

At least it's getting built.  Wonder what the delay  was caused by?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on August 02, 2013, 01:27:18 PM
Earlier this year Car and Driver ran a one-page "story" about average number of deer collisions per miles driven (or something similar) that showed West Virginia having the highest rate in the country by a substantial margin. I just search their website but couldn't find that particular item, so the next time I have to pay a visit to the toilet I will check the magazine rack to try to find it!

I did not look very closely to see if any part of Corridor H (and I have driven the western part between Kerens and Weston in the past) is fenced.  Though  it might not matter that much, because the critters can enter at the at-grade intersections and at the interchanges.  Even on Md. 200, which is completely and heavily fenced, I nearly hit a deer on an exit ramp last week.

The road is fenced, but right-of-way fences mean nothing to a deer.  They jump right over them.

Quote
NRQZ isn't the issue.  It's the low population and traffic levels relative to the expense because of the terrain causing the dead spots.

I do not know enough about radio waves to know what impact cell towers might have on the Quiet Zone, but I suppose that the cell tower antennae be designed to "direct" their signals where there is less (or no?) impact on the Green Bank Telescope (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bank_Telescope) and the National Security Agency's SIGINT gathering operations at Sugar Grove.
Corridor H is far enough away that cell signals aren't a major problem.  The towns have cell coverage (and there are full-power radio stations, too).  It's a matter of there not being enough customers to justify the cell towers outside of the towns.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on August 02, 2013, 01:34:02 PM
The overpass of the railroad spur leading into the power plant is taking shape (and yes, there is rail traffic in and out of there - I didn't see any on this trip, but the rail head was shiny; I have had to stop for a train there on another occasion).

This is interesting. 

I have never seen a train in or out of Mount Storm when I have driven by  there (admittedly much less frequently than you). 

I  know the tracks go down the mountain to the old Western Maryland line that runs roughly parallel to the Potomac River - and between Bayard (where the spur to the power plant diverges) and Davis, the line has been out of service for many years - I believe it once continued to Parsons and presumably beyond.

Maybe Dominion Virginia Power is now having coal shipped in on those train tracks?  At one time, all of the coal burned at Mount Storm was coming by truck from a mine in southern Garrett County, Md., but that mine may be mined-out at this point.

VEPCO (Dominion predecessor) had the spur built when they constructed the power plant specifically so they could get coal delivered by rail.  They own the line.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on August 02, 2013, 02:39:38 PM
Veering off-topic, but there are thousands upon thousands of acres identified as prime locations for wind farms on mountaintop removal sites. If the land has already been devastated and scarred, why not at least put it to some productive use?

A May 15 Seattle Times article (http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020993836_windfarmsbirdsxml.html) reports on an Associated Press investigation which concludes that even wind farms can have severe environmental consequences:

Quote
The Obama administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind farm for killing eagles and other protected bird species, shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret, an Associated Press investigation found.
More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.
Each killing of a protected bird is a federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines. No wind-energy company has been prosecuted ....
“It is the rationale that we have to get off of carbon, we have to get off of fossil fuels, that allows them to justify this,” said Tom Dougherty, a longtime environmentalist who worked for nearly 20 years for the National Wildlife Federation in the West. “But at what cost? In this case, the cost is too high.”

When companies voluntarily report deaths, the Obama administration in many cases refuses to make the information public, saying it belongs to the energy companies or would expose trade secrets or implicate enforcement investigations.
“What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces, that is OK,” said Tim Eicher, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement agent.

I guess environmentalists are not a monolithic block .......

Drawing straw arguments doesn't help. Let's face it, there are NIMBY's on both sides. Remember Senator Kennedy who championed solar and wind farms? Until they "blocked" his view off of the Cape, despite the towers being so far away from shore that they would be all but invisible.

For all of the ills of coal, the consequences of fracking, and the associated risks with nuclear, wind and solar would be obvious choices. There are tradeoffs with every utility choice that we make, some that impact humans more so than others; some that impact animals more so than others. I know that with early wind farms, the studies did not take into account migratory patterns with birds. With the recent projects in West Virginia - along US 219 and now near Bluefield, migratory patterns were taken into account in the EIS.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Grzrd on August 02, 2013, 03:01:58 PM
Drawing straw arguments doesn't help

Neither does the ad hominem tactic of accusing someone of intentionally misrepresenting your position.  I merely pointed out that wind farms have negative environmental consequences, too. Please point out where I misrepresented your position.



there are NIMBY's on both sides.

Of course, that was the essential point of my post after I quoted the article:

I guess environmentalists are not a monolithic block .......



There are tradeoffs with every utility choice that we make

Agreed.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bugo on August 02, 2013, 06:25:12 PM
I still can't believe they blew up entire mountains just for the coal.  I'm so glad they didn't do that to my beloved Ouachitas.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bugo on August 02, 2013, 06:27:47 PM
Consequences of fracking?
You mean affordable energy? Decent living standards for the middle class?
Environmentalism is just a religion. It's a warmed over nature cult.

I mean things like earthquakes in places like fucking Oklahoma where earthquakes aren't supposed to happen.  Live through a few 5.6 earthquakes (and wondering if the "big one" is going to hit) and we'll talk.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Brandon on August 02, 2013, 07:13:24 PM
Consequences of fracking?
You mean affordable energy? Decent living standards for the middle class?
Environmentalism is just a religion. It's a warmed over nature cult.

I mean things like earthquakes in places like fucking Oklahoma where earthquakes aren't supposed to happen.  Live through a few 5.6 earthquakes (and wondering if the "big one" is going to hit) and we'll talk.

Earthquakes happen everywhere, not just in California or Alaska.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on August 02, 2013, 08:25:10 PM
In Youngstown, Ohio? And elsewhere? Where even the oil and gas industry has admitted the earthquakes were caused by fracking (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/story/2012-03-09/fracking-gas-drilling-earthquakes/53435232/1)?

Where poisonous waste was disposed of in storm sewers (http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/02/youngstown_gas_driller_indicte.html) that led to massive fish kills in the Mahoning River? And we're not talking about a little bit - how about 20,000+ gallons?

And water quality issues and fracking go hand-in-hand (http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-07-29/politics/40887594_1_cabot-s-fracking-methane).

Yes, we are not ripping apart mountaintops for cheap energy, but we are still causing damage both to the environment and to human health. I appreciate that there has been over $2 billion in investment in Youngstown for just V&M Star (producing piping and other associated steel for fracking sites), $1 billion in Cadiz, $1 billion near New Castle for a cracker plant and elsewhere. It's jobs that can pay quite well. It's employment in areas that have been devastated by years of declining economic fortunes.

Having documented and photographed the entire rust belt and coal producing regions for major publications, magazines and two upcoming books, I offer my opinion in that all we are seeking is a short term gain for long term consequence. If anyone has ever ventured to southwest West Virginia and other coal reliant regions, you can see what has happened. Take McDowell County, home to Welch and one of the first municipal parking garages in the United States. The county peaked at nearly 100,000 residents 60 years ago, and stands under 22,000 today. It will dip under 18,000 by 2020 at the current rate of decline. Welch, the county seat, had nearly 6,800 and will dive under 2,000 by 2020. It has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. It's median income is one of the lowest. It's school system has been under state control for over a decade, and has some of the lowest graduation rates in the country. Coal began its march out of Appalachia decades ago, first due to mechanization, then to energy slumps before seeing an uptick in the 1980s and 1990s - and then declining due to exhaustion of seams and now fracking.

One of the firms I did work for hired about 30% of their staff from West Virginia's coal producing counties. These guys and gals traveled up from the mountains to work on some sites in eastern Ohio, staying in RV's, hotels and even tents to make a decent wage. Most were not married, and those that did were very much depressed and sent money home every other week. Travel out to the Dakota's, and you'll see temporary cities galore.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on August 02, 2013, 09:22:39 PM
Methinks the moderators might consider a thread-split......
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on August 02, 2013, 09:53:35 PM
In Youngstown, Ohio? And elsewhere? Where even the oil and gas industry has admitted the earthquakes were caused by fracking (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/story/2012-03-09/fracking-gas-drilling-earthquakes/53435232/1)?

Where were those earthquakes on the Richter scale?  Were they little ones like those in Oklahoma most clearly linked to fracking -- the kind that are routine in California, that Californians take in stride?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: corco on August 02, 2013, 10:06:27 PM
Quote
Having documented and photographed the entire rust belt and coal producing regions for major publications, magazines and two upcoming books, I offer my opinion in that all we are seeking is a short term gain for long term consequence. If anyone has ever ventured to southwest West Virginia and other coal reliant regions, you can see what has happened. Take McDowell County, home to Welch and one of the first municipal parking garages in the United States. The county peaked at nearly 100,000 residents 60 years ago, and stands under 22,000 today. It will dip under 18,000 by 2020 at the current rate of decline. Welch, the county seat, had nearly 6,800 and will dive under 2,000 by 2020. It has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. It's median income is one of the lowest. It's school system has been under state control for over a decade, and has some of the lowest graduation rates in the country. Coal began its march out of Appalachia decades ago, first due to mechanization, then to energy slumps before seeing an uptick in the 1980s and 1990s - and then declining due to exhaustion of seams and now fracking.

Right- for me, if we dumped the money we're dumping into developing fracking technology right now into developing technology to make renewable energy more productive...those are also skilled, high paying jobs right there and those aren't subject to boom-bust nearly as much as fracking is.

It's not like we're lowering energy costs. We're making more energy in America right now, which don't get me wrong- that's awesome and critical to national security and why I can't be totally opposed to fracking, but it costs a heck of a lot more to frack oil than it does to get it by conventional means, and those conventionally producing countries can just and do just cut supply to keep the prices up. We still have little control over it.

And that price is going to go up- the deeper that oil is, the more it's going to cost to drill it. The oil industry just has to wait for prices to sustain a slightly higher level and they can go after the Niobrara Shale, but they can't get that out and make money at the current price levels. People who think that we can flood the market with cheap shale oil and lower gas prices...that's not how shale works. It's really expensive to get out of the ground.  Unless the economy tanks again, energy of any kind is not going to get cheaper over the long run no matter how much we produce as long as we maintain something resembling a free market system and I'd challenge anybody to find an economic model that demonstrates otherwise. In a strong economy, energy is an inelastic need- there's no incentive for any company to produce inexpensive energy or for competition to drive prices down. The only way prices drop is if we have another 2008 and people stop buying things altogether, reducing the demand for fuel to the point that prices have to go down.

One thing I don't understand- the fact is we're going to need to dump a ton of money into R&D to keep getting energy. We're either going to have to develop new, cost effective ways to get oil deeper and deeper from the earth or we're going to have to develop new, cost effective ways to get the same energy from other sources. There's no way around that. Why is the focus on the first? The cynic in me thinks it's a fear that moving away from oil will change our lifestyle into some hippie environmentalist lifestyle that nobody wants, but is there any proof that that's either a valid supposition or something that would actually happen?

I'm curious- those of you who are in favor of putting resources into fracking in lieu of putting resources into developing alternative energy - why? Why is this the case? Do you envision this being a permanent thing, or do you envision a transition taking place? 

Or is it more of a moderation thing? Obviously we can't flip the switch tomorrow and ditch oil- even if we put a lot of resources into developing other energy sources we're still going to be dependent on oil for a long time and the transition will probably take a generation or three. There's pretty much no way around that either, but when do you think we need to begin to start to really move in that direction? Or do you think we're already headed in that direction but in the meantime we need to keep finding more oil, even if the diversion of resources slows down the development of those other sources?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on August 02, 2013, 10:13:59 PM
When I hear "frack" I still think of the "profanity" in the original 1970s version of Battlestar Galactica.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bugo on August 02, 2013, 10:41:13 PM
In Youngstown, Ohio? And elsewhere? Where even the oil and gas industry has admitted the earthquakes were caused by fracking (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/story/2012-03-09/fracking-gas-drilling-earthquakes/53435232/1)?

Where were those earthquakes on the Richter scale?  Were they little ones like those in Oklahoma most clearly linked to fracking -- the kind that are routine in California, that Californians take in stride?

The geology of California is not the same as the geology of Oklahoma.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on August 02, 2013, 11:17:20 PM
I'm curious- those of you who are in favor of putting resources into fracking in lieu of putting resources into developing alternative energy - why? Why is this the case? Do you envision this being a permanent thing, or do you envision a transition taking place? 

Or is it more of a moderation thing? Obviously we can't flip the switch tomorrow and ditch oil- even if we put a lot of resources into developing other energy sources we're still going to be dependent on oil for a long time and the transition will probably take a generation or three. There's pretty much no way around that either, but when do you think we need to begin to start to really move in that direction? Or do you think we're already headed in that direction but in the meantime we need to keep finding more oil, even if the diversion of resources slows down the development of those other sources?

Fracking is largely about natural gas, not just oil.  Natural gas is a little harder to use to power our cars, but does lends itself to large-scale electric power generation, especially as a cleaner substitute for coal.

I'm not sure fracking's an either-or proposition compared to alternative fuels, anyway.  There's room for both, at least until the recoverable oil and gas resources peter out.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: corco on August 02, 2013, 11:25:54 PM
Quote
Fracking is largely about natural gas, not just oil.  Natural gas is a little harder to use to power our cars, but does lends itself to large-scale electric power generation, especially as a cleaner substitute for coal.

I'm not sure fracking's an either-or proposition compared to alternative fuels, anyway.  There's room for both, at least until the recoverable oil and gas resources peter out.

Right, I just said "oil" for simplicity, but yeah. Out here we just call them the "oil fields" but there's definitely a lot more to it than that.

Okay, that seems like a perfectly reasonable argument. I guess the follow up would be- in an ideal world, are you in favor of funneling oil profit towards the development of alternative energy? How do you envision the economics playing out that allow alternative energy to eventually usurp oil and gas use? Should energy prices just continue rising until renewable energy is profitable enough for mass scale implementation, or where should the money come from for the R&D to lower the price of renewable energy generation?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on August 03, 2013, 08:55:43 PM
OK, other than S.P.'s reply which sparked all this off-topic discussion and the hostility over on the "Meta" board, no one has supplied an answer as to why Corridor H is so objectionable when compared to all the other Appalachian Regional Commission development corridors.

I wonder if part of it is because so many of those who are objecting to it are very young, and many of the other corridors were finished or well underway before they were born? (That doesn't explain Randy's objection to it; that can be laid at the feet of his hatred for rural America).

There's still a pretty good segment of Corridor (mumble), which involves US 119 through southeastern Kentucky, not yet built. Will the same howls of objection be heard when the final link, the tunnel under Pine Mountain, gets underway?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Revive 755 on August 03, 2013, 11:03:31 PM
but think of the children who will be born with two heads!

<Almost makes snide comment regarding second head, thinks better of it>
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 04, 2013, 12:18:34 AM
OK, other than S.P.'s reply which sparked all this off-topic discussion and the hostility over on the "Meta" board, no one has supplied an answer as to why Corridor H is so objectionable when compared to all the other Appalachian Regional Commission development corridors.

IMO, most of the reasons for objecting to Corridor H are without merit.  Especially the environmental objections, since the design of the new segments appears to be state-of-the-art in terms of things like stormwater controls, and vehicle emissions are less and less of a problem as the on-highway vehicle fleet turns over.

I wonder if part of it is because so many of those who are objecting to it are very young, and many of the other corridors were finished or well underway before they were born? (That doesn't explain Randy's objection to it; that can be laid at the feet of his hatred for rural America).

There are plenty of people in  the United States that think good highways are inherently evil, and presumably want to return the nation to the transportation system that we had in about 1920, when most intercity travel was by railroad (or in some cases interurban) and a large percentage of the urban and suburban population was (as they call it) "carfree."  Yes, there were suburbs in the United States in 1920.

There's still a pretty good segment of Corridor (mumble), which involves US 119 through southeastern Kentucky, not yet built. Will the same howls of objection be heard when the final link, the tunnel under Pine Mountain, gets underway?

The distance from Washington, D.C. and its local legacy of trying to stop all highway projects (which is part of the problem with Corridor H)  might be  great enough that it's a non-issue.  Let's hope so.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 04, 2013, 12:26:26 AM
VEPCO (Dominion predecessor) had the spur built when they constructed the power plant specifically so they could get coal delivered by rail.  They own the line.

That was not clear to me, since (as S P Cook pointed out) the Mount Storm Generating Station was sited where it is in part to be near large supplies of coal (that would presumably not arrive on rail). I thought the railroad spur may have been there to allow delivery of heavy machinery to the plant that might be easier to move on rail instead of by truck.

In the electric generating business, Mount Storm is known as a "mouth of mine" plant.  There are several others relatively close in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  I think Mount Storm may be the easternmost plant of this type (I believe it may be the only one in the Chesapeake Bay watershed - the rest of them are in the Ohio River watershed).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on August 04, 2013, 12:29:56 AM
The distance from Washington, D.C. and its local legacy of trying to stop all highway projects (which is part of the problem with Corridor H)  might be  great enough that it's a non-issue.  Let's hope so.

There's an environmentally sensitive area (Bad Branch Falls) in that general vicinity, but my understanding is that they're taking steps to deal with it appropriately, even at this very preliminary stage of the planning process.

But that may not stop the DC-ites (many of whom, as was pointed out, will be able to use H to get to the ski areas near Davis) from complaining. A new route for KY 715 in Wolfe County, as part of the overall London-to-Ashland corridor, is in the works. It passes near a popular rock climbing area frequented by out-of-staters. We've had a number of comments from Buckeyes about this project. There is an area that is crying out for better access to the interstate system for economic development purposes, and some Ohioans want to stop the road project?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 04, 2013, 01:00:59 AM
The distance from Washington, D.C. and its local legacy of trying to stop all highway projects (which is part of the problem with Corridor H)  might be  great enough that it's a non-issue.  Let's hope so.

There's an environmentally sensitive area (Bad Branch Falls) in that general vicinity, but my understanding is that they're taking steps to deal with it appropriately, even at this very preliminary stage of the planning process.

That's the right time to deal with sensitive environmental issues, and I think good highway engineers and planners know that they need to handle them during planning and preliminary engineering. 

But that may not stop the DC-ites (many of whom, as was pointed out, will be able to use H to get to the ski areas near Davis) from complaining. A new route for KY 715 in Wolfe County, as part of the overall London-to-Ashland corridor, is in the works. It passes near a popular rock climbing area frequented by out-of-staters. We've had a number of comments from Buckeyes about this project. There is an area that is crying out for better access to the interstate system for economic development purposes, and some Ohioans want to stop the road project?

Under the U.S. federal system, this sort of thing goes on frequently.  Over and over again, I saw representatives from large and small municipalities located relatively far from the route of Md. 200 (including at least one not even in Maryland) raising environmental objections to the project.  And the one county to be served by the project (Prince George's) had two long County Council resolutions against the project, even though they included weasel language deep in both endorsing the project in their own  jurisdiction.

Getting to your last sentence above, access (and improved access) to the national highway network by places in need of economic development should be stated as a goal in national transportation policy by Congress, but more than a few of the nice people there don't seem to grasp how important that is to underserved parts of the nation.  That obviously includes large parts of Appalachia, but it also (in my opinion) includes at least some roadless areas of Alaska.

Economic development is the fundamental reason that I believe Corridor H (including the sections between Wardensville and Strasburg, Va.; and between Kerens and Davis) should be completed. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on August 04, 2013, 03:36:34 AM
Quote
OK, other than S.P.'s reply which sparked all this off-topic discussion and the hostility over on the "Meta" board, no one has supplied an answer as to why Corridor H is so objectionable when compared to all the other Appalachian Regional Commission development corridors.

Population centers and pre-existing corridors.  Most of the other corridors you mentioned have (at least by rural-standards), medium population centers to anchor the ARC corridor to, not to mention generally following long-existing highway corridors (US 50, US 52, US 119, US 460, etc etc).  No such pre-existing corridor or (except for Buckhannon and Elkins) population centers exist along Corridor H.  Within West Virginia, some of these corridors (thinking US 50 and US 460 here) had high enough traffic to where they probably would have been 4-laned even without the ARC regional highway program, much as parts of US 340 and WV 9 are up in the WV Panhandle.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: J N Winkler on August 04, 2013, 11:24:28 AM
I wonder if part of it is because so many of those who are objecting to it are very young, and many of the other corridors were finished or well underway before they were born? (That doesn't explain Randy's objection to it; that can be laid at the feet of his hatred for rural America).

I don't get the impression that many of the people objecting to Corridor H are in fact very young.  NE2, I think, is aged upwards of 30.  Steve Alpert is, I believe, also over 30, and although I don't recall him objecting to Corridor H per se, he has criticized the design of various segments for excessive use of cut and fill.  Although I do not believe he is now a member of this forum and certainly has not been active if he has, back in the MTR days Larry Gross objected to Corridor H (receiving attacks and heavy criticism from S.P. Cook for doing so), and I am fairly sure he is aged over 50.

Randy Hersh also never struck me as having a particular anti-rural bias.  Yes, he spent most of his life in the vicinity of large cities (grew up in Mayfield Heights, which is a Cleveland suburb; worked in Cleveland for several years; drove cab in Miami for several years; spent most of the remainder of his life and cab-driving career in densely urbanized northern New Jersey), but he also travelled extensively and had a good feel for what roads can and cannot do in terms of bringing economic development to rural areas.  I incline to take his objections to Corridor H at face value:  unlikely to siphon long-distance east-west traffic off the established Interstate routes, unlikely to bring much economic development to the area of rural West Virginia it serves since that area's primary obstacle to economic growth is the lack of an educated workforce, but definitely likely to siphon funding away from necessary asset preservation, for which his go-to example was the long-delayed reconstruction of I-70 between Frederick and Baltimore.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on August 04, 2013, 02:21:32 PM
Methinks the moderators might consider a thread-split......
I've been away for a couple of days, but I applaud a few people in this thread for consistently bringing it back on-topic from the energy discussion to Corridor H. It's all tied together with the environment aspect, which seems to be the most controversial part. Although traffic volumes aren't very high in general in WV, the road quality is so poor that I find it hard to argue with the ongoing upgrade. Could it be graded for 4 lanes and paved for 2? Probably not, because the road will encourage high speeds and truck use, and it's better to have that separated.
So, it comes down to the environment, and we've been having a healthy debate on that, and that's okay. We've been overdue. Most projects don't have the types of concerns that this one does. I'm not going to split the topic, even though fracking and nuclear/wind power have nothing to do with Corridor H, but let's try to let that subtopic die and get back to the topic at hand.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on August 04, 2013, 04:40:55 PM
So, it comes down to the environment, and we've been having a healthy debate on that, and that's okay. We've been overdue. Most projects don't have the types of concerns that this one does. I'm not going to split the topic, even though fracking and nuclear/wind power have nothing to do with Corridor H, but let's try to let that subtopic die and get back to the topic at hand.

The concerns are really only with a very small area within the overall corridor; that being the Blackwater Falls area. I think you can take just about any new highway construction project and have similar enviro concerns outside that one area.

There are a lot of wind farms in the area of Corridor H, so the topics are a bit related.

I don't get the impression that many of the people objecting to Corridor H are in fact very young.  NE2, I think, is aged upwards of 30.  Steve Alpert is, I believe, also over 30, and although I don't recall him objecting to Corridor H per se, he has criticized the design of various segments for excessive use of cut and fill.  Although I do not believe he is now a member of this forum and certainly has not been active if he has, back in the MTR days Larry Gross objected to Corridor H (receiving attacks and heavy criticism from S.P. Cook for doing so), and I am fairly sure he is aged over 50.

Well, they're younger than me. (I'm 51). And they were in their early to mid 20s when they got involved in MTR many, many years ago. I think Steve's had the same complaints about virtually all new West Virginia construction. Corridor H is not unlike a lot of the recent construction in eastern Kentucky, specifically newer segments of US 119 northeast of Pikeville and the under-construction US 460 south of Pikeville.

Larry Gross objected to everything.  :bigass:

Randy Hersh also never struck me as having a particular anti-rural bias.  Yes, he spent most of his life in the vicinity of large cities (grew up in Mayfield Heights, which is a Cleveland suburb; worked in Cleveland for several years; drove cab in Miami for several years; spent most of the remainder of his life and cab-driving career in densely urbanized northern New Jersey), but he also travelled extensively and had a good feel for what roads can and cannot do in terms of bringing economic development to rural areas.  I incline to take his objections to Corridor H at face value:  unlikely to siphon long-distance east-west traffic off the established Interstate routes, unlikely to bring much economic development to the area of rural West Virginia it serves since that area's primary obstacle to economic growth is the lack of an educated workforce, but definitely likely to siphon funding away from necessary asset preservation, for which his go-to example was the long-delayed reconstruction of I-70 between Frederick and Baltimore.

Have you forgotten his cheerleading of floods in Kentucky, the tornadoes in Kentucky last March, the Texas wildfires, and other disasters? He seemed overly happy anytime something bad happened in a non-urban part of the world. Yet I'm sure he would have been horrified by Hurricane Sandy and the destruction it wrought on urban areas in the NYC region.

He also seemed very unsupportive not only of Corridor H, but practically any new rural construction.

So, it comes down to the environment, and we've been having a healthy debate on that, and that's okay.

Except the thread where most of that debate was taking place seems to have vanished into the cyber ether...  :-P
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on August 04, 2013, 04:51:25 PM
Methinks the moderators might consider a thread-split......
I've been away for a couple of days, but I applaud a few people in this thread for consistently bringing it back on-topic from the energy discussion to Corridor H. It's all tied together with the environment aspect, which seems to be the most controversial part. Although traffic volumes aren't very high in general in WV, the road quality is so poor that I find it hard to argue with the ongoing upgrade. Could it be graded for 4 lanes and paved for 2? Probably not, because the road will encourage high speeds and truck use, and it's better to have that separated.
So, it comes down to the environment, and we've been having a healthy debate on that, and that's okay. We've been overdue. Most projects don't have the types of concerns that this one does. I'm not going to split the topic, even though fracking and nuclear/wind power have nothing to do with Corridor H, but let's try to let that subtopic die and get back to the topic at hand.

Yeah, frankly, when I made that suggestion I was more concerned that there seemed to be some incipient nastiness that's since been dialed back.

I never posted on MTR (my USENET usage was pretty much all prior to 1997 on UVA sports groups) so I have nothing to say about those folks. I've glanced at MTR on RARE occasions over the years and so I know enough to refrain from talking about a group with which I'm unfamiliar beyond the origins of "viatology"!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on August 04, 2013, 05:11:49 PM
So, it comes down to the environment, and we've been having a healthy debate on that, and that's okay.

Except the thread where most of that debate was taking place seems to have vanished into the cyber ether...  :-P

Upon further review, it got moved and then it got locked.  :-D And before I could quote Genesis 1:26 in response to agentsteel's question.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on August 04, 2013, 05:13:38 PM
Is that the one about goats?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: J N Winkler on August 04, 2013, 06:36:16 PM
Well, they're younger than me. (I'm 51). And they were in their early to mid 20s when they got involved in MTR many, many years ago. I think Steve's had the same complaints about virtually all new West Virginia construction. Corridor H is not unlike a lot of the recent construction in eastern Kentucky, specifically newer segments of US 119 northeast of Pikeville and the under-construction US 460 south of Pikeville.

Yes, with the possible exception of Larry Gross, they (and I) are younger than you, but I wouldn't say any of them is "very young."  I have never met any of them in person, but I would think most of them have lived in places with enough new construction for them to have some lived experience of the benefits and drawbacks of new highways.

In regard to Steve and the criticisms he has expressed of excessive cut and fill, I actually happen to sympathize with them.  I have seen the construction plans for a lot of West Virginia's recent rural expressway work (it used to be possible to download them off WVDOT's FTP server before it was taken offline about a year ago), and the contour grading sheets make it blatantly obvious that leveling of mountains and filling of valleys is going on.  The natural landscape of West Virginia is a resource, just like the minerals beneath the surface, and it seems shortsighted to waste it and thereby forfeit opportunities for high-margin economic activity, like ecotourism, rather than to try and see whether the business case for extensive use of tunnels and high-level valley viaducts, as on the Spanish and German motorway networks, could be translated to this side of the Atlantic.

Quote
Larry Gross objected to everything.  :bigass:

It is fair to say that he supported new highway construction in the same way one might support making omelets without breaking any eggs.

Quote
Have you forgotten his [Randy Hersh's] cheerleading of floods in Kentucky, the tornadoes in Kentucky last March, the Texas wildfires, and other disasters? He seemed overly happy anytime something bad happened in a non-urban part of the world. Yet I'm sure he would have been horrified by Hurricane Sandy and the destruction it wrought on urban areas in the NYC region.

Most of the cheerleading for natural disasters in Kentucky and West Virginia had more to do with "Don't like H.B. Elkins" (not only you personally, but also what he construed as your no-new-taxes position), rather than "Hate rural America."  In the case of Texas and wildfires, a quick MTR search turns up this:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/misc.transport.road/Texas$20wildfires/misc.transport.road/lJ4cTVM9kuw/BXEjlYmQDxgJ

"Couldn't happen to a better bunch of idiots" is in part a reference to the fact that the area of Texas involved (mostly the Panhandle) is heavily dependent on fossil water.  It doesn't prove a "Randy hates rural America" argument--the rural US is much larger than that and there were plenty of natural disasters elsewhere, such as the Greensburg tornado in 2007, the Missouri River flooding in 2011, etc. about which Randy had very little to say.

I established early on a rule, from which I only rarely deviated, of never defending Randy's posts on MTR, because that was consistent with my philosophy of not saying anything unless I believed it had a reasonable prospect of adding to general enlightenment or convincing someone else who was open to persuasion.  This is why I won't say it was proper for Randy to sing the praises of catastrophes which just happened to be local to whomever he was feuding with in MTR at the time, any more than it was for him to go on about black people the way he did.  It is nevertheless true, however, that the name-calling and other abuse went in both directions.  Those who fault Randy for not taking the high road have only themselves to blame for not doing so on their own account and thereby setting a positive example.

Quote
He also seemed very unsupportive not only of Corridor H, but practically any new rural construction.

I have a feeling that combing my email archive for mentions of new rural highway construction which Randy supported would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.  Besides Interstate guide signing, his emphases were very much on asset preservation (not just full-depth reconstruction like I-70 Frederick-Baltimore, but also replacement of fracture-critical bridges) and relocation to improve urban amenity (burial of the Gowanus Expressway tunnel being a case in point).  And, to be frank, with some largely rural states (including my own) pushing freeway projects on the basis of sub-10,000 AADT, I have to say Randy's views on this issue were not all that far from the MTR mainstream.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 05, 2013, 12:32:58 AM
So, it comes down to the environment, and we've been having a healthy debate on that, and that's okay. We've been overdue. Most projects don't have the types of concerns that this one does. I'm not going to split the topic, even though fracking and nuclear/wind power have nothing to do with Corridor H, but let's try to let that subtopic die and get back to the topic at hand.

The concerns are really only with a very small area within the overall corridor; that being the Blackwater Falls area. I think you can take just about any new highway construction project and have similar enviro concerns outside that one area.

A few more thoughts:

(1) I've stayed at Blackwater Falls State Park.  It is indeed a gem, and deserves protection (and the area within the park is in a sense protected by Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act).  I assert that even the most-fervent supporters of Corridor H don't want the park damaged by highway construction.

(2) If the decision is made to build more wind-powered generating units along the ridgetops around Mount Storm (and elsewhere - there are some along  U.S. 219 south of Davis), then Corridor H makes transporting the towers (they appear to come in segments) and blades (which are huge) easier and presumably less expensive.

In regard to Steve and the criticisms he has expressed of excessive cut and fill, I actually happen to sympathize with them.  I have seen the construction plans for a lot of West Virginia's recent rural expressway work (it used to be possible to download them off WVDOT's FTP server before it was taken offline about a year ago), and the contour grading sheets make it blatantly obvious that leveling of mountains and filling of valleys is going on.  The natural landscape of West Virginia is a resource, just like the minerals beneath the surface, and it seems shortsighted to waste it and thereby forfeit opportunities for high-margin economic activity, like ecotourism, rather than to try and see whether the business case for extensive use of tunnels and high-level valley viaducts, as on the Spanish and German motorway networks, could be translated to this side of the Atlantic.

Having seen all of both sections of Corridor H that are open to traffic, I did not get the impression that there were many valleys filled-in by the highway, with one possible exception.  Most of the valleys and hollows were spanned by some very high bridges.  There were more than a few massive mountain cuts, however.   
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on August 05, 2013, 01:17:07 AM
Quote
I did not get the impression that there were many valleys filled-in by the highway, with one possible exception.

There are two notable grade changes on the completed segment of Corridor H where there was a lot of fill placed in what was formerly valley.  One is about 5 miles east of Moorefield (on the other side of the ridge from the Clifton Hollow bridge).  The other is as you make the climb up from where the scenic view spot is west of Moorefield, where you make what is close to a U-shaped turn.  That one especially filled in a lot of valley.  The bridge over WV 93 also has a lot of fill on the west side of it.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on August 05, 2013, 07:16:59 AM
Yes Virginia, there are stupensously long trains hauling coal into Mt. Storm. Saw a couple of them while visiting at Jennings Randolph Lake.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on August 05, 2013, 12:23:15 PM

Never been to Cancun, actually, but the rest of my travel in Mexico has all been on the Yucatan or Cozumel, so yes, I know that's not necessarily representative of the entire country. Still, driving south on Route 307 down past Tulum it's quite nice when you're going 130 in a 110 zone and the guy in the car in front of you moves partly or entirely onto the shoulder to help you get past (and I did the same when someone would come up on me going 140 or 150).

gotta love Mexican drivers.  very courteous in general.  the opposite end of the speed spectrum is true as well: a few months ago I was driving MX-2 from Imuris to Cananea across a large mountain pass, and there were lines upon lines of trucks doing 10-15mph.  everyone was doing all they could to allow for cars to get around, including waving out the window that it is safe to pass around a blind curve.

the only drivers I've seen in Mexico that are obstructionist hogs are, you guessed it... Americans.
But the larger question is, why does Corridor H come under so much more criticism than the other ARC corridors?

IMHO, a combination of factors.

- The area covered by H is historically "vote the way granddaddy shot" Republican.  That caused two things to happen.  First, it went right to the bottom of the priority list in a heavily democrat state, with all the corridors elsewhere in the state finished first.  That allowed time for the BANANA crowd to get organized.  As I stated elsewhere, none of the great public works that make modern life possible would be built today.  Second, the state's interest in fighting it was limited, since the political gain was limited.

- The area really is thinly populated.  Among the lowest population densities east of the Mississippi.  So that leaves not that many people to agitate and organize against the enemies of progress.

- Its not a coal producing area, really, other than Tucker County, which is already served by an H ending at Elkins and other roads.  A lot of the corridors (G, L, B, Q, E) really help in the modern production of coal via the land improvement method (so called mountaintop removal or strip mining).  The coal companies really don't care if H gets built or not.

- The area has a heavy newcomer population that is similar to rural Vermont, Maine, upstate NY, etc.  Old hippies that want to play farmer, generally supported by parents that are glad to see them finally out of the house.  Since environmentalism is just another word for selfishness, the last thing these people want to see is a good road, so they would have to SHARE their little slice of heaven with others. 

- The "economic development" aspect, to be fair, is overblown.  The only economic potential of that virtually vertical part of the country is tourism.  Nobody is going to build an auto plant in Moorefield.

True, but a new Sheetz went up....
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Grzrd on August 05, 2013, 01:18:48 PM
So, it comes down to the environment, and we've been having a healthy debate on that, and that's okay.
Except the thread where most of that debate was taking place seems to have vanished into the cyber ether...  :-P
Upon further review, it got moved and then it got locked.  :-D And before I could quote Genesis 1:26 in response to agentsteel's question.

To augment HB's answer for agentsteel, and facing the similar problem of no longer having the correct thread to post it in, the Iowa chapter of a national organization has a six-page compilation of  Bible Quotes In Support of Stewardship (http://iowa.sierraclub.org/icag/2004/1104quotes.pdf). Genesis 1:26 and other "God Expects Humans to be His Stewards with Nature" quotations can be found on pages 3 and 4.

Back to roads after this post; I just wanted to give agentsteel additional info.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 05, 2013, 01:40:40 PM
So, it comes down to the environment, and we've been having a healthy debate on that, and that's okay.
Except the thread where most of that debate was taking place seems to have vanished into the cyber ether...  :-P
Upon further review, it got moved and then it got locked.  :-D And before I could quote Genesis 1:26 in response to agentsteel's question.

To augment HB's answer for agentsteel, and facing the similar problem of no longer having the correct thread to post it in, the Iowa chapter of a national organization has a six-page compilation of  Bible Quotes In Support of Stewardship (http://iowa.sierraclub.org/icag/2004/1104quotes.pdf). Genesis 1:26 and other "God Expects Humans to be His Stewards with Nature" quotations can be found on pages 3 and 4.

Back to roads after this post; I just wanted to give agentsteel additional info.

that's not the primary source.

"steward over your animals [God, 3750BC]" is, by definition, a secondary source citing a primary one.  I want the primary one directly.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 05, 2013, 02:10:51 PM
Quote
I did not get the impression that there were many valleys filled-in by the highway, with one possible exception.

There are two notable grade changes on the completed segment of Corridor H where there was a lot of fill placed in what was formerly valley.  One is about 5 miles east of Moorefield (on the other side of the ridge from the Clifton Hollow bridge).  The other is as you make the climb up from where the scenic view spot is west of Moorefield, where you make what is close to a U-shaped turn.  That one especially filled in a lot of valley.  The bridge over WV 93 also has a lot of fill on the west side of it.

I noticed one place on the right going west where it was very obvious that fill (perhaps from some of the mountain cuts) had been used to fill-in a valley.   It was obvious because there was a farmhouse.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on August 13, 2013, 12:40:18 PM
From the "Birmingham" thread..

That said, the enactment of MAP-21 last summer altered the ARC funding formula to allow 100% federal funding for ADHS projects

Well, there's the answer for building Virginia's part of Corridor H.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Grzrd on August 13, 2013, 12:49:20 PM
From the "Birmingham" thread..
That said, the enactment of MAP-21 last summer altered the ARC funding formula to allow 100% federal funding for ADHS projects
Well, there's the answer for building Virginia's part of Corridor H.

Related post (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=1665.msg164394#msg164394) earlier in this thread.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on August 15, 2013, 07:45:16 AM
Indeed.  Furthermore, HB's comment makes the argument that funding was the major obstacle in Virginia.  It's a lot more complicated than that.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 15, 2013, 10:24:49 PM
Indeed.  Furthermore, HB's comment makes the argument that funding was the major obstacle in Virginia.  It's a lot more complicated than that.

I agree. 

Rep. Wolf is opposed (but then he seems opposed to nearly all highway improvement projects these days).

What I don't know are the positions of the local elected officials in Shenandoah County  and Frederick County, Va.  In order to get from the crest of North Mountain to I-81, it would presumably have to pass through both counties.  There's no mention of needed/desired future improvements to U.S. 48/Va. 55 on the Web sites of Frederick County or Shenandoah County (I checked).

Proponents of Corridor H in West Virginia would be smart to reach out to their neighbors in those two counties if they want an improved highway connection between Wardensville and I-81 at Strasburg.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on August 16, 2013, 06:25:50 AM
Indeed.  Furthermore, HB's comment makes the argument that funding was the major obstacle in Virginia.  It's a lot more complicated than that.

I agree. 

Rep. Wolf is opposed (but then he seems opposed to nearly all highway improvement projects these days).

What I don't know are the positions of the local elected officials in Shenandoah County  and Frederick County, Va.  In order to get from the crest of North Mountain to I-81, it would presumably have to pass through both counties.  There's no mention of needed/desired future improvements to U.S. 48/Va. 55 on the Web sites of Frederick County or Shenandoah County (I checked).

Proponents of Corridor H in West Virginia would be smart to reach out to their neighbors in those two counties if they want an improved highway connection between Wardensville and I-81 at Strasburg.

As a resident, there is really no concensus one way or another among elected officials of Frederick/Shenandoah Co's., on Corridor H at this time. If the Feds/state want to build it, they will, counties have little input into it. As I have mentioned before, I attended pre-construction meetings on Corridor H in both counties, and Hardy Co. W.V.,  and as far as Rt 55/48 are concerned, nothing will be done in W.V. unless the exisiting road becomes "unserviceable", no conditions like that exist in Va., the road will be continue to be maintained as usual.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 16, 2013, 10:33:50 AM
As a resident, there is really no concensus one way or another among elected officials of Frederick/Shenandoah Co's., on Corridor H at this time.

That is the impression I draw from the lack of any mention on the planning maps of both counties.  Though I suppose if they were really opposed, the county elected officials in both could have language saying that, though they do not (or maybe I should put it this way - I searched the Web sites of both counties with  Google, and found no mention of Corridor H (or U.S. 48) either way).  Shenandoah County had a few hits on Route 55, but nothing that appeared related to Corridor H. 

If the Feds/state want to build it, they will, counties have little input into it. As I have mentioned before, I attended pre-construction meetings on Corridor H in both counties, and Hardy Co. W.V.,  and as far as Rt 55/48 are concerned, nothing will be done in W.V. unless the exisiting road becomes "unserviceable", no conditions like that exist in Va., the road will be continue to be maintained as usual.

There is some precedent in Virginia of the Commonwealth building highways that were bitterly opposed by local elected officials.  Probably the best (as in most-loudly opposed) example was I-66 across Arlington County in the 1970's, when most planned highways inside the Capital Beltway were removed from planning maps on both sides of the Potomac River, with the notable exception of I-66 and the cancelled (in the 1990's) Barney Circle Modification (since replaced by the reconstructed 11th Street Bridge and the interchange at its south end).

Arlington wanted I-66 cancelled and the Metrorail Orange Line constructed (which  is what happened with  the Green Line in Northeast D.C. and Prince George's County, Maryland), but VDH made it clear that there would be no money for the Orange Line without I-66, and the result is the downsized I-66 (Custis Memorial Parkway) with the Metrorail line down the median seen there today.

I also recall (from the Gribblenation article (http://www.gribblenation.com/wvpics/corrh/)) this:

Quote
Finally, the furthest east segment, Wardensville to the VA line, is in the most limbo.  Construction of this segment was deferred 20 years as a result of a February 2000 agreement with CHA.

As was stated upthread, I do not think construction funding is much of an issue, even though Virginia has billions of dollars in unfunded highway repair and improvement backlogs.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on August 19, 2013, 06:55:17 AM
But, to get an answer....there will be a House of Rep. member, local and state reps at the upcoming Shenandoah Co. Fair, will ask the question of them....
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 19, 2013, 05:59:50 PM
But, to get an answer....there will be a House of Rep. member, local and state reps at the upcoming Shenandoah Co. Fair, will ask the question of them....

The answer should be interesting. Thanks for asking it.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on August 19, 2013, 11:04:11 PM
http://www.gilmerfreepress.net/index.php/site/corridor_h_construction_could_help_troubled_stream/
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 20, 2013, 02:59:38 PM
http://www.gilmerfreepress.net/index.php/site/corridor_h_construction_could_help_troubled_stream/

This reminds me of the environmental stewardship work that is being funded as part of the Md. 200 project.

It's a lot of stream restoration and stormwater management retrofit work.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on August 21, 2013, 06:40:14 AM
That was offered up as part of the effort to quiet the environmentalists who were opposing construction of that section, and kept things locked up in court for a while.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on August 21, 2013, 10:15:11 AM
It's sad that it is the responsibility of WVDOH to fund and complete the project, not the coal companies that caused such damage to occur in the first place.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 21, 2013, 11:29:57 AM
That was offered up as part of the effort to quiet the environmentalists who were opposing construction of that section, and kept things locked up in court for a while.

To most radical environmentalists, environmental mitigation, even to mitigate damage inflicted by projects and entities having little or nothing to do with the highway project in question, means nothing. 

Getting the highway project cancelled is a priority above all else.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 21, 2013, 11:48:02 AM
It's sad that it is the responsibility of WVDOH to fund and complete the project, not the coal companies that caused such damage to occur in the first place.

That is a recurring theme over much of West Virginia  (and  I have not been to many of the counties in the southern part of the state, where I have been told the damage is much  greater than it is in the vicinity of Corridor H).  And there are is still some mining taking place near the Mount Storm generating station.

It's a problem in Maryland  and Pennsylvania as well.   Maryland's Department of the Environment has spent a small fortune to mitigate acid mine drainage from abandoned mines in the upper Potomac River watershed - one especially bad mine is located at Kempton in extreme southwest Garrett County, a short distance from the source of the Potomac at Fairfax Stone (and not especially far from the interim terminus of Corridor H near Davis).

When I-81 was newly constructed, the damage from coal strip mining was very obvious between U.S. 209 (Exit 107) and I-80 near Hazleton (Exit 151).  But in the intervening years, trees have grown up to hide most of that ugliness.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 02, 2013, 06:45:07 PM
I have posted quite a few images from Corridor H on Facebook.  Link via the posting below:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=10306.msg244300#msg244300 (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=10306.msg244300#msg244300)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on September 03, 2013, 12:45:21 PM
Nice pics. Are they installing a runaway truck ramp EB from the top of the mt.? Wonder what % grade that works out to?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 03, 2013, 01:15:29 PM
Nice pics. Are they installing a runaway truck ramp EB from the top of the mt.? Wonder what % grade that works out to?

Thank you.

There is no evidence of one along the open section of Corridor H that this ties into at W.Va. 93 (Scherr).

But since you asked, and it's an interesting question, I looked at the unopened section with Google (the images are fairly recent), and it appears that such a ramp is being built for eastbound (downhill) traffic just before the big bridge (completed for a while now) that will carry Corridor H over W.Va. 93.

Look for yourself here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=scherr,+wv&ll=39.228763,-79.162416&spn=0.018583,0.038581&hnear=Scherr,+Grant,+West+Virginia&gl=us&t=h&z=15).  That certainly might be a runaway ramp.

The steepest grade I have seen posted on Corridor H is 5% or maybe 6%.  I assume this will not be any steeper.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 03, 2013, 01:17:30 PM
are there any formal standards for which situations must have a runaway truck ramp installed?  or is it a seat-of-the-pants "would be a good idea if we put one here" sort of thing?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on September 04, 2013, 06:54:40 AM
Could be a runaway ramp, or the EB ramp for the Rt. 93 exit?? From the pics, looks like a steep enough drop from the top of the mt. to warrant one. I have not been up there since last fall, need to take a ride up there in the old ragtop soon. From the end of 48, how far is it up to Rt. 50 via Rt. 93?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on September 04, 2013, 09:19:11 AM
No, there is no eastbound ramp planned to WV 93.  The existing (and now open) access road on the east side of WV 93 comprises the access between the two routes.  Most likely, it's a runaway truck ramp.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on September 04, 2013, 10:29:01 AM
Where does this access road go to?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 04, 2013, 10:39:21 AM
Where does this access road go to?

a beautiful house.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: J N Winkler on September 04, 2013, 10:59:17 AM
are there any formal standards for which situations must have a runaway truck ramp installed?  or is it a seat-of-the-pants "would be a good idea if we put one here" sort of thing?

There are research reports on the economics of runaway truck ramp provision.  The latest edition of the AASHTO Green Book might also have warrants for runaway truck ramps along the lines of "When grade is steeper than X% or curves are involved, consider providing escape ramps."  Costs can be attributed both to runaway truck events and to construction and maintenance of ramps, so it is a conceptually simple cost-benefit comparison.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 04, 2013, 11:20:23 AM
No, there is no eastbound ramp planned to WV 93.  The existing (and now open) access road on the east side of WV 93 comprises the access between the two routes.  Most likely, it's a runaway truck ramp.

I agree with Adam's comment above.  The connector between U.S. 48 and W.Va. 93 is obviously intended to be permanent.  I assume that 93 will be rerouted onto Corridor H once the  sections between Scherr and Bismarck (and ultimately Davis) open to traffic.

Speaking of steep, that connector road between the current terminus of U.S. 48 and W.Va. 93 is very steep, at about 10% (!).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 04, 2013, 11:22:31 AM
are there any formal standards for which situations must have a runaway truck ramp installed?  or is it a seat-of-the-pants "would be a good idea if we put one here" sort of thing?

There are research reports on the economics of runaway truck ramp provision.  The latest edition of the AASHTO Green Book might also have warrants for runaway truck ramps along the lines of "When grade is steeper than X% or curves are involved, consider providing escape ramps."  Costs can be attributed both to runaway truck events and to construction and maintenance of ramps, so it is a conceptually simple cost-benefit comparison.

Traffic headed east ("down the mountain," in this case the Allegheny Front) will have a relatively straight stretch until the ramp, then the road will curve pretty sharply  to the right (south).  So it is a logical place for such a ramp.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on September 04, 2013, 11:43:50 AM
I'm surprised that there are no "To US 48" signs at the intersection of WV 42 and WV 93. They sure went up in a hurry on WV 42 when Corridor H was opened as far west as Knobley Road.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 04, 2013, 11:47:38 AM
I'm surprised that there are no "To US 48" signs at the intersection of WV 42 and WV 93. They sure went up in a hurry on WV 42 when Corridor H was opened as far west as Knobley Road.

Great minds think alike.  I was asking myself that question.  Maybe WVDOT figured that the section between W.Va. 93 and Bismarck will be open so soon that they did not want to bother - though on the other hand, such signage would be useful even after U.S. 48 is open to Bismarck and then to Davis.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on September 04, 2013, 12:10:28 PM
Based on what I saw when I drove through there (8/16), they are at least a full calendar year away from opening anything to the west of WV 93. There's a bridge that will take US 48 across WV 42/WV 93 up near the top of the mountain. They'll have to route 42/93 traffic under it so they can blast through where the current road now passes. I couldn't tell if there is going to be an interchange there or not, but there is going to be one where 48 crosses 93 between 42 and Mt. Storm Lake. That would be the next logical section of independent use that could be opened.

Once the four-lane is finished all the way to Davis, I think US 48 could be signed along existing US 219 to Elkins and then on US 33 west to Weston.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 04, 2013, 01:02:19 PM
Based on what I saw when I drove through there (8/16), they are at least a full calendar year away from opening anything to the west of WV 93. There's a bridge that will take US 48 across WV 42/WV 93 up near the top of the mountain. They'll have to route 42/93 traffic under it so they can blast through where the current road now passes. I couldn't tell if there is going to be an interchange there or not, but there is going to be one where 48 crosses 93 between 42 and Mt. Storm Lake. That would be the next logical section of independent use that could be opened.

A lot  of that work appears to have been completed, and it looks like they were ready to start pavement work west of the mountain crest in the direction of Mount Storm Lake and the DVP electric generating station.  The bridge that will carry Corridor H over the railroad spur that serves the power plant appeared to be ready to have stringers hung and the deck paved. A short section of the westbound lanes between the power plant and the Grant Count/Tucker County line has actually been paved.

But - the elevation there is high (by east-of-the-Mississippi standards).  According to Google, the elevation at the crest of the mountain, where U.S. 48 will cross W.Va. 42/W.Va. 93, is between 2800 and 3000 feet above sea level, and then the alignment rises to between 3200 and  3400 feet near the lake. 

That means that the construction season is shorter than it is at lower elevations.  How much shorter, I don't know.

Once the four-lane is finished all the way to Davis, I think US 48 could be signed along existing US 219 to Elkins and then on US 33 west to Weston.

I think that's a great idea.  I hope WVDOT is planning that.

I do wonder if the published plans for final engineering and design, and construction start between Parsons and Davis are really as far in the future as WVDOT says on its Web page for the  section (http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/map3.html) - 2025 and 2031 respectively.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on September 04, 2013, 01:47:07 PM
That timeline for the Parsons/Davis section has been on the Corrridor H site since the beginning. The section going to Bismarck is supposed to be open late next year.
As far as climate for construction goes... according to a friend who was running heavy equipment during the construction of the first section going west from Wardensville, they worked during any good weather, regardless of temperature, biggest limiting factors were fog/heavy snow, or saturated soil. And, maybe an early completion bonus for the G.C.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 04, 2013, 04:13:39 PM
That timeline for the Parsons/Davis section has been on the Corrridor H site since the beginning. The section going to Bismarck is supposed to be open late next year.

Agreed on both points.  I get the impression (from those persons and groups in favor of Corridor H) that they would love to move those dates closer to now - by  a lot.

As far as climate for construction goes... according to a friend who was running heavy equipment during the construction of the first section going west from Wardensville, they worked during any good weather, regardless of temperature, biggest limiting factors were fog/heavy snow, or saturated soil.

But it gets to be more of a challenge to pour (and cure) concrete when it is cold.  It can be done, but a lot of "extra" heating is needed when it is cold (I've seen large construction projects built out of concrete under way in Finland and Sweden during the long Nordic winters - the contractors put up massive amounts of scaffolding and tarps around the project, and keep the air inside the tarps warmed while the concrete cures).

And, maybe an early completion bonus for the G.C.

Had not thought about that.  If there is a bonus to be paid for getting done ahead of schedule, that will motivate the contractor(s).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on September 04, 2013, 11:29:50 PM
Check this web page:
http://www.wvcorridorh.com/mapping/
Several of the maps have been updated recently. Check maps 33 and 34 - that does look like a runaway truck ramp off the eastbound lanes in the location discussed upthread.
Other parts of that Corridor H site have not been updated in at least a year.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: machpost on September 05, 2013, 10:56:40 AM
That timeline for the Parsons/Davis section has been on the Corrridor H site since the beginning. The section going to Bismarck is supposed to be open late next year.

According to this article (http://www.dailymail.com/News/statenews/201307140047), work on the Davis to Scherr section should be wrapped up late this year or early next. That seems like a rather ambitious goal to me.

This story (http://www.wboy.com/story/20567690/corridor-h-progress-seen-during-helicopter-tour) claims that it will reach Davis sometime this year.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 05, 2013, 03:15:18 PM
That timeline for the Parsons/Davis section has been on the Corrridor H site since the beginning. The section going to Bismarck is supposed to be open late next year.

According to this article (http://www.dailymail.com/News/statenews/201307140047), work on the Davis to Scherr section should be wrapped up late this year or early next. That seems like a rather ambitious goal to me.

The contractor has made a lot of progress on the segment between Bismarck and Scherr, and I suppose that could be done - but the bridges that will carry Corridor H  over W.Va. 42/W.Va. 93 - and over the railroad at the generating station - have not had their stringers hung yet (though the bridge piers appear to be complete and ready for the stringers).

This story (http://www.wboy.com/story/20567690/corridor-h-progress-seen-during-helicopter-tour) claims that it will reach Davis sometime this year.

That seems optimistic, since the grading of the roadbed is not yet complete from Davis to the Grant County/Tucker County border.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: machpost on September 17, 2013, 11:16:16 AM
I passed through the present construction area last weekend, and they're working seven days a week. It looked like paving was complete at Bismarck, near the 93-42 split. Westward, along 93 toward Davis, a lot of work remains to be done. Depending on the amount of paving that still needs to be completed between Bismarck and Scherr, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that section open to traffic within a few months.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on September 17, 2013, 12:22:31 PM
Even if paving was done, it may still take them a couple months to finish things up and open the road.  I've seen that with previous segments (most notably Moorefield to Knobley Rd).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 19, 2013, 07:02:11 AM
Even if paving was done, it may still take them a couple months to finish things up and open the road.  I've seen that with previous segments (most notably Moorefield to Knobley Rd).

Yes, and the difference in elevation (which may matter to some extent) is impressive.  Bismarck is probably the highest point along the entire Corridor H, at over 3,000 feet above sea level.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on September 19, 2013, 10:40:44 AM
Being that the some of the leaves are starting to turn out my way, they should be in full color up on Corridor H in a couple of weeks or so...early this year for some reason.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 19, 2013, 09:57:47 PM
Being that the some of the leaves are starting to turn out my way, they should be in full color up on Corridor H in a couple of weeks or so...early this year for some reason.

Corridor H could attract a lot of tourists during leaf season - lots less congested than Skyline Drive, and no toll whoops, entrance fee.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on September 23, 2013, 07:14:40 AM
Being that the some of the leaves are starting to turn out my way, they should be in full color up on Corridor H in a couple of weeks or so...early this year for some reason.

Corridor H could attract a lot of tourists during leaf season - lots less congested than Skyline Drive, and no toll whoops, entrance fee.

I've told a lot of folks here at work in The Big City to do just that, plus many, many other roads less traveled.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on September 23, 2013, 07:25:50 AM
OT fall color rant:

This:

(http://www.wvforestry.com/images/FallColorMap06Final.JPG)

is WV's fall color map.  Been that way for as long as I can remember.

By county lines   :confused: 

Leaf colors change at the county lines? 

How hard would it be to do a map which takes into account the actual situation on the ground, which is to say takes into account elevation?

Rant over.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on September 23, 2013, 08:04:43 AM
Shouldn't the market fill that gap? Why do you want the government to give you the map?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on September 23, 2013, 10:12:18 AM
From my experience, that map is wrong, at least the northern part. There will still be color in eastern Hardy, Grant, Pendleton, and Frederick/Shenandoah on our side of the border, and the leaves will be gone on the Front/western slope.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on September 23, 2013, 09:55:35 PM
West Virginia's not the only state that produced a fall foliage map. Kentucky has a whole "ColorFall Kentucky" campaign that ramps up every year. The state tourism agency puts out maps (and I don't remember if they follow county lines or not) and spits out press releases like crazy.

Speaking of fall foliage, our peak is usually the third week of October. Which means the scenery for the US 460 meet should be great, especially up around Elkhorn City and Breaks.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on September 23, 2013, 10:38:37 PM
Shouldn't the market fill that gap? Why do you want the government to give you the map?
Politics aside, I would think leaf enthusiasts would create maps themselves.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on October 01, 2013, 02:27:49 PM
Being that the some of the leaves are starting to turn out my way, they should be in full color up on Corridor H in a couple of weeks or so...early this year for some reason.

Corridor H could attract a lot of tourists during leaf season - lots less congested than Skyline Drive, and no toll whoops, entrance fee.

Heh....the comment above seems more prescient than ever because Skyline Drive is now CLOSED due to the government shutdown.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on October 01, 2013, 04:24:06 PM
Shouldn't the market fill that gap? Why do you want the government to give you the map?
Politics aside, I would think leaf enthusiasts would create maps themselves.

With West Virginia, it is very much region dependent. The map is just a general guide. Here is how specific it is:

Dolly Sods usually peaks in late September and early October based on my last four years up there. It's one of the wettest areas in the state, one of the windiest and along the Allegheny Front. It's really awesome to watch from Bear Rocks the weather systems as they end and begin overhead.

At the bottom of the Sods, to the west, is Canaan Valley, which usually peaks a week after Dolly Sods.

To the east of the Sods is North Fork Mountain, one of the driest mountain ranges in the eastern United States. It's precipitation is minuscule compared to the rest of the state, and especially Dolly Sods. It's also much warmer and the colors won't start changing until mid October. I did a hike up to Dolly Sods in the winter with a friend a few years back and we were going through 2+ feet of snow at the Sods, and when we climbed up to North Fork Mountain the next day, we had less than one inch.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 01, 2013, 04:45:08 PM
With West Virginia, it is very much region dependent. The map is just a general guide. Here is how specific it is:

Dolly Sods usually peaks in late September and early October based on my last four years up there. It's one of the wettest areas in the state, one of the windiest and along the Allegheny Front. It's really awesome to watch from Bear Rocks the weather systems as they end and begin overhead.

There is massive elevation change there, especially headed to or from the Allegheny Front.  Even in the middle of summer, it's nearly always cooler at the top of the Front than it is to the east.

At the bottom of the Sods, to the west, is Canaan Valley, which usually peaks a week after Dolly Sods.

Canaan Valley is still pretty high, but not as high as the Eastern  Continental Divide.

To the east of the Sods is North Fork Mountain, one of the driest mountain ranges in the eastern United States. It's precipitation is minuscule compared to the rest of the state, and especially Dolly Sods. It's also much warmer and the colors won't start changing until mid October. I did a hike up to Dolly Sods in the winter with a friend a few years back and we were going through 2+ feet of snow at the Sods, and when we climbed up to North Fork Mountain the next day, we had less than one inch.

And even further east is Shenandoah County, Virginia (just east of Great North Mountain) - I recently learned that Shenandoah County is in a "mini" rain shadow, with mountain ranges to the east and west, and is one of the driest places in Virginia.  Hence a fair number of vineyards and wineries there.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Takumi on October 01, 2013, 07:03:43 PM
Heh....the comment above seems more prescient than ever because Skyline Drive is now CLOSED due to the government shutdown.
Yes, I have plans to attend a car meet that involved driving on Skyline Drive this weekend. The VA 230 Prelude Meet doesn't have the same ring to it as The Skyline Drive Prelude meet, but hey, curvy mountain road hoonage is curvy mountain road hoonage, and given the leaves are just starting to change here, there should be some decent color up there Saturday. Plus that's $15 I can put elsewhere on the trip.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 02, 2013, 01:57:33 AM
I'd think the climb on US 211 would be better for "curvey mountain road hoonage" than VA 230.  Or is it because of too much traffic on 211?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 02, 2013, 06:43:59 AM
With West Virginia, it is very much region dependent. The map is just a general guide. Here is how specific it is:

Dolly Sods usually peaks in late September and early October based on my last four years up there. It's one of the wettest areas in the state, one of the windiest and along the Allegheny Front. It's really awesome to watch from Bear Rocks the weather systems as they end and begin overhead.

There is massive elevation change there, especially headed to or from the Allegheny Front.  Even in the middle of summer, it's nearly always cooler at the top of the Front than it is to the east.

At the bottom of the Sods, to the west, is Canaan Valley, which usually peaks a week after Dolly Sods.

Canaan Valley is still pretty high, but not as high as the Eastern  Continental Divide.

To the east of the Sods is North Fork Mountain, one of the driest mountain ranges in the eastern United States. It's precipitation is minuscule compared to the rest of the state, and especially Dolly Sods. It's also much warmer and the colors won't start changing until mid October. I did a hike up to Dolly Sods in the winter with a friend a few years back and we were going through 2+ feet of snow at the Sods, and when we climbed up to North Fork Mountain the next day, we had less than one inch.

And even further east is Shenandoah County, Virginia (just east of Great North Mountain) - I recently learned that Shenandoah County is in a "mini" rain shadow, with mountain ranges to the east and west, and is one of the driest places in Virginia.  Hence a fair number of vineyards and wineries there.

Not sure if that applies this year or not. Shenandoah Co. has had more rain than in Frederick Co. You can tell the difference in the overall color of the trees, and fields. The farmers up there got 2 really good cuttings of hay this summer. I noticed the same effect on Sunday when I went to Capon Bridge for the Founder's Day Festival. I went over north Mt. on 55/48, then took 259 N. to Yellow Springs, then River Rd. to C. Bridge, everything's a lot greener there. (BTW, theat is a real nice little scenic drive for you City Folk). The Valley was once the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy", due to the clay soil which is rich in minerals. That's why the Union burned it at the end of the war.

BTW, the Fall Festival in Wardensville is next weekend (Oct. 11-13).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Takumi on October 02, 2013, 11:06:30 AM
I'd think the climb on US 211 would be better for "curvey mountain road hoonage" than VA 230.  Or is it because of too much traffic on 211?

The meet's main site is Heavenly Acres Campground off VA 230 near Stanardsville. The meeting place is in Warrenton. The initial route between them was indeed US 211 to Skyline to US 33 to 230, but the organizer changed the route to US 29 to 230. I offered the compromise route of 211 to Sperryville, then US 522/VA 231 to rejoin US 29 at Madison, but he wasn't comfortable with the idea since he'd never driven it. SR 810 is right there, as well, even though it doesn't look like it has a whole lot of elevation changes.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 02, 2013, 12:57:05 PM
Not sure if that applies this year or not.

I don't claim to know - and  I believe your local knowledge is a whole lot  better than mine.

I was educated to the microclimate of Shenandoah  County by the owner of a vineyard and winery just west of I-81 at Tom's Brook.

Shenandoah Co. has had more rain than in Frederick Co. You can tell the difference in the overall color of the trees, and fields. The farmers up there got 2 really good cuttings of hay this summer. I noticed the same effect on Sunday when I went to Capon Bridge for the Founder's Day Festival. I went over north Mt. on 55/48, then took 259 N. to Yellow Springs, then River Rd. to C. Bridge, everything's a lot greener there. (BTW, theat is a real nice little scenic drive for you City Folk). The Valley was once the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy", due to the clay soil which is rich in minerals. That's why the Union burned it at the end of the war.

I have driven 259 from U.S. 50 south across a chunk of West Virginia (Baker and Lost River) and back to I-81/U.S. 11.  But not River Road.

BTW, the Fall Festival in Wardensville is next weekend (Oct. 11-13).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 02, 2013, 01:41:28 PM
Not sure if that applies this year or not.

I don't claim to know - and  I believe your local knowledge is a whole lot  better than mine.



I was educated to the microclimate of Shenandoah  County by the owner of a vineyard and winery just west of I-81 at Tom's Brook.

Shenandoah Co. has had more rain than in Frederick Co. You can tell the difference in the overall color of the trees, and fields. The farmers up there got 2 really good cuttings of hay this summer. I noticed the same effect on Sunday when I went to Capon Bridge for the Founder's Day Festival. I went over north Mt. on 55/48, then took 259 N. to Yellow Springs, then River Rd. to C. Bridge, everything's a lot greener there. (BTW, theat is a real nice little scenic drive for you City Folk). The Valley was once the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy", due to the clay soil which is rich in minerals. That's why the Union burned it at the end of the war.

I have driven 259 from U.S. 50 south across a chunk of West Virginia (Baker and Lost River) and back to I-81/U.S. 11.  But not River Road.

BTW, the Fall Festival in Wardensville is next weekend (Oct. 11-13).

From Wardensville north to Rt. 50 @ Gore, a very scenic section, try it sometime. River Road leads WNW from 259 @ Yellow Springs to Capon Bridge.


Fixed quote. (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=4000.0) - rmf67
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on October 09, 2013, 10:06:32 AM
A lot of work is still ongoing west of Elkins on Corridor H that was completed IIRC 2003. It wasn't in that poor of condition, but it did have some minor joint separation (tar applied in the joints a few years back) and some patches that were done in asphalt. It's being extensively patched with concrete and diamond grinded.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 09, 2013, 10:43:32 AM
A lot of work is still ongoing west of Elkins on Corridor H that was completed IIRC 2003. It wasn't in that poor of condition, but it did have some minor joint separation (tar applied in the joints a few years back) and some patches that were done in asphalt. It's being extensively patched with concrete and diamond grinded.

I was on it back in early September and it seemed to be in very good condition.

Do you know if WVDOH is going to sign "western" Corridor H as U.S. 48 before the missing segment  between Kerens and Davis is built?

H.B. suggested it might be time to sign U.S. 219 as U.S. 48 through Parsons.  I think it's a good idea.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 09, 2013, 11:06:09 AM
WV had to do something once the road from US 220 to Knobley Road was completed. They opted to sign US 48 to that point and then go back and sign it along WV 55. They could have done what they did with the short segment of Coalfields Expressway near Beckley and sign it as WV 48, but they opted for the US route signage. So I think it's therefore logical to sign US 48 on the new route when it opens, then along existing US 219 and US 33.

I also think it's time for Virginia to remove the VA 55 signage west of I-81 and West Virginia to take down WV 55 signs on that long section of highway that is also co-signed with other routes. Right now the only section of WV 55 that is not signed with another route is at the highway's very southwestern end.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on October 09, 2013, 02:53:36 PM
It is quite confusing, with US 33, 219 and 250, WV 55, 92 and 259 all occupying it at some point. The old alignments should be reserved for those more minor routes, with the mainline being reserved for either US 33 or US 48.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on October 09, 2013, 03:03:52 PM
Slightly off-topic but somewhat related....connecting from the eastern portion of Corridor H to the eastern end of Corridor D at Clarksburg. Assuming clinches and seeing the western part of Corridor H are not an issue, what would you folks consider the best route? Follow "Future Corridor H" (for lack of a better term) through Thomas and Parsons to Elkins, or go up to Route 50 and take that west?

Last time, heading east, we took Corridor D to I-79, then Corridor H to Elkins before turning southeast to Seneca Rocks. I have not travelled the section between Elkins and Thomas, nor have I travelled US-50 between US-219 in Maryland and I-79. I'm sure in terms of travel time Corridor H is the faster route, but just how is that part of US-50? I assume it's a two-lane road. That doesn't bother me much unless it's super-twisty with minimal passing zones.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on October 09, 2013, 03:10:42 PM
In hindsight, building Corridor H along US 50 to Clarksburg might have been a better option. It would only add about 10 miles to Charleston-bound traffic, while saving 30-35 miles (over the I-79 jog) for Parkersburg-bound traffic.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 09, 2013, 03:22:42 PM
Last time, heading east, we took Corridor D to I-79, then Corridor H to Elkins before turning southeast to Seneca Rocks. I have not travelled the section between Elkins and Thomas, nor have I travelled US-50 between US-219 in Maryland and I-79. I'm sure in terms of travel time Corridor H is the faster route, but just how is that part of US-50? I assume it's a two-lane road. That doesn't bother me much unless it's super-twisty with minimal passing zones.

If you are coming from the future west end of eastern Corridor H in Davis (where W.Va. 93 (Power Plant Highway) ends) make a right onto W.Va. 32  and follow that to U.S. 219.  W.Va. 32 ends at U.S. 219 - you can go straight ahead if you want to go north to Oakland, Md., or make a left across the large bridge over the North Fork of the Blackwater River to head south.  Aside from Oakland, you can also head north to Fairfax Stone State Park, the source of the Potomac River, which is a short distance east of U.S. 219 off of Kempton Road.

U.S. 219 between Thomas and Kerens (where western Corridor H picks-up) is nearly all two-lane arterial.

Going south on 219 from Thomas, you pass a windfarm on the west side of the  Allegheny range, and there is a scenic view on the right after that.  Then there is a long and decently steep grade downhill to Parsons, with sharp horseshoe-type curve about halfway down. 

Watch out for strict speed limit enforcement through the corporate part of Parsons by the Tucker County Sheriff's Office (I don't know if Parsons has a municipal police department).  Like  some other small West Virginia towns, there is a Sheetz in downtown Parsons.  From Parsons to Kerens, U.S. 219 is a reasonably straight 50 or 55 MPH road.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on October 09, 2013, 03:50:43 PM
Maybe I wasn't clear. I know what the route is. I was asking which route you guys think is the better way west to Ohio from "eastern" Corridor H: "western" Corridor H (and the connecting roads required to get there) or north to US-50?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 09, 2013, 04:30:45 PM
Maybe I wasn't clear. I know what the route is. I was asking which route you guys think is the better way west to Ohio from "eastern" Corridor H: "western" Corridor H (and the connecting roads required to get there) or north to US-50?

Sorry. 

I have not driven much of U.S. 50 west of Redhouse, Maryland toward I-79 (driven all of it between Redhouse and Ocean City, and all of its miles in California).  Looks like a lot of sharp curves between Redhouse and Bridgeport, W.Va. on Google.

West of Bridgeport, I believe it is a four-lane divided ARC Corridor D) highway to Parkersburg.

Corridor H (mostly U.S. 33) from Kerens to I-79 at Weston is a decent road, much like eastern Corridor H, but with a few signalized intersections.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Mapmikey on October 09, 2013, 08:02:29 PM
Going via Elkins is way less twisty than US 50...

US 219 can be driven at 45-55 nearly everywhere outside of towns while US 50 has switchbacks.

Even though it is 24 miles shorter via US 50, it is only 8 minutes faster.  And this assumes you don't get stuck behind a coal truck, which happens to me almost every time I go riding around WV...

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 09, 2013, 08:12:33 PM
Maybe I wasn't clear. I know what the route is. I was asking which route you guys think is the better way west to Ohio from "eastern" Corridor H: "western" Corridor H (and the connecting roads required to get there) or north to US-50?

Corridor H to I-79 to Corridor D. The two-lane section of US 219 between Thomas and Montrose is not that long, really, and not too terribly bad of a road. I've driven US 50 from Clarksburg east to the Romney area once, and wouldn't recommend it.  My memory is that it's a slow route with few passing zones, more trucks than you might expect and some not-so-fun mountains. I think the longer mileage involved in using H would be more than made up because the speed limit on H is 65 (drive 70-75) and the speed limit on I-79 is 70 (drive 75-80).

If I was going to take US 50, at this moment with the way the roads currently exist, I'd go north on WV 93 to hit it, instead of going all the way to US 219 (WV 24 makes a nice little cut-off that doesn't involve going into Maryland on 219, if you do choose that option). I've never driven WV 42 between Bismarck and US 50; it might be a decent option as well.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on October 09, 2013, 09:49:47 PM
We took 42 south from 50 this past July on our way home from Fallingwater at the end of an anniversary weekend trip to Pennsylvania (from Fallingwater we went south to US-40, east to US-219, south to US-50, east to WV-42, south to WV-93, and back north to the access road for Corridor H). It was fine, moved right along, and it was a short distance. I was more concerned about Route 50 west of there and it sounds like it might be more hassle than it's worth. If it would allow me to clinch US-50 in Maryland that'd be one thing, but since I've never been out past Salisbury to Ocean City and I doubt I'll ever go there it's not really an issue.

Thanks for the feedback. I anticipate a trip to Dayton on fairly short notice sometime soon and I'd rather go via one of those routes than via Pennsylvania's Interstates.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 09, 2013, 11:38:46 PM
Quote
Thanks for the feedback. I anticipate a trip to Dayton on fairly short notice sometime soon and I'd rather go via one of those routes than via Pennsylvania's Interstates.

Not related to Corridor H, but in light of this, have you considered a Cumberland-Uniontown-Washington PA routing (I-68 to US 40 to PA 43 to I-70 in our case)?  We did this about 5 years ago heading west from BWI and it wasn't too bad.  Much more direct than going through West Virginia, and avoids both Breezewood and the PA Turnpike proper.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on October 10, 2013, 07:56:49 AM
Quote
Thanks for the feedback. I anticipate a trip to Dayton on fairly short notice sometime soon and I'd rather go via one of those routes than via Pennsylvania's Interstates.

Not related to Corridor H, but in light of this, have you considered a Cumberland-Uniontown-Washington PA routing (I-68 to US 40 to PA 43 to I-70 in our case)?  We did this about 5 years ago heading west from BWI and it wasn't too bad.  Much more direct than going through West Virginia, and avoids both Breezewood and the PA Turnpike proper.

We did a route similar to that last time: I-68 to Exit 14 for US-219, then up US-40 (which is just north of I-68 when you exit at 219) to Uniontown and up the toll road to I-70. The toll road, in particular, was a nice drive (aside from crummy weather) because it was new and there was almost nobody else on the road. I think we saw two other cars in the entire stretch. But I think this time if we went I-68 we would continue to I-79 and then drop down to Corridor D. It's a much better road than I-70, has almost no traffic, and is way more scenic.

The other thing is, my wife has driven to Dayton many times, way more often than I have, and she was very happy to learn of an alternate to I-70. So that's a reason to go another way. Any time an alternate route has a high Wife Acceptance Factor it's a GOOD thing!

The interesting thing was that on our last trip, coming home via Corridor D and Corridor H (with that detour to Seneca Rocks) was a shorter distance than the I-70/I-68/Uniontown route we used on the way out, although I didn't make a note of exactly how much shorter (I could certainly work it out using Google Maps or something).

Edited to add: OK, it was only three miles shorter. But on the way out we also went around the east side of the Beltway and across the ICC (the HO/T lanes were not yet open), and we would no longer do that. So I'd guess about 10 miles difference in the end.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 10, 2013, 11:56:24 AM
There are a couple of cut-offs that could be used from US 33 to Clarksburg. First is US 250 to Grafton and then hit US 50, but the one time I drove that route, I don't remember it being particularly fast. (Although you would get to see the Phillipi covered bridge). Second is WV 20 from Buckhannon, but I've never driven it.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on October 10, 2013, 12:28:46 PM
Speed isn't necessarily always the most important thing if there's something interesting on the way. Frankly, part of the reason I asked the question was due to boredom with the Interstate. I'm sure all of you have been in that position at some point.

Thanks for the tip on Philippi. I looked it up on Street View. Didn't know there was a covered bridge there until you mentioned it.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Mapmikey on October 10, 2013, 01:35:59 PM
If Phillipi interests you, it would be better to use WV 72 and WV 38 leaving US 219 at Parsons.  WV 38 isn't bad at all.

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bluecountry on October 10, 2013, 04:25:06 PM
I'm glad to hear about Corridor H- on my revamping of the interstate system in If You Controlled the Highway System , I felt I-74 or I-66 could be extended through West Virginia for a route to Cincinnati , Columbus, and Richmond. What's this obsession about US 48? Should US 48 reappear because I-68 took its place. We might as have the AASHTO  take over a bunch of state and county roads and call it US 66.
There is absolutely no need to improve US 48 from 81 through WV into an interstate.  This area is sparesly populated and long distance traffic is already served by 70/68/64.  Let's not destroy nature here.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on October 10, 2013, 05:21:28 PM
Philippi probably has the last covered bridge on a mainline U.S. Route (bypassed 2001 by a truck route, but the mainline didn't move).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on October 10, 2013, 06:40:03 PM
Additionally, Corridor H is 65 MPH. Interstates are only 5 MPH higher in West Virginia, so there is marginal time difference considering the cost of having to remove all of those newly built intersections - as far and few between as they are. Interchanges already exist for every major cross road, which is something other states should do (ahem, Kentucky).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 11, 2013, 09:22:17 AM
I'm glad to hear about Corridor H- on my revamping of the interstate system in If You Controlled the Highway System , I felt I-74 or I-66 could be extended through West Virginia for a route to Cincinnati , Columbus, and Richmond. What's this obsession about US 48? Should US 48 reappear because I-68 took its place. We might as have the AASHTO  take over a bunch of state and county roads and call it US 66.
There is absolutely no need to improve US 48 from 81 through WV into an interstate.  This area is sparesly populated and long distance traffic is already served by 70/68/64.  Let's not destroy nature here.

Thank you very much! I live in this area, enough has been changed by the mass immigration of City Folk and their ilk.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 11, 2013, 09:40:37 AM
I'm glad to hear about Corridor H- on my revamping of the interstate system in If You Controlled the Highway System , I felt I-74 or I-66 could be extended through West Virginia for a route to Cincinnati , Columbus, and Richmond. What's this obsession about US 48? Should US 48 reappear because I-68 took its place. We might as have the AASHTO  take over a bunch of state and county roads and call it US 66.

It makes sense to have one route number for the corridor since it's designed to be a through route between I-79 and I-81. Otherwise you have US 33 to US 219 to WV 32 to WV 93 to WV 55 to VA 55.

Although having the westernmost 30-something miles of US 48 co-signed with US 33 (and the last 15 miles also signed with US 119) and then having US 48 arbitrarily end at I-79 while US 33 and 119 continue on sticks in my craw a little. Not to mention that about 30 miles of US 48 will also be signed with US 219 when the construction is finally finished.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bluecountry on October 11, 2013, 12:01:41 PM
I'm glad to hear about Corridor H- on my revamping of the interstate system in If You Controlled the Highway System , I felt I-74 or I-66 could be extended through West Virginia for a route to Cincinnati , Columbus, and Richmond. What's this obsession about US 48? Should US 48 reappear because I-68 took its place. We might as have the AASHTO  take over a bunch of state and county roads and call it US 66.
There is absolutely no need to improve US 48 from 81 through WV into an interstate.  This area is sparesly populated and long distance traffic is already served by 70/68/64.  Let's not destroy nature here.

Thank you very much! I live in this area, enough has been changed by the mass immigration of City Folk and their ilk.
I visit that area, it is absolutely beautiful and pure without chain restaurants.
We have enough east-week routes through the mountains and do not need to waste limited resources on new roads to induce sprawl in lightly traveled areas.
Instead use those funds to fix current gridlocked roads and corridors.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 11, 2013, 12:40:00 PM
Only "chain" restaurant is Four Corners at Star Tannery, just before you go up North Mt. They have a chain to block off the back of the restaurant... badabing.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 11, 2013, 01:56:02 PM
http://www.arc.gov/adhs
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on October 11, 2013, 02:08:50 PM
In hindsight, building Corridor H along US 50 to Clarksburg might have been a better option. It would only add about 10 miles to Charleston-bound traffic, while saving 30-35 miles (over the I-79 jog) for Parkersburg-bound traffic.

No, it would not have been.  Corridor H is far more useful in providing connectivity to the surrounding area and south on its current alignment through Elkins and Buckhannon than if it had been an extension of Corridor D.  Grafton is small and the rest of the area is lightly populated.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 13, 2013, 02:17:33 PM
I don't think anyone's arguing that a 4-lane US 33 from Weston to Elkins is unjustified.  I think the point being made is that it would have made more sense to tie Corridor H more directly into Corridor D.  From a systems perspective, extending Corridor D east along US 50 to Winchester makes more sense than the Corridor H routing east of Elkins.  Heck, you could even tie it into Corridor H (and I-66) by using WV 42 between Mt. Storm and Bismark....would've avoided some of the environmental sensitivity/issues between Parsons and Thomas.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 13, 2013, 06:52:45 PM
I don't think anyone's arguing that a 4-lane US 33 from Weston to Elkins is unjustified.  I think the point being made is that it would have made more sense to tie Corridor H more directly into Corridor D.  From a systems perspective, extending Corridor D east along US 50 to Winchester makes more sense than the Corridor H routing east of Elkins.  Heck, you could even tie it into Corridor H (and I-66) by using WV 42 between Mt. Storm and Bismark....would've avoided some of the environmental sensitivity/issues between Parsons and Thomas.

Of course, the original Corridor H routing was supposed to tie into I-81 at Harrisonburg, hence that isolated four-lane portion east of Elkins that was among the first segments of the route built before the corridor was rerouted.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on October 13, 2013, 08:00:12 PM
Of course, the original Corridor H routing was supposed to tie into I-81 at Harrisonburg, hence that isolated four-lane portion east of Elkins that was among the first segments of the route built before the corridor was rerouted.
Nope:
(http://cartweb.geography.ua.edu/lizardtech/iserv/getimage?cat=North%20America%20and%20United%20States&item=US1965a.sid&page=&cp=0.65,0.34&lev=2&wid=600&hei=400&props=img%28Name,Description%29&bg=ffffff&)

from http://cartweb.geography.ua.edu/lizardtech/iserv/calcrgn?cat=North%20America%20and%20United%20States&item=/US1965a.sid&wid=500&hei=400&props=item%28Name,Description%29,cat%28Name,Description%29&style=simple/view-dhtml.xsl
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 13, 2013, 08:27:58 PM
I'll have to find and scan the old WV state maps that show the proposed alignment of US 33 that say otherwise.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on October 13, 2013, 08:35:59 PM
I'll have to find and scan the old WV state maps that show the proposed alignment of US 33 that say otherwise.
You're not talking about the second map on this page, are you? http://www.gribblenation.com/wvpics/corrh/
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 14, 2013, 02:03:48 AM
The Gribblenation page SPUI linked to has it documented.  Corridor H was never intended to go to Harrisonburg.  The initial plan was to continue it east of Elkins along US 33 (hence "The Racetrack", the isolated 4-lane on 33 east of Elkins) to near Seneca Rocks, where the two options were to either head northeast towards Petersburg and Moorefield and east to Strasburg, or continue east to meet I-81 at New Market (and US 211).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 14, 2013, 10:13:01 AM
I'll have to find and scan the old WV state maps that show the proposed alignment of US 33 that say otherwise.
You're not talking about the second map on this page, are you? http://www.gribblenation.com/wvpics/corrh/

No, the map I remember had a proposed route marked as US 33. That map doesn't have a route number. My old maps are packed away in three or four different places and I don't have handy access to them.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on October 14, 2013, 03:35:03 PM
Um, the second map on that page does have it marked as US 33...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 14, 2013, 10:29:11 PM
I'll have to find and scan the old WV state maps that show the proposed alignment of US 33 that say otherwise.
You're not talking about the second map on this page, are you? http://www.gribblenation.com/wvpics/corrh/

No, the map I remember had a proposed route marked as US 33. That map doesn't have a route number. My old maps are packed away in three or four different places and I don't have handy access to them.

Go back to that page and search for "1995 WVDOT Map showing the new northern route of Corridor H.".  The map shows that route as US-33.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on October 15, 2013, 09:28:11 PM
   I drove through the construction area last Friday. I was hoping the weather would improve the further east I went, but it got worse. In Tucker County, there are a couple sections where it looks like they're ready to pave the eastbound lanes; I'm guessing they'll move both lanes of traffic onto the new pavement while they build the westbound ones.
   The fog got much thicker as I crossed into Grant County. The railroad overpass looked about complete. It looked like they had actually paved at least one of the big bridges below the dam breast. I turned onto Grassy Ridge Road and looked out off the overpass - the eastbound lanes were paved in both directions as far as the eye could see, and the paving was coming up to near the overpass on the westbound lanes. (Shoulders were not paved yet.)
   On Route 42 south of the gas station, traffic was redirected onto the new right of way. The ends weren't complete and flaggers were there. The US 48 overpass was done, and construction workers had their cars parked on it. It's only been two or three months since I was last up that way, probably closer to three, and I was surprised how much work has been done since then.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on October 16, 2013, 07:24:06 AM
April 29, 2012

Along WV 93:

(http://i.imgur.com/xHUKJPS.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/pqu1aqt.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/NFHxAFi.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/p1Pkbfn.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/D3kUQRX.jpg)

East of WV 93, this segment has since opened to an access road to WV 93:

(http://i.imgur.com/1lcLOff.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/0Lky8Cj.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/SGTqWWl.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/GLrjnv2.jpg)

Feel free to use this on your web-sites with attribution.

--

A bit later:

(http://i.imgur.com/6pKfR5F.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/AQaO186.jpg)

Since opened:

(http://i.imgur.com/JdfCwaH.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/Ksmbqsk.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/15Axtju.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/Ue0sMHH.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/mgWmudO.jpg)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 16, 2013, 07:52:45 AM
Nice pics! Looks like not much in the way of foliage color up ther yet. Hope to ride up there myself sometime this weekend.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on October 16, 2013, 12:41:45 PM
Oh, these are older. Fall foliage is either peak or past peak up there.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 17, 2013, 12:10:09 PM
Oh, these are older. Fall foliage is either peak or past peak up there.

Still very nice pictures.  Thanks for sharing. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 22, 2013, 06:16:01 AM
Who has one of these except me?

(http://i.imgur.com/DBFuhd6.jpg) (http://imgur.com/DBFuhd6)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 22, 2013, 11:13:45 AM
Who has one of these except me?

(http://i.imgur.com/DBFuhd6.jpg) (http://imgur.com/DBFuhd6)

Not me. 

Looks interesting, of course, and presumably not available online (I looked some time back).

Revealing that the cover of this document by WVDOT reads Elkins to I-81

Wonder if VDOT or the county elected officials in Frederick and Shenandoah Counties were even given a chance to comment on its contents?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 22, 2013, 01:30:09 PM
Who has one of these except me?

(http://i.imgur.com/DBFuhd6.jpg) (http://imgur.com/DBFuhd6)

Not me. 

Looks interesting, of course, and presumably not available online (I looked some time back).

Revealing that the cover of this document by WVDOT reads Elkins to I-81

Wonder if VDOT or the county elected officials in Frederick and Shenandoah Counties were even given a chance to comment on its contents?


I got that at the first Corridor H meeting I went to in Wardensville. Got another one at another meeting in Strasburg. Nowhere in this study was a route from Harrisonburg to Elkins mentioned. The preferred early path was thru Moorefield/Petersburg/Seneca rocks, but was poo-poohed, glad they didn't spoil that scenery.. That truly is God's country down there. Reps. from Shenandoah Co. were present at the Strasburg meeting as I recall.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 22, 2013, 02:26:48 PM
WTRF-TV: Study: Speeding up Corridor H good for W.Va. (http://www.wtrf.com/story/23741412/corridor-h-economic-impact-study-to-be-released)

Quote
A new study says West Virginia would receive $1.25 billion in new revenue and an uninterrupted link to the Inland Port in Front Royal, Va., if Corridor H is completed ahead of schedule.

Quote
The study conducted by RQA Group says the highway's construction would add another $800 million to the state's economy.

Quote
The Corridor H Authority released the findings of the study on Monday.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on October 22, 2013, 11:45:52 PM
Related article, FWIW:
http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201310210091
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 23, 2013, 06:29:18 AM
And another one from our side of the mountain:

http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2013/10/revival_sought_for_long_forgotten_highway_proposal-mobile.html
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on October 24, 2013, 06:53:07 PM
This Steve Foster is obviously clueless when it comes to what's happening on this side of the border.

"I'm sure there are people in Richmond aware of Corridor H"

Of course they're aware.  They're aware that the whole push for Corridor H completion is coming from West Virginia economic interests, but there's little benefit (study claims to the contrary) for Virginia directly.  I also got a laugh out of Foster's claim that it would "relieve traffic congestion on I-81".  That is complete bunk.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 24, 2013, 07:58:22 PM
This Steve Foster is obviously clueless when it comes to what's happening on this side of the border.

"I'm sure there are people in Richmond aware of Corridor H"

Of course they're aware.  They're aware that the whole push for Corridor H completion is coming from West Virginia economic interests, but there's little benefit (study claims to the contrary) for Virginia directly.

Though someone in the Commonwealth of Virginia apparently expects at least some truck trips to come to the Inland Port in Front Royal from West Virginia, as indicated by the somewhat battered sign below which the nice people from VDOT installed on U.S. 50 eastbound in Frederick County just prior to Va. 37 (and the corporate limits of Winchester - it is visible on GSV here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=39%C2%B0+11'+27.156%22+N+78%C2%B0+12'+16.32%22+W&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sll=39.18566,-78.163334&sspn=0.129595,0.253716&gl=us&t=m&z=16)):

(http://www.toward.com/cpz/DSC02246.jpg)

I also got a laugh out of Foster's claim that it would "relieve traffic congestion on I-81".  That is complete bunk.

To the extent that better highway access to the Inland Port will encourage West Virginia shippers in the Potomac Highlands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potomac_Highlands_of_West_Virginia) counties of West Virginia and places to the west of the Eastern Continental Divide to take better advantage of it for overseas shipments, that would reduce truck vehicle miles travelled (VMT) on the Virginia highway network (compared to trucking it to seaports in Hampton Roads or (in some cases) Baltimore), but I believe you are correct - I do not see where it would provide much relief for I-81, which badly needs to be widened across most of Virginia.

As H.B. suggested elsewhere, a completed Corridor H also provides a viable network link for automobile and truck traffic from the I-79 corridor to I-81 and I-66, which may result in more truck traffic to the Inland Port from places significantly further away than Corridor H.  A rule of thumb says that most freight has to travel at least 400 miles before shipment by railroad becomes a viable alternative to transport by truck.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 24, 2013, 08:11:43 PM
"I'm sure there are people in Richmond aware of Corridor H"

Now in Foster's defense, I know that there are people on the VDOT staff in Richmond that have some familiarity with Corridor H. 

I know that because I have discussed Corridor H with a few of them (not recently).

I also know (because I just checked) that there is nothing in the VDOT Six Year Program for Va. 55 or U.S. 48, and implicitly, nothing for Corridor H. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 25, 2013, 06:07:52 AM
Operation of the Inland Port was at one time going to be turned over to the private sector, has been sort of a money loser, no rail service much west of Front Royal (or Front Roll, as we locals call it), or south in the western part of the Shenandoah Valley. Not a tremendous amount of industial activity in W.V. either, Moorefield has Pilgrim's Pride (KFC supplier), chicken farms, American Woodmark has closed, Grant Co. Mulch, near Petersburg, some nat. gas pipeline activity, logging, not much else. Tourism is becoming the big industry in W.V.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2013, 11:06:08 AM
Operation of the Inland Port was at one time going to be turned over to the private sector, has been sort of a money loser, no rail service much west of Front Royal (or Front Roll, as we locals call it), or south in the western part of the Shenandoah Valley. Not a tremendous amount of industial activity in W.V. either, Moorefield has Pilgrim's Pride (KFC supplier), chicken farms, American Woodmark has closed, Grant Co. Mulch, near Petersburg, some nat. gas pipeline activity, logging, not much else. Tourism is becoming the big industry in W.V.

My understanding of the Virginia Inland Port was that it was, above all, intended to make Hampton Roads more competitive with Baltimore.  The Hampton Roads is obviously much closer to the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, but Baltimore is significantly closer by highway or rail to the markets of the Midwestern states.  The Inland Port was supposed to be about attracting truck traffic (esepecially) that would otherwise head down I-70 to Baltimore, and it is about 50 miles less travel distance from (for example) Pittsburgh.

As for industrial activity in West Virginia, I agree there's not much in the Potomac Highlands.  Agriculture is pretty dominant.  But there is one major industry that would seem to benefit from better access to the Inland Port - wood and other forest products.  There are quite a few large sawmills and wood processing facilities in the area (including several that front onto the western part of Corridor H between Weston and Elkins).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 25, 2013, 12:03:36 PM
A lot of it goes to the (old Wesvaco) pulp mill in Luke Md.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Buck87 on October 26, 2013, 05:53:28 PM
A friend and I stumbled across this highway in September of 2011 while driving from Cincinnati to Northern VA. He was driving and going entirely by his GPS, which after a long stretch of US 50 to WV 42 started sending us down what, at the time, seemed like completely random back roads. We wondered WTF his GPS was doing, but followed the route it suggested. After several minutes of general confusion we happened across a very new looking interchange for something called US 48, which neither the GPS nor his outdated Rand McNally acknowledged. So we went ahead and jumped on it eastbound, finding it funny that his GPS screen was showing us in the middle of nowhere. This 4 lane road was a very welcome sight after what had been a very stressful and annoying stretch of 2 lane roads since reaching the end of corridor D.

What seems odd to me was that his GPS clearly was updated enough to know exactly where to send us (looking back at it, I'm pretty sure it was Scherr to Greenland Gap to Patterson Creek) but then didn't mention anything about getting on US 48 once we got to it or show it on the map at all.

I hadn't done much research on what that road was until now, so this thread was a very interesting and informative read for me (when it was on topic)
 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 26, 2013, 11:54:18 PM
A lot of it goes to the (old Wesvaco) pulp mill in Luke Md.

Agreed.  Though there are a lot of trees (hardwoods?) in the High Allegheney Mountains of Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia that are felled for uses other than pulp.

Given how nearly all other industry in Western Maryland has gone out of business or otherwise moved away (except prisons), I am amazed and gratified (as a Maryland taxpayer) that the Luke plant survives.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 27, 2013, 12:09:28 AM
A friend and I stumbled across this highway in September of 2011 while driving from Cincinnati to Northern VA. He was driving and going entirely by his GPS, which after a long stretch of US 50 to WV 42 started sending us down what, at the time, seemed like completely random back roads. We wondered WTF his GPS was doing, but followed the route it suggested. After several minutes of general confusion we happened across a very new looking interchange for something called US 48, which neither the GPS nor his outdated Rand McNally acknowledged. So we went ahead and jumped on it eastbound, finding it funny that his GPS screen was showing us in the middle of nowhere. This 4 lane road was a very welcome sight after what had been a very stressful and annoying stretch of 2 lane roads since reaching the end of corridor D.

What seems odd to me was that his GPS clearly was updated enough to know exactly where to send us (looking back at it, I'm pretty sure it was Scherr to Greenland Gap to Patterson Creek) but then didn't mention anything about getting on US 48 once we got to it or show it on the map at all.

I hadn't done much research on what that road was until now, so this thread was a very interesting and informative read for me (when it was on topic)

Good story. Thank you for sharing.

I always assume that many (most?) GPS units out there have not been updated to include the newest sections of U.S. 48.  Sounds very much like the network assignment algorithms in your GPS favor four lane divided highways over two laners like U.S. 50 between Gormania, W.Va. and Gore, Va. (plenty of steep grades (not all of which have climbing lanes, though many do) and twisting and turning along most of it). 

I have not driven much of U.S. 50 west of Redhouse, Maryland into Preston County, W.Va., but from the maps it looks like a pretty challenging road.  East of where you turned onto W.Va. 42, it is a tiring and (IMO) dangerous road at night or in the rain, though the scenery is nice and sometimes spectacular during hours of daylight on a clear day.

Note: network assignment is a phrase from travel demand forecasting models, I am not sure if it is correct to use it in the context of GPS routing software or not.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 28, 2013, 06:49:18 AM
A lot of it goes to the (old Wesvaco) pulp mill in Luke Md.

Agreed.  Though there are a lot of trees (hardwoods?) in the High Allegheney Mountains of Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia that are felled for uses other than pulp.

Given how nearly all other industry in Western Maryland has gone out of business or otherwise moved away (except prisons), I am amazed and gratified (as a Maryland taxpayer) that the Luke plant survives.

A lot of small/medium-sized logging/timber operations rely on that mill to take their products. The veneer/flooring/furniture markets are coming back slowly, prices and demand were way down for a long time. ...And, what ever happened to the old missle plant west of Cumberland?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: machpost on November 20, 2013, 10:20:07 PM
Some hope for completion of the Virginia end of Corridor H:

Quote
Supporters of Corridor H got an unexpected boost Nov. 20 with the release of a State of Virginia highway construction schedule that lists a 2026 completion date for Corridor H within the state.

The Appalachian Regional Commission, in its Appalachian Development Highway System 2013 Completion Plan Report, targets September 2026 as the finish time for the 14.4 miles of highway that will run from the West Virginia line to Interstate 81 at Strasburg, Va.

http://www.statejournal.com/story/24025767/corridor-h-supporters-encouraged-by-virginia-completion-date-projection
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 20, 2013, 10:44:48 PM
Some hope for completion of the Virginia end of Corridor H:

Quote
Supporters of Corridor H got an unexpected boost Nov. 20 with the release of a State of Virginia highway construction schedule that lists a 2026 completion date for Corridor H within the state.

The Appalachian Regional Commission, in its Appalachian Development Highway System 2013 Completion Plan Report, targets September 2026 as the finish time for the 14.4 miles of highway that will run from the West Virginia line to Interstate 81 at Strasburg, Va.

http://www.statejournal.com/story/24025767/corridor-h-supporters-encouraged-by-virginia-completion-date-projection

I'll believe it when I see it in the VDOT Six Year Program.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 21, 2013, 05:40:48 AM
I'll believe it when spades and shovels are turning dirt in the ground.  Even the Six Year Program is no guarantee...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 21, 2013, 09:28:50 AM
I'll believe it when spades and shovels are turning dirt in the ground.  Even the Six Year Program is no guarantee...

I am sure that there will be opposition, if not from Frederick and Shenandoah Counties, then opposition encouraged by an anti-highway group from elsewhere in the Commonwealth - or one or more front groups for same.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 21, 2013, 10:58:03 AM
4.7 miles of Corridor H from Bismarck to Scherr will open tomorrow.

http://wvmetronews.com/2013/11/21/new-miles-of-corridor-h-to-open/#.Uo4tw2G2KfI.twitter

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 21, 2013, 11:58:38 AM
Aw, crap. Time to scratch US 48 off my clinched list (again).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: machpost on November 21, 2013, 12:07:05 PM
4.7 miles of Corridor H from Bismarck to Scherr will open tomorrow.

http://wvmetronews.com/2013/11/21/new-miles-of-corridor-h-to-open/#.Uo4tw2G2KfI.twitter

Bypassing the steep grade and switchbacks of Scherr Mountain is going to be a big deal. I would expect truck traffic on this route to increase right away. I will not miss getting stuck behind tractor-trailers going 10mph on that stretch!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 21, 2013, 12:39:16 PM
4.7 miles of Corridor H from Bismarck to Scherr will open tomorrow.

http://wvmetronews.com/2013/11/21/new-miles-of-corridor-h-to-open/#.Uo4tw2G2KfI.twitter

Bypassing the steep grade and switchbacks of Scherr Mountain is going to be a big deal. I would expect truck traffic on this route to increase right away. I will not miss getting stuck behind tractor-trailers going 10mph on that stretch!

I hope WVDOH moves WV 42 and WV 93 onto the Corridor H alignment going up the mountain.  There's no good reason to keep it on the existing road.

When I was through the area last about 2 months ago, it looked like traffic signals were going up at the intersection of existing WV 42 and WV 93 at Scherr (base of the mountain).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 21, 2013, 01:47:11 PM
When I was through the area last about 2 months ago, it looked like traffic signals were going up at the intersection of existing WV 42 and WV 93 at Scherr (base of the mountain).

What in the world would be the purpose of that? I'd think the opening of US 48 would take traffic out of that intersection, and I can't imagine that this intersection would need lights. Unless they are temporary signals for bridge repairs or something.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: BrianP on November 21, 2013, 01:56:47 PM
4.7 miles of Corridor H from Bismarck to Scherr will open tomorrow.

http://wvmetronews.com/2013/11/21/new-miles-of-corridor-h-to-open/#.Uo4tw2G2KfI.twitter
Quote
As the 4.7 mile section opens, Walker said work is already well underway on another 16.2 mile section of Corridor H from Mt. Storm into Davis.  That stretch of roadway could open to traffic by early 2015.
I thought that stretch was expected to be done by summer 2014. :(
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on November 21, 2013, 02:25:47 PM
I suspect the harsh winter that's already been experienced up there so early has put a stop to all work.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: machpost on November 21, 2013, 02:59:00 PM
When I was through the area last about 2 months ago, it looked like traffic signals were going up at the intersection of existing WV 42 and WV 93 at Scherr (base of the mountain).

What in the world would be the purpose of that? I'd think the opening of US 48 would take traffic out of that intersection, and I can't imagine that this intersection would need lights. Unless they are temporary signals for bridge repairs or something.

I would imagine that once Corridor H reaches Davis, Route 93 will terminate at its junction with 42.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 21, 2013, 03:50:10 PM
4.7 miles of Corridor H from Bismarck to Scherr will open tomorrow.

http://wvmetronews.com/2013/11/21/new-miles-of-corridor-h-to-open/#.Uo4tw2G2KfI.twitter

Bypassing the steep grade and switchbacks of Scherr Mountain is going to be a big deal. I would expect truck traffic on this route to increase right away. I will not miss getting stuck behind tractor-trailers going 10mph on that stretch!

Agreed. 

Though in my opinion, almost worse going down the mountain (10% grade according to the signs).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on November 22, 2013, 06:50:47 AM
Some hope for completion of the Virginia end of Corridor H:

Quote
Supporters of Corridor H got an unexpected boost Nov. 20 with the release of a State of Virginia highway construction schedule that lists a 2026 completion date for Corridor H within the state.

The Appalachian Regional Commission, in its Appalachian Development Highway System 2013 Completion Plan Report, targets September 2026 as the finish time for the 14.4 miles of highway that will run from the West Virginia line to Interstate 81 at Strasburg, Va.

http://www.statejournal.com/story/24025767/corridor-h-supporters-encouraged-by-virginia-completion-date-projection

I'll believe it when I see it in the VDOT Six Year Program.


So, let's see the VDOT report.... Maybe the new governor will spend out our surplus on that... but I'm going to be a good boy and not get into politics again :}
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 22, 2013, 10:19:37 AM
When I was through the area last about 2 months ago, it looked like traffic signals were going up at the intersection of existing WV 42 and WV 93 at Scherr (base of the mountain).

What in the world would be the purpose of that? I'd think the opening of US 48 would take traffic out of that intersection, and I can't imagine that this intersection would need lights. Unless they are temporary signals for bridge repairs or something.

Not sure.  When I was through here, the signal heads weren't up but there were brand new steel poles installed in the WVDOH T-intersection 3 pole configuration.  They're definitely not temporary and given the configuration, I suspect they're not just flashers.  WVDOH normally just mounts flashers diagonally across an intersection.

While they've been in poor repair, WVDOH did have flashers on the Stop Ahead and Stop signs as you approached on WV 93 westbound previously.  My guess is people tended to drive through the intersection and they wanted to draw attention to it?

With Corridor H being built, it seems like it would make sense to just realign the intersection so WV 93 westbound to WV 42 southbound becomes the through movement.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on November 22, 2013, 09:51:49 PM
http://www.wboy.com/story/24038326/update-ribbon-cutting-held-for-newest-section-of-corridor-h-highway
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 23, 2013, 06:32:51 PM
So, let's see the VDOT report.... Maybe the new governor will spend out our surplus on that... but I'm going to be a good boy and not get into politics again :}

I believe construction cost of ADHS corridors is 100% federal funding, so while VDOT will have to manage the process of design, engineering and construction of the Commonwealth's part of Corridor H (just like it is doing with Corridor Q right now), I do not think it has to spend any state dollars doing so. 

As I understand it, states do have to maintain the ADHS corridors once built, and I do not think ADHS money is available for that, though there are some formula-driven funds for upkeep of infrastructure that would presumably include any ADHS corridor.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 23, 2013, 06:36:50 PM
While they've been in poor repair, WVDOH did have flashers on the Stop Ahead and Stop signs as you approached on WV 93 westbound previously.  My guess is people tended to drive through the intersection and they wanted to draw attention to it?

When I was up that way this past summer, during one of my trips through there, all of the red flashers were dark for westbound (almost southbound there)  traffic on W.Va. 93. 

I sent an e-mail to the only WVDOT staff person I know (he is based in Charleston), and he knew that intersection and told me he would forward my message to the right persons at WVDOH.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 24, 2013, 08:59:54 AM
Quote
I believe construction cost of ADHS corridors is 100% federal funding, so while VDOT will have to manage the process of design, engineering and construction of the Commonwealth's part of Corridor H (just like it is doing with Corridor Q right now), I do not think it has to spend any state dollars doing so. 

States can utilize up to 100% Federal funding for the ADHS corridors.  Doesn't mean they have to.  Furthermore, it should be noted that there's no longer a dedicated ADHS funding stream.  MAP-21 changed ADHS funding to where it got rolled into the Surface Transportation Program (STP) funding pot.  So while states can utilize 100% funding for ADHS projects, such funding takes away from their STP appropriation.

If VDOT were to spend their STP allocation on the ADHS, I'd expect them to focus on finishing US 460 (Corridor Q) in the southwestern corner of the state, where there's much less local opposition.  And if they were smart, they'd be spending their STP allocation on the 2 lane roads that REALLY DO need widening, like VA 3 in Culpeper County, US 15 north of US 29 (from 29 to Haymarket seems to have less opposition than north of Leesburg), or VA 20 in Orange County.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 24, 2013, 03:46:18 PM
If VDOT were to spend their STP allocation on the ADHS, I'd expect them to focus on finishing US 460 (Corridor Q) in the southwestern corner of the state, where there's much less local opposition.  And if they were smart, they'd be spending their STP allocation on the 2 lane roads that REALLY DO need widening, like VA 3 in Culpeper County, US 15 north of US 29 (from 29 to Haymarket seems to have less opposition than north of Leesburg), or VA 20 in Orange County.

Hmm, every project you mention above, with the exception of U.S. 15 between Buckland and Haymarket, is in the self-proclaimed "service area" of the anti-all-highways Piedmont Environmental Council. 

And even western Prince William County, while not included in the PEC "service area," is still an area that the PEC considers it has the right to comment on (and oppose) projects that displease it, like Disney's America, the proposed site (back in 1994 and 1995) became huge development of mostly single-family detached homes (probably not what the PEC had in mind for that land).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CVski on November 25, 2013, 01:20:36 PM
I measured 5 miles and 8 minutes of total savings vs. the old 42/93 alignment and elimination of the double-back on 93. 

Seems that this new segment now slightly crests 3000' in elevation at the top.  Is this a first for Corridor H?  How far away does one have to go to find a segment of Interstate highway, or for that matter any segment of 4-lane divided highway, at this high of an elevation?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 25, 2013, 08:26:55 PM
I measured 5 miles and 8 minutes of total savings vs. the old 42/93 alignment and elimination of the double-back on 93. 

Seems that this new segment now slightly crests 3000' in elevation at the top.  Is this a first for Corridor H?  How far away does one have to go to find a segment of Interstate highway, or for that matter any segment of 4-lane divided highway, at this high of an elevation?

Yes, according to Google (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=39.215431,-79.209974&hl=en&num=1&t=p&z=15) it is currently at just over 3000' as it crests the Allegheny Front.  It will get even higher west of the generating station, at better than 3400' at the Eastern Continental Divide.

I-68 (Corridor E) never makes it to 3000' in Maryland or in West Virginia (the highest it gets is about 2800').

I-70, I-76 and I-80 in Pennsylvania never get that high.

I thought I-64 might get close cresting Afton Mountain in Virginia, but no - barely 2000' (seems that it should be higher).

Heading further south, I-77 does breach the 3000' barrier in Virginia north of its overlap with I-81 (here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.024895,-81.106875&ll=37.021572,-81.103134&spn=0.016755,0.031714&num=1&t=p&gl=us&z=15)) before it reaches the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel.

Other ideas?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on November 25, 2013, 09:03:55 PM
I thought I-64 might get close cresting Afton Mountain in Virginia, but no - barely 2000' (seems that it should be higher).
If it weren't for Rockfish Gap (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockfish_Gap), I-64 might have gone via Lynchburg and the James River.

Perhaps someone bored can grab basic elevation GIS data and map out the 3000' contour.

I-26 apparently reaches 3760 feet at Sams Gap (NC-TN line).

I-77 only reaches about 2700 feet based on where the fill ends and cut begins. The Goog's data is based on the 1968 USGS topo, which predates I-77's construction.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: machpost on November 25, 2013, 09:17:58 PM
I measured 5 miles and 8 minutes of total savings vs. the old 42/93 alignment and elimination of the double-back on 93. 

Seems that this new segment now slightly crests 3000' in elevation at the top.  Is this a first for Corridor H?  How far away does one have to go to find a segment of Interstate highway, or for that matter any segment of 4-lane divided highway, at this high of an elevation?

Yes, according to Google (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=39.215431,-79.209974&hl=en&num=1&t=p&z=15) it is currently at just over 3000' as it crests the Allegheny Front.  It will get even higher west of the generating station, at better than 3400' at the Eastern Continental Divide.

I-68 (Corridor E) never makes it to 3000' in Maryland or in West Virginia (the highest it gets is about 2800').

I-70, I-76 and I-80 in Pennsylvania never get that high.

I thought I-64 might get close cresting Afton Mountain in Virginia, but no - barely 2000' (seems that it should be higher).

Heading further south, I-77 does breach the 3000' barrier in Virginia north of its overlap with I-81 (here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.024895,-81.106875&ll=37.021572,-81.103134&spn=0.016755,0.031714&num=1&t=p&gl=us&z=15)) before it reaches the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel.

Other ideas?

Is it possible to determine elevation in Google Maps, or did you just match the coordinates to a topo map?

I'm impressed that Google Maps already has the new roadway showing up already.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 25, 2013, 09:24:30 PM
Is it possible to determine elevation in Google Maps, or did you just match the coordinates to a topo map?

I'm impressed that Google Maps already has the new roadway showing up already.

(1) Go to Google Maps.

(2) Enter these coordinates:  39.215464,-79.209888

(3) On the right upper corner, you should see the box for Satellite. Under that is a pull-down box labelled Traffic. Click Traffic.

(4) The menu should expand.  Click Terrain and you will have the contours.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: dave19 on November 25, 2013, 11:35:44 PM
I drove on the newest section of the road today. I had hoped it would be open to the interchange between the lake and Bismarck, but the west end (for now) is at the intersection with a new access road a bit west of WV 42. It's at the left side of this map: http://www.wvcorridorh.com/mapping/corh_sh_32.pdf
The access road has a sign goof - JCT WV 48! But the signs on US 48 itself are OK.
BTW: The scenic overlook is not complete yet.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Mapmikey on November 26, 2013, 06:34:02 AM
Virginia does not mave many primary routes that reach 3000 feet...

US 250 in Highland County
VA 16 north of Marion
VA 311 north of New Castle
VA 160 approaching Ky
US 33 at the WV line area
US 58 in the Grayson Highlands area

VA 362 is the highest road in Virginia as best I can tell.  The DeLorme has it reaching about 1425 m or around 4700 ft.

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 26, 2013, 11:21:41 AM
If VDOT were to spend their STP allocation on the ADHS, I'd expect them to focus on finishing US 460 (Corridor Q) in the southwestern corner of the state, where there's much less local opposition.

Adam, is there really local opposition to Corridor H in Frederick and Shenandoah Counties, Va.?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 26, 2013, 11:57:00 AM
Virginia does not mave many primary routes that reach 3000 feet...

US 250 in Highland County
VA 16 north of Marion
VA 311 north of New Castle
VA 160 approaching Ky
US 33 at the WV line area
US 58 in the Grayson Highlands area

VA 362 is the highest road in Virginia as best I can tell.  The DeLorme has it reaching about 1425 m or around 4700 ft.

Maryland has very few that high, and I believe all of them are in Garrett County (I am not sure that there is any elevation over 3,000 feet in any of the other counties).  U.S. 50 over Backbone Mountain/Eastern Continental Divide is signed at 3095 feet (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:39.308333,-79.453333&hl=en&ll=39.301428,-79.415274&spn=0.016239,0.031714&t=p&z=15&layer=c&cbll=39.301426,-79.415146&panoid=zsupZMH9HhdRNGb1rrp5jg&cbp=12,307.2,,1,-2.11), almost certainly the highest point on the state-maintained network.  Md. 135 appears to reach 3000', and Md. 38 might. Md. 135 has what is likely the nastiest descent in the state as well.  Check out the signs here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:39.308333,-79.453333&hl=en&ll=39.491589,-79.119029&spn=0.016327,0.031714&t=p&z=15&layer=c&cbll=39.491562,-79.118906&panoid=DCUIq-91RqZ1ifVyvJdOZQ&cbp=12,124.85,,0,6.9), here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:39.308333,-79.453333&hl=en&ll=39.48937,-79.113278&spn=0.016328,0.031714&t=p&z=15&layer=c&cbll=39.489331,-79.113173&panoid=-1_qnCvxJ-8D5kwjjjPVsg&cbp=12,129.03,,0,-0.79), the mandatory truck stop here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:39.308333,-79.453333&hl=en&ll=39.487151,-79.10697&spn=0.016328,0.031714&t=p&z=15&layer=c&cbll=39.48721,-79.107125&panoid=B1hOfPHcRmmdnQPsQFurEw&cbp=12,136.82,,0,12.86), more signs here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:39.308333,-79.453333&hl=en&ll=39.484998,-79.101906&spn=0.016329,0.031714&t=p&z=15&layer=c&cbll=39.485064,-79.102019&panoid=OFmFGcUds3tFO9X1hbdZHA&cbp=12,136.42,,0,12), a truck escape ramp here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:39.308333,-79.453333&hl=en&ll=39.481918,-79.096413&spn=0.01633,0.031714&t=p&z=15&layer=c&cbll=39.481978,-79.09652&panoid=3Pq4I4q4OTYK3ZRbdFJovA&cbp=12,170.94,,0,16.07), a second mandatory truck stop here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:39.308333,-79.453333&hl=en&ll=39.478804,-79.09152&spn=0.01633,0.031714&t=p&z=15&layer=c&cbll=39.478727,-79.091414&panoid=ty845eBHXUEiWrWhqF2P1g&cbp=12,154.89,,0,-3.28), another set of warning signs (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:39.308333,-79.453333&hl=en&ll=39.475293,-79.083753&spn=0.016331,0.031714&t=p&z=15&layer=c&cbll=39.475243,-79.083634&panoid=B48FI9lB-WlYmc2p2mcqvg&cbp=12,132.55,,0,0.62), still more (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:39.308333,-79.453333&hl=en&ll=39.475326,-79.075599&spn=0.016331,0.031714&t=p&z=15&layer=c&cbll=39.475448,-79.075247&panoid=DMABZk2CEpw4XIwhFJYZ-A&cbp=12,68.3,,0,13.7), and finally the sharp turn to the right (check out the apparent number of fatalities) here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:39.308333,-79.453333&hl=en&ll=39.48109,-79.067659&spn=0.01633,0.031714&t=p&z=15&layer=c&cbll=39.48117,-79.067506&panoid=ubBXFNRcPv9q1Z-RSnmCLA&cbp=12,56.36,,0,5.41).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 26, 2013, 12:02:53 PM
Quote
Adam, is there really local opposition to Corridor H in Frederick and Shenandoah Counties, Va.?

Yes, there's some.  It wasn't just your archnemesis the PEC who pressured Congressman Wolf years ago.

I'd oppose it myself on the grounds that there are higher priorities elsewhere in the state, and even within Frederick/Shenandoah Counties...(I-81, anyone?)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Mapmikey on November 26, 2013, 12:03:35 PM
If VDOT were to spend their STP allocation on the ADHS, I'd expect them to focus on finishing US 460 (Corridor Q) in the southwestern corner of the state, where there's much less local opposition.

Adam, is there really local opposition to Corridor H in Frederick and Shenandoah Counties, Va.?

There was at the time VDOT abandoned its interest...see the bottom of this article - http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2013/10/revival-sought-for-long-forgotten-highway-proposal.php

This topic sentence suggests the Winchester Star has changed its position of opposition to something more favorable (have to create an account to read the editorial)...

"Twenty years ago, there was not a more ardent opponent of Corridor H than this newspaper. We stood steadfast with folks on both sides of the state line in saying that the 120-mile highway linking..."

http://www.winchesterstar.com/article/our_view_corridor_h


Mapmikey



Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 26, 2013, 12:48:20 PM
Quote
Adam, is there really local opposition to Corridor H in Frederick and Shenandoah Counties, Va.?

Yes, there's some.  It wasn't just your archnemesis the PEC who pressured Congressman Wolf years ago.

They are not my nemesis - arch or othwise.  I just think they are craven phonies, that's all.  If they were honest, they would demand that everyone living on big-acreage estates in their "service area" adopt an Amish lifestyle, and outlaw motorized traffic.  As it is, they say nothing about forcing their own membership to adopt such a lifestyle, but want to keep others and their motor vehicles (especially the grubby middle class) away from their horsefarms and manors, even though those roads are public assets, not PEC assets.

I'd oppose it myself on the grounds that there are higher priorities elsewhere in the state, and even within Frederick/Shenandoah Counties...(I-81, anyone?)

I-81 is not an ADHS corridor anywhere, is it?  Perhaps because it is already built and was on the maps when the ADHS system was laid-out in the 1960's?  The ADHS is about "inducing" demand in economically disadvantaged parts of Appalachia by building new highways.   The money that needs to be spent in Virginia improving I-81 is pretty substantial, and the Corridor H money would not go very far. I-81 needs to be widened so it is at least six (and in some sections preferably eight) lanes wide all the way from Bristol to Winchester - and actually all the way north to I-78 near Lebanon, Penna. 

Regarding I-81, VDOT was going in the right direction with the proposed truck tolling project of a few years ago that crashed and burned (I think it was during the Warner Administration).  In my fantasy world, the entire thing would be converted to an all-electronic toll road with all motor vehicle traffic (not just trucks) required to pay, with the tolls high enough to fund the needed widening and interchange reconstructions, and maybe strengthening the pavement and bridges to carry substantially higher gross combination loads (as you know, some turnpikes allow longer and heavier trucks than the Interstate system). 

As bad as the proposed tolling of I-80 in Pennsylvania was, they did have one good idea - they wanted to make short trips on I-80 free of toll (easy to do with all-electronic toll collection). If tolling of I-81 comes back (as I think it eventually will), then giving away short trips to cars and motorcycles should considered.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on November 26, 2013, 01:18:20 PM
So, us Va. residents, in addition to paying our taxes, should be forced to pay tolls on I-81? How do you segregate us locals out of the toll mix, if I'm using I-81 daily, to travel 2 mi., I should not have to pay a toll. That idea was shot down, but elimiating the gas tax was no answer either...
Mr. Foster, and others in the CHA are delusional to assume Va. will build our end of Corridor H, nor is it up to them to design it, that has already been done. They are the real phonies here. We simply do not have the money, and other projects await.... Unless the Feds cough it up, and they do not have the money either... unless they print more.  The opposition yrs. ago was more fierce in Shen. Co. than Frederick, and my personal opposition comes from having it pass close to my home, and destroying a beautiful area in the GWNF. I do not see how the Inland Port is going to benefit from the additional traffic coming from W.V., there is simply not that much industry there period. And what about the attempted groveling to procure funds from DHS to complete the road thru Va., for "Emergency evacuation from the D.C. Metro area"... sheesh 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 26, 2013, 03:03:28 PM
Quote
I-81 is not an ADHS corridor anywhere, is it?  Perhaps because it is already built and was on the maps when the ADHS system was laid-out in the 1960's?  The ADHS is about "inducing" demand in economically disadvantaged parts of Appalachia by building new highways.

(most relevant part)

First off, your argument about inducing demand has far more relevance to Corridor Q (US 460) than it does to VDOT finishing Corridor H...to which Virginia would receive little benefit (as has been discussed upthread).

Secondly, because funding ADHS projects now takes away from a given state's STP allotment, completing either corridor must now compete with "regular" VDOT projects statewide for funding.  This is where my argument that there are higher priorities elsewhere comes into play.  I cited I-81 as an example both because it's both local to Frederick and Shenandoah Counties but also because there are smaller projects here and there that could easily be done along I-81 (i.e. climbing lanes, interchange improvements, bridge shoulders, etc etc) to improve its operations, which would fit well within the cost envelope that completing Corridor H entails.


If West Virginia wants Corridor H so bad (since they receive virtually all of the benefit from it), *THEY* can pay for it.  And while a completed Corridor H would be a "nice-to-have" in Virginia, I cannot support funding it when there are numerous other and more pressing needs elsewhere in the state.  I can support funding spot improvements to existing VA 55, but not to Corridor H.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 26, 2013, 03:22:22 PM
So, us Va. residents, in addition to paying our taxes, should be forced to pay tolls on I-81? How do you segregate us locals out of the toll mix, if I'm using I-81 daily, to travel 2 mi., I should not have to pay a toll. That idea was shot down, but elimiating the gas tax was no answer either...

Well, you probably have a choice - a substantially higher motor fuel tax rate (statewide), or tolls - if you want a reconstructed I-81.  Not likely with the current cast of characters in Washington, but there is also a substantial federal role (or there should be) for I-81, for it is a Interstate in the truest sense.  As for you paying to use I-81, what I suggest is that short trips in four-wheel vehicles and motorcycles (under a certain distance) on a tolled I-81 be "free" for anyone with a transponder (or whatever technology is in use at the time).

Mr. Foster, and others in the CHA are delusional to assume Va. will build our end of Corridor H, nor is it up to them to design it, that has already been done. They are the real phonies here. We simply do not have the money, and other projects await.... Unless the Feds cough it up, and they do not have the money either... unless they print more.  The opposition yrs. ago was more fierce in Shen. Co. than Frederick, and my personal opposition comes from having it pass close to my home, and destroying a beautiful area in the GWNF. I do not see how the Inland Port is going to benefit from the additional traffic coming from W.V., there is simply not that much industry there period. And what about the attempted groveling to procure funds from DHS to complete the road thru Va., for "Emergency evacuation from the D.C. Metro area"... sheesh 

The federal government can (and IMO should) "print" more money for transportation improvement projects. Were you there before the planning maps came out for Corridor H in the 1960's? 

As for the funding of Corridor H in Virginia, it actually makes some sense for West Virginia to step up and figure out how to fund it.  Remember, I have no economic stake in it either way.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 26, 2013, 04:05:54 PM
Some improvements to existing US 48/VA 55 would help. I can see doing something to the hill climb/descent east of the state line, such as four-laning that section or at least adding a truck lane westbound, and then making some improvements to give the existing route more of a "Super 2" feel -- wider shoulders, turning lanes, maybe some spot relocations -- but a new terrain four-lane route is probably not needed. If West Virginia builds the route all the way to the state line, once you get to the base of the mountain you're only looking about a 15-mile or so drive over to I-81 that, even as it stands now, is not that bad of a road (despite what Randy Hersh always claimed).

I've driven all the major east-west state line crossings north of White Sulphur Springs except WV/VA 84, and I've been right up to the state line on the WV side of that one. With the exception of US 50 and (obviously) I-64, the US 48 crossing as it exists now is the easiest of all of them. Much easier than WV/VA 39, US 250 and US 33.

I've said before but now that the section bypassing the Fore Knobs is finished, I'll say it again. Even with the section between Kerens and Davis not yet build, the Corridor H route is to the point now where for me it's a viable alternative to I-68.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 26, 2013, 04:23:42 PM
Quote
I-81 is not an ADHS corridor anywhere, is it?  Perhaps because it is already built and was on the maps when the ADHS system was laid-out in the 1960's?  The ADHS is about "inducing" demand in economically disadvantaged parts of Appalachia by building new highways.

(most relevant part)

First off, your argument about inducing demand has far more relevance to Corridor Q (US 460) than it does to VDOT finishing Corridor H...to which Virginia would receive little benefit (as has been discussed upthread).

Corridor H was put on the map for a reason.  As was Corridor Q, and the rest of them. 

On what basis are you ranking the unbuilt (or uncompleted) ARC corridors? 

Are they a cure-all?  No.

Does it help?  I think they do.  And Corridor H, unlike Q, opens up a large swath of West Virginia to the Eastern megalopolis for tourism and other trade. 

Then there's the matter of geography.  What four-lane highway crosses West Virginia going east-west now?  One.  I-64. A long way from the Corridor H. 

Secondly, because funding ADHS projects now takes away from a given state's STP allotment, completing either corridor must now compete with "regular" VDOT projects statewide for funding.  This is where my argument that there are higher priorities elsewhere comes into play.  I cited I-81 as an example both because it's both local to Frederick and Shenandoah Counties but also because there are smaller projects here and there that could easily be done along I-81 (i.e. climbing lanes, interchange improvements, bridge shoulders, etc etc) to improve its operations, which would fit well within the cost envelope that completing Corridor H entails.

Then there's this - I-81, like the rest of the Interstate system, is a federal system, not built for one state (no matter what local elected officials claim).  West Virginia, for reasons of terrain, got almost none of I-81 inside its border. But it runs close to the Mountaineer State for much of its long passage through Virginia, and West Virginia has as much right to use I-81 as residents of the Commonwealth do. 

If West Virginia wants Corridor H so bad (since they receive virtually all of the benefit from it), *THEY* can pay for it.  And while a completed Corridor H would be a "nice-to-have" in Virginia, I cannot support funding it when there are numerous other and more pressing needs elsewhere in the state.  I can support funding spot improvements to existing VA 55, but not to Corridor H.

Having been stuck behind trucks on the existing road between I-81 and Wardensville, and been impressed by the long queues of traffic that quickly formed (and have been forming for many years, back to the 1980's when I first drove it, up and down the grades), and the crosses along the side of the road (presumably marking fatal wrecks) in West Virginia, have convinced me that the new road is needed. 

But I think that having West Virginia use at least some of its STP money to get it built is not entirely a bad thing.  Think of the precedent that could be cited to get the Western Bypass/Techway built across the Potomac River to Maryland!
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 27, 2013, 10:37:24 AM
If West Virginia wants Corridor H so bad (since they receive virtually all of the benefit from it), *THEY* can pay for it.  And while a completed Corridor H would be a "nice-to-have" in Virginia, I cannot support funding it when there are numerous other and more pressing needs elsewhere in the state.  I can support funding spot improvements to existing VA 55, but not to Corridor H.

Having been stuck behind trucks on the existing road between I-81 and Wardensville, and been impressed by the long queues of traffic that quickly formed (and have been forming for many years, back to the 1980's when I first drove it, up and down the grades), and the crosses along the side of the road (presumably marking fatal wrecks) in West Virginia, have convinced me that the new road is needed. 

But I think that having West Virginia use at least some of its STP money to get it built is not entirely a bad thing.  Think of the precedent that could be cited to get the Western Bypass/Techway built across the Potomac River to Maryland!

West Virginia has enough other needs of its own.  It's not going to be building roads in Virginia.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on November 27, 2013, 11:24:36 AM
West Virginia has enough other needs of its own.  It's not going to be building roads in Virginia.
It's already built roads in Kentucky (http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=37.7026,-82.302961&spn=0.013769,0.028346&t=m&z=16), so why not?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 27, 2013, 11:32:00 AM
West Virginia has enough other needs of its own.  It's not going to be building roads in Virginia.

It really points up a bigger policy issue that Congress appears to be afraid to deal with (or perhaps empower the Executive Branch to handle administratively), and that's easing interstate travel and commerce (of many kinds).

When one state wants to improve access to another state, but the second state (for reasons of NIMBYism or otherwise) does not, what should happen? Especially when it's about hooking up new or improved sections of the interstate (note lower-case "i") network, or improving access to intermodal facilities that serve interstate or international travel markets.  In Virginia, that's the matter of Corridor H; there's W.Va./Va. 9; and the (now dormant) Eastern and Western bypass highways of Washington, D.C. (both of which relate to improved ground access to both Dulles and BWI).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 27, 2013, 12:12:17 PM
West Virginia has enough other needs of its own.  It's not going to be building roads in Virginia.
It's already built roads in Kentucky (http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=37.7026,-82.302961&spn=0.013769,0.028346&t=m&z=16), so why not?

Not the same thing.  Corridor G crosses into Kentucky north of Williamson because it was cheaper and gave a better horizontal alignment than if the road stayed on the West Virginia side.  The WV-built section of the corridor connects cities in West Virginia.

A lot of the industries clamoring for Corridor H's completion say they want an outlet to the Virginia Inland Port near Front Royal.  Perhaps the Virginia Port Authority could kick in some cash to upgrade the Virginia section of US 48 since they'd stand to benefit from extra traffic.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 27, 2013, 12:44:12 PM
In Virginia, that's the matter of Corridor H; there's W.Va./Va. 9; and the (now dormant) Eastern and Western bypass highways of Washington, D.C. (both of which relate to improved ground access to both Dulles and BWI).

And conversely, US 522, US 340 and US 50. Four lanes in Virginia; two lanes in West Virginia.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 27, 2013, 02:07:02 PM
And conversely, US 522, US 340 and US 50. Four lanes in Virginia; two lanes in West Virginia.

Agreed.  Though U.S. 50 does not (IMO) need to be widened if Corridor H is completed.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 29, 2013, 07:57:50 PM
Corridor H connecting businesses with customers (http://wvmetronews.com/2013/11/29/corridor-h-connecting-businesses-with-customers)

Quote
The newest section of Corridor H will make it much easier and safer for folks from the eastern shore to make to the mountains of West Virginia.

Quote
Bill Smith, with the Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the long-awaited opening of a 4.7-mile stretch of the four-lane highway from Scherr to Bismarck, earlier this month, replaces a road filled with hairpin turns.

Quote
“From the lower part of Route 93 up Bismarck, that spans 2,000 vertical feet in four miles. The old Route 93 was hampered with a whole lot of sharp switchbacks which was fairly treacherous driving,” according to Smith.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 30, 2013, 09:52:29 PM
I drove the new part of Corridor H this evening.  It was dark, so no pics.

The new section of road is full concrete roadway and shoulders like most of the other construction west of Moorefield.  Two lanes in each direction.  I'm sort of surprised there's no climbing lane heading westbound up the Allegheny Front but the traffic counts probably weren't high enough to justify one.  It's a major improvement over the WV 42/WV 93 route.

The new poles I noticed going up at southern WV 42/WV 93 intersection near Scherr on my last trip through are for flashers.  Yellow for WV 42, red for WV 93 westbound.  It's the most elaborate flasher setup I've ever seen from WVDOH.  They even had some pole-mounted flashers.

WV 42 and WV 93 are still signed on their old route.  I think they really should be moved to overlap with Corridor H heading up the hill.  I didn't see any "To US 48" signage from WV 42 at either end of the new section.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 30, 2013, 11:40:57 PM
The new section of road is full concrete roadway and shoulders like most of the other construction west of Moorefield.  Two lanes in each direction.  I'm sort of surprised there's no climbing lane heading westbound up the Allegheny Front but the traffic counts probably weren't high enough to justify one.  It's a major improvement over the WV 42/WV 93 route.

I don't recall seeing climbing lanes on any part of the "eastern" segment of Corridor H between Wardensville and Scherr.

Does there appear to be room to add a climbing lane later?

The new poles I noticed going up at southern WV 42/WV 93 intersection near Scherr on my last trip through are for flashers.  Yellow for WV 42, red for WV 93 westbound.  It's the most elaborate flasher setup I've ever seen from WVDOH.  They even had some pole-mounted flashers.

Wonder why they are doing that now?  I think H.B. asked a similar question upthread.

WV 42 and WV 93 are still signed on their old route.  I think they really should be moved to overlap with Corridor H heading up the hill. 

I agree.  W.Va. 55 has was moved to Corridor H as each section opened.  What's a few more route numbers multiplexed with U.S.48?

And should the old section of 42/93 (going up the Allegheny Front) then be numbered as a fractional spur route of U.S. 48? Probably the first one?  At least I have never seen a fractional spur of 48 before.

I didn't see any "To US 48" signage from WV 42 at either end of the new section.

WVDOH has seemed remarkably reluctant to post trail blazers pointing to the various western ends of eastern U.S. 48.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on December 02, 2013, 01:56:53 PM
The new section of road is full concrete roadway and shoulders like most of the other construction west of Moorefield.  Two lanes in each direction.  I'm sort of surprised there's no climbing lane heading westbound up the Allegheny Front but the traffic counts probably weren't high enough to justify one.  It's a major improvement over the WV 42/WV 93 route.

I don't recall seeing climbing lanes on any part of the "eastern" segment of Corridor H between Wardensville and Scherr.

Does there appear to be room to add a climbing lane later?
Since it was night, I couldn't tell if there was enough room to add a climbing lane on the right later.  They could put it in the median with a Jersey barrier if they really needed it.  I doubt traffic will come to that point, though.

I don't believe any other parts of the eastern Corridor H have climbing lanes.  There are two places west of Elkins that have climbing lanes, but there's more traffic on that section than the eastern part will ever get.

The new poles I noticed going up at southern WV 42/WV 93 intersection near Scherr on my last trip through are for flashers.  Yellow for WV 42, red for WV 93 westbound.  It's the most elaborate flasher setup I've ever seen from WVDOH.  They even had some pole-mounted flashers.

Wonder why they are doing that now?  I think H.B. asked a similar question upthread.

I guess they were looking for a more permanent solution than the old stop sign-mounted blinkers, but they really could have just realigned the roadways to eliminate the problem entirely.

And should the old section of 42/93 (going up the Allegheny Front) then be numbered as a fractional spur route of U.S. 48? Probably the first one?  At least I have never seen a fractional spur of 48 before.
It would likely be a CR 42/xx number since it would branch off WV 42, not US 48.

I didn't see any "To US 48" signage from WV 42 at either end of the new section.

WVDOH has seemed remarkably reluctant to post trail blazers pointing to the various western ends of eastern U.S. 48.

They did put some signage up at the Knobley Road intersection with WV 42 when that was the temporary end, but everything else has been spotty.  It looks like they did put up additional signage by US 220 at Moorefield.  I e-mailed WVDOH to complain back in September because US 48 was poorly marked.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on December 04, 2013, 10:15:33 PM
Had the opportunity to drive it today, which also for me includes the section from Knobley Rd to WV 93 (had not been on that segment either before today).  A vast improvement climbing the Allegheny Front.  Also continued west on WV 93 to Davis to check status of that construction.  I can see why they're saying 2015 now for getting it to Davis...there's a good chunk of it in Tucker County where they've barely begun earth movement.

From what I saw of the status, I think they'll be shooting for incremental openings as completion progresses westward from Bismark...probably starting with the section going to the interchange with 93 (concrete paving is underway on this segment), then probably to past Mt. Storm, then to near the Tucker/Grant County line.  In Tucker County, though there's been a lot less progress, there are a couple sections that I think will open early to 2-way traffic on the new lanes...this being because grade changes involving WV 93's existing lanes need to occur in those sections.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 04, 2013, 11:47:58 PM
Had the opportunity to drive it today, which also for me includes the section from Knobley Rd to WV 93 (had not been on that segment either before today).  A vast improvement climbing the Allegheny Front.  Also continued west on WV 93 to Davis to check status of that construction.  I can see why they're saying 2015 now for getting it to Davis...there's a good chunk of it in Tucker County where they've barely begun earth movement.

Thanks for the report!  Not sure I will head out that way until we get warmer weather in the spring.

Was there much snow on the ground?

I thought I saw someone (WVDOT or DOH?) say that Corridor H will reach W.Va. 32 in 2014?  Once over the Stony River and the railroad spur into the DVP generating station, the landscape looks relatively flat all the way to Davis (trending slightly downhill from the Grant County/Tucker County line).

From what I saw of the status, I think they'll be shooting for incremental openings as completion progresses westward from Bismark...probably starting with the section going to the interchange with 93 (concrete paving is underway on this segment), then probably to past Mt. Storm, then to near the Tucker/Grant County line.  In Tucker County, though there's been a lot less progress, there are a couple sections that I think will open early to 2-way traffic on the new lanes...this being because grade changes involving WV 93's existing lanes need to occur in those sections.

The incremental opening approach makes loads of sense, since it the construction effort has been east-to-west for quite a few years.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on December 05, 2013, 05:28:25 AM
Quote
Was there much snow on the ground?

VERY little (basically none except for VERY isolated patches).  Will probably change this weekend.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on December 07, 2013, 01:17:22 PM
The new section of road is full concrete roadway and shoulders like most of the other construction west of Moorefield.  Two lanes in each direction.  I'm sort of surprised there's no climbing lane heading westbound up the Allegheny Front but the traffic counts probably weren't high enough to justify one.  It's a major improvement over the WV 42/WV 93 route.

I don't recall seeing climbing lanes on any part of the "eastern" segment of Corridor H between Wardensville and Scherr.

Does there appear to be room to add a climbing lane later?

I drove the new segment two weekends ago, just after it opened.  It looked to me like there was no obvious provision to add climbing lanes either, but the concrete pavement seems wide enough to restripe it as three travel lanes rather than the two existing lanes plus concrete shoulders.  Adding a climbing lane could be as easy as adding asphalt shoulders on each side of the concrete pavement, which IIRC there's room for except on bridges, or on some bridge approaches where a Jersey wall hugs the left shoulder.  Kind of like what was done with I-15 north of Escondido CA, which initially was only two lanes in each direction at the insistence of then-Caltrans director Adriana Gianturco.  But the road was built with two concrete travel lanes, and two 12' concrete shoulders, in each direction (plus widened bridges), so adding asphalt shoulders allowed her more sensible successor to quickly and cheaply widen the freeway to four travel lanes in each direction.

In some places, bridges on Corridor H might need to be widened to accommodate three travel lanes, without screwing the bicyclists.  On some long bridges (like the one over US 220), bicyclists already have to uncomfortably use part of the right lane as well as the tiny shoulder, and hope that motorists do the right thing and move left.  But I don't recall any bridges on the new segment (and I'm not sure there are any elsewhere on Corridor H) in the spots where a climbing lane could possibly be needed. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on December 07, 2013, 04:07:22 PM
Here's some of my photos of the Corridor H extension, which I took on Saturday 11/20, the day after the extension opened.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-WB-w-of-WV93-connector_DSC1630.jpg)

Westbound US 48, just west of the connector to WV 93 which was US 48's old west end.  There is a wind farm on the ridge the extension slices through, and you'll be seeing lots of turbines in these photos.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-WB-at-Elklick-Run-bridge_DSC1642.jpg)

Continuing on westbound US 48, to the Elklick Run bridge over WV 93.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-WB-uphill-appeoaching-turbines_DSC1648.jpg)

Westbound US 48, on the uphill climb approaching the wind farm, taken at an intersection with either an unpaved private driveway or an under-construction public road.  There are several other places where provision is made for a future intersection of some kind, but none with an open public road. 

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-west-end-at-WV42-connector_DSC1668.jpg)

US 48's new (for now) west end, at a paved road signed only as "To WV 42".  The connector actually goes north to WV 93, but just east of its northern junction with WV 42, so it makes sense to sign it as "To WV 42" (also heads off confusion with the "To WV 93" connector, which is still open, at US 48's old west end).  In the background to the left is the Grassy Ridge Rd. overpass for the next US 48 segment (see below).

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/north-end-ToWV42-connector_DSC1694.jpg)

The north end of the connector, at WV 93 less than 0.2 miles west of WV 42.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/south-end-ToWV42-connector_DSC1728.jpg)

The south end of the connector.  The WV 48 sign is presumably a contractor sign-o, like many others in the area.  At least US 48 is properly signed as such on the new highway itself.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-EB-from-WV42-connector-overlook_DSC1677.jpg)

Continuing on the connector road south of US 48, which goes to a construction yard and somebody's driveway, you can get some good views of US 48 to the east, including the pair of bridges over WV 42/93.  There will also be an official scenic overlook on the eastbound highway east of here, but it isn't yet open.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/WV42-under-US48_DSC1760.jpg)

WV 42/93 passes under the now-opened US 48 extension.  A short segment of WV 42/93 was realigned as part of the US 48 construction project.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/WV93-WB-west-of-WV42-jct_DSC1764.jpg)
(http://www.alaskaroads.com/WV93-WB-at-US48-connector_DSC1775.jpg)

Just west of the WV 42/93 junction, and then approaching the connector road to US 48, there are more WV 48 sign-os (plus one correct sign).

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-uc-WB-from-Grassy-Ridge-overpass_DSC1741.jpg)
(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-uc-EB-from-Grassy-Ridge-overpass_DSC1748.jpg)

The construction work underway on the next Corridor H segment, from the Grassy Ridge Rd. overpass (facing west, then east), with pavement laid down for the eastbound lanes and about to be for the westbound lanes.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 08, 2013, 10:32:43 AM
Oscar, these are nice pictures. Thank you for sharing them.

The bridge that carries Grassy Ridge Road over Corridor H is a fine place to snap some pictures of the highway, and having Nedpower's windmills in the distance (when looking east) or Dominion Virginia Power's Mount Storm Generating Station in the view (when looking west) just makes the images even better.

And the picture you captured of the just-opened Corridor H headed east downhill from the crest of the Allegheny Front, with the windmills on the left, is really good.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on December 08, 2013, 02:03:56 PM
I concur. Great photos. They'll have to tide me over until I can make it back up that way.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 15, 2013, 12:04:19 PM
TheInterMountain.com: RCDA supports Corridor H partnership plan (http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/566750/RCDA-supports-Corridor-H-partnership-plan.html)

Quote
ELKINS - The Randolph County Development Authority board voted unanimously Monday to support a Corridor H Authority resolution pushing for a public/private partnership to help complete the highway by 2020.

Quote
RCDA Executive Director Robbie Morris read the resolution, which stated the partnership is vital to the growth of Randolph County.

Quote
Morris said a recent study on the completion of Corridor H by 2020 - instead of the projected completion date of 2036 or after - suggests a positive economic impact of at least $1.254 billion in income for the state.

Quote
Morris said the completion of the section of Corridor H from Kerens to Parsons will mean the entire highway is 87 percent complete.

Quote
"The public/private partnership is authorized by the 2013 Legislative session that allows the Department of Highways to enter into contacts for private funding for state projects," Morris said. "Basically the construction company will finance the project and the state will pay them back. The law went into effect July 1, and is basically like a mortgage."
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 12, 2014, 01:18:18 PM
http://www.connect-clarksburg.com/connect.cfm?func=view&section=News&item=County-Commission-Offers-Support-For-Corridor-H-Completion-2790&fb_source=message

I don't recall ever hearing that one proposed eastern terminus was New Market.

And is it definite that Virginia will build its portion?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 12, 2014, 02:03:25 PM
I don't recall ever hearing that one proposed eastern terminus was New Market.
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=1665.msg252922#msg252922
http://www.corridorh2020.com/History.html claims it too.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 12, 2014, 10:45:30 PM
http://www.connect-clarksburg.com/connect.cfm?func=view&section=News&item=County-Commission-Offers-Support-For-Corridor-H-Completion-2790&fb_source=message

I don't recall ever hearing that one proposed eastern terminus was New Market.

Harrisonburg, following U.S. 33, was discussed at some point.  But I think that went away when Corridor  H was re-routed to the north to not run near Seneca Rocks in West Virginia.  I don't recall ever seeing that the eastern terminus was to be New Market.

And is it definite that Virginia will build its portion?

Not according to what is online in VDOT's Six Year Improvement Program (http://syip.virginiadot.org/Pages/allProjects.aspx) (often just called the "six year plan"). I just checked it again for Shenandoah and Frederick Counties, and there is nothing that mentions even preliminary engineering for U.S. 48 and/or Va. 55.

Both counties are in VDOT's Staunton District.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on January 13, 2014, 05:11:47 PM
Despite what some in West Virginia are saying, I doubt it's a "definite" that Virginia will build their portion.  After an hour-long search this afternoon, I've found only two references to Corridor H or its completion within Virginia.  The only reference specifically mentioning this supposed 2026 completion comes from an ADHS Completion Plan Report (http://www.arc.gov/images/programs/transp/ADHSCompletionPlanReport-9-2013.pdf) dated last September.  The presumption many are making is that VDOT provided the date to the Appalachian Regional Commission.  I've also noted some conflicting discrepancies regarding dates within this document (Mississippi Corridor V, for example, which lists "June 2014" as a completion date but also notes plain as day that completion plans for Corridor V are on hold due to lack of funding).  So without verification elsewhere (and given Virginia's history with Corridor H), I take this 2026 date with a large grain of salt.

Corridor H is also mentioned in this CTB presentation (http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2013/feb/pres/Presentation_Agenda_Item_7_Final_FY_2014_2019_SYIP_Presentation.pdf) from a year ago.  It only mentions that "Corridor H is a commitment after Corridor Q is completed".  Nothing else, and no dates.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 13, 2014, 08:32:59 PM
Despite what some in West Virginia are saying, I doubt it's a "definite" that Virginia will build their portion.

I think that Virginia will get around to it eventually, but it may be many years before they even get Corridor H to the preliminary engineering (PE) stage. 

If West Virginia wants Virginia to move this up on the priorities list and get it into the Six Year Plan, then I suspect that West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will need to pick up the phone and call Virginia's new Gov. Terry McAuliffe [perhaps when the Elk River environmental disaster is sufficiently remediated so that people can bathe in their homes] offer congratulations on McAuliffe's inauguration and then talk about Corridor H.

Virginia's new Secretary of Transportation, Aubrey Lane, appears from his online bio (https://governor.virginia.gov/cabinet/transportation/) to have spent much of his professional life in the Hampton Roads area (and Virginia Beach in particular), so he may not be personally familiar with Corridor H, though I assume that some members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board are.

After an hour-long search this afternoon, I've found only two references to Corridor H or its completion within Virginia.  The only reference specifically mentioning this supposed 2026 completion comes from an ADHS Completion Plan Report (http://www.arc.gov/images/programs/transp/ADHSCompletionPlanReport-9-2013.pdf) dated last September.  The presumption many are making is that VDOT provided the date to the Appalachian Regional Commission.  I've also noted some conflicting discrepancies regarding dates within this document (Mississippi Corridor V, for example, which lists "June 2014" as a completion date but also notes plain as day that completion plans for Corridor V are on hold due to lack of funding).  So without verification elsewhere (and given Virginia's history with Corridor H), I take this 2026 date with a large grain of salt.

I got the impression that the states in the Appalachian Regional Commission footprint were given a directive by the federal government to come up with completion dates for the ARC corridors within their borders, and Virginia did so - probably because they had to supply some sort of date.

Corridor H is also mentioned in this CTB presentation (http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2013/feb/pres/Presentation_Agenda_Item_7_Final_FY_2014_2019_SYIP_Presentation.pdf) from a year ago.  It only mentions that "Corridor H is a commitment after Corridor Q is completed".  Nothing else, and no dates.

Since Corridor Q is still under construction, it makes sense for VDOT to get it all under contract for construction.  But it seems to me that they could be doing some PE for Corridor H (though it's clear from the Six Year Program that there is no funding for any PE contemplated right now).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: NE2 on January 13, 2014, 09:01:31 PM
What are the deficiencies in Virginia, given that a two-lane road can handle the traffic?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on January 14, 2014, 10:59:23 AM
Quote
If West Virginia wants Virginia to move this up on the priorities list and get it into the Six Year Plan, then I suspect that West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will need to pick up the phone and call Virginia's Governor [several years after the Elk River environmental disaster is sufficiently remediated so that people will have forgotten about it] and offer to pay for Corridor H with West Virginia funds.

FTFY.

Quote
I got the impression that the states in the Appalachian Regional Commission footprint were given a directive by the federal government to come up with completion dates for the ARC corridors within their borders, and Virginia did so - probably because they had to supply some sort of date.

Probably, but as I noted there are noticeable disparities in the dates listed in the ARC report, so I'd take anything in that report with a large grain of salt.

Quote
What are the deficiencies in Virginia, given that a two-lane road can handle the traffic?

Mainly just a lack of shoulders and turn lanes.  I have long said (including earlier in this thread) that spot improvements to VA 55 would be more than adequate to handle current and future traffic volume.  To be perfectly fair, it's not like we haven't had 2-lane ARC corridors before (or even presently...there's a couple in Tennessee IIRC)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on January 14, 2014, 11:04:21 AM
I'll agree with that. The W.V. side of 55 going down North Mt. into Wardensville needs to be widened/straightened. Not many in Va. are even remotely interested in Corridor H.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 14, 2014, 12:04:14 PM
Mainly just a lack of shoulders and turn lanes.  I have long said (including earlier in this thread) that spot improvements to VA 55 would be more than adequate to handle current and future traffic volume.  To be perfectly fair, it's not like we haven't had 2-lane ARC corridors before (or even presently...there's a couple in Tennessee IIRC)

And a lot of two-lane ARC corridors in Kentucky, too. I think that some minor widening and straightening of the existing US 48/VA 55 route, and the addition of a passing lane here and there, would certainly help the existing road. I don't think it's a bad drive at all; certainly as it exists now it's a lot better than many of the roads connecting county seats in eastern Kentucky.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Alps on January 15, 2014, 10:31:14 PM
Not many in Va. are even remotely interested in Corridor H.
VA has plenty of economic generators. WV, not so much.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on January 16, 2014, 10:33:51 AM
To tie this discussion into the one about the proposed Mountain Parkway widening project in Kentucky, the two-lane segment of the Mountain Parkway is considered an ARC corridor (I can never remember the letter designation) even though it wasn't built with ARC funds. So there's a two-lane corridor.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: BrianP on January 16, 2014, 03:10:04 PM
To tie this discussion into the one about the proposed Mountain Parkway widening project in Kentucky, the two-lane segment of the Mountain Parkway is considered an ARC corridor (I can never remember the letter designation) even though it wasn't built with ARC funds. So there's a two-lane corridor.
I looked it up.  There are two corridors involved with the Mountain Parkway: I & R.  Both include two lane sections. 

I see there is new aerial imagery of Corridor H.  I see the new western end of the highway as well as some of the construction progress west of there.  There's a curious gap along the route where no work has started.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on January 16, 2014, 08:42:41 PM
Quote
There's a curious gap along the route where no work has started.

If you're referring to along WV 93 east of Thomas, I noticed that too in the field a couple months ago.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on February 18, 2014, 07:31:47 AM
 Took a ride to Mt. Storm yesterday, will upload pics as soon as I figure out how to get them from Photobucket to here...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on February 18, 2014, 07:37:24 AM
Took a ride to Mt. Storm yesterday, will upload pics as soon as I figure out how to get them from Photobucket to here...

The easiest way to do it is to click on the image in Photobucket, then look for the box of links on the right. Select the one that contains the "IMG" code.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 13, 2014, 11:09:19 PM
WBOY-TV: Corridor H Update Presented at Quarterly Meeting of Elkins-Randolph Chamber of Commerce (http://www.wboy.com/story/24959183/corridor-h)

Quote
"It's beautiful road, and there's lot of great terrain that's available for development all along Weston to Wardensville then into Virginia, there's just great possibilities," said Robbie Morris, executive director of Randolph County Development Authority.

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Virginia is wanting to complete its 10 percent portion of highway by 2026.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on March 14, 2014, 01:13:25 AM
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It's beautiful road, and there's lot of great terrain that's available for development all along Weston to Wardensville then into Virginia, there's just great possibilities," said Robbie Morris, executive director of Randolph County Development Authority.

There's so much topographically/environmentally wrong with this, I don't even know where to begin…


Quote
Virginia is wanting to complete its 10 percent portion of highway by 2026.

Again, I have not seen anything within VDOT or CTB literature to verify this.  As before, it's probably a "placeholder" date that VDOT submitted to the annual AHDS report.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on March 14, 2014, 01:52:10 AM
Robbie Morris was an advocate of the dam that would have flooded Canaan Valley, the highest elevation valley in the eastern United States - and one of the most biodiverse region in the United States. To him, it's all development and industry at whatever cost. The only jobs that are out that way in the industrial park on WV 93 is some small shops that employ less than 100 total and a jail.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 14, 2014, 10:40:46 AM
Quote
It's beautiful road, and there's lot of great terrain that's available for development all along Weston to Wardensville then into Virginia, there's just great possibilities," said Robbie Morris, executive director of Randolph County Development Authority.

There's so much topographically/environmentally wrong with this, I don't even know where to begin…

Environmentally wrong because some groups want no economic development along Corridor H?

Remember that one of the ideas behind the ADHS is to "induce" demand through economic development.

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Virginia is wanting to complete its 10 percent portion of highway by 2026.

Again, I have not seen anything within VDOT or CTB literature to verify this.  As before, it's probably a "placeholder" date that VDOT submitted to the annual AHDS report.

2026 is a few years beyond the planning horizon that VDOT uses for its Six Year Program.

On the other hand, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va. 10th) is retiring, and he was one of the more-vocal opponents of Corridor H on the Virginia side of North Mountain.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on March 14, 2014, 11:55:18 AM
....

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Virginia is wanting to complete its 10 percent portion of highway by 2026.

Again, I have not seen anything within VDOT or CTB literature to verify this.  As before, it's probably a "placeholder" date that VDOT submitted to the annual AHDS report.


I would not be terribly surprised if he's talked to a single individual within one of those entities who supports the project and is misleadingly imputing that person's statements to "Virginia" as a whole. That sort of thing is hardly uncommon.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Mapmikey on March 14, 2014, 12:14:59 PM
VA 55 west of I-81 does not seem to appear in VTrans 2025, VTrans2035 (2010) or the VTrans2035 update (Apr 2013).

The 2035 update contains a graphic within the linked document below that shows a service level for trucks still quite good on VA 55 in the year 2035...

At the end of the document is a list of highway projects considered "key" and VA 55 isn't there either...

http://www.vtrans.org/resources/VSTP/VSTPUpdate_FinalReport_AccessibleFinal_cChap345App.pdf

Apparently work is starting on VTrans 2040 soon.  Maybe it will be there...

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on March 14, 2014, 04:16:47 PM
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Environmentally wrong because some groups want no economic development along Corridor H?

Environmentally wrong because A) clear-cutting of forests (one of the things some want to do) basically eliminates wildlife habitat, especially in acidic soil such as what they have.  This is an ongoing issue in those areas where lumber/timber is a big business.  But because it's a big business and because of the demand for wood, it isn't going away anytime soon.  B) massive cuts/fills, necessary for large development in mountainous areas, changes drainage patterns significantly, usually resulting in some area or another experiencing higher flood risk.

Induced demand/development may have been all the rage 50 years ago when the ADHS was created.  But I'd like to think that we've gotten wiser to the environmental ramifications of such unchecked development since then.  Apparently I was wrong.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 14, 2014, 04:52:57 PM
Quote
Environmentally wrong because some groups want no economic development along Corridor H?

Environmentally wrong because A) clear-cutting of forests (one of the things some want to do) basically eliminates wildlife habitat, especially in acidic soil such as what they have.  This is an ongoing issue in those areas where lumber/timber is a big business.  But because it's a big business and because of the demand for wood, it isn't going away anytime soon.  B) massive cuts/fills, necessary for large development in mountainous areas, changes drainage patterns significantly, usually resulting in some area or another experiencing higher flood risk.

Much of the land along Corridor H between Kerens and the crest of the Allegheny Front is:

(1) owned by the USDA U.S. Forest Service; or
(2) mined-out coal deposits that have been burned in the Mount Storm Generating Station.

Now the USFS does not always operate rationally, but I don't think it generally allows clear-cutting of forests (and some parts of the Monongahela National Forest are designated as "wilderness," (http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mnf/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5084288) which means no mechanized harvesting of timber at all).

Induced demand/development may have been all the rage 50 years ago when the ADHS was created.  But I'd like to think that we've gotten wiser to the environmental ramifications of such unchecked development since then.  Apparently I was wrong.

How much induced demand do you estimate will occur if and when Corridor H is completed?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on March 14, 2014, 10:13:46 PM

Environmentally wrong because A) clear-cutting of forests (one of the things some want to do) basically eliminates wildlife habitat, especially in acidic soil such as what they have.

Really? You do realize that every square inch of the entire state of WV, save for Catherdral State Park, has been clear cut at least twice, most three or more times.

Yet, still plenty of wildlife.  In fact, more today than ever. 

Extremist hysteria is no substitute for critical thinking.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on March 16, 2014, 12:32:43 PM
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How much induced demand do you estimate will occur if and when Corridor H is completed?

Not enough to warrant 4 lanes.

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Extremist hysteria is no substitute for critical thinking.

If we were truly doing critical thinking, we wouldn't have put a dime into Corridor H because the traffic level just doesn't justify the expense.  I have always maintained that the traffic volume is not sufficient to warrant the cost of this project.  If West Virginia wants it built?  They should fund it themselves, especially since they reap the vast majority of purputed benefits.  The environmental ramifications are only secondary.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on March 16, 2014, 01:30:50 PM
I wonder why they installed rusted guardrail on the most recently opened section.

It's on the whole eastern portion. Probably a nod to the scenic nature of the highway.

If we were truly doing critical thinking, we wouldn't have put a dime into Corridor H because the traffic level just doesn't justify the expense.  I have always maintained that the traffic volume is not sufficient to warrant the cost of this project.  If West Virginia wants it built?  They should fund it themselves, especially since they reap the vast majority of purputed benefits.

Couldn't the same be said about many, if not most of the other ARC corridors? I can think of a number of others that are pretty lightly traveled. The concept of the Appalachian system wasn't centered on traffic volumes. It was built around economic development and improving accessibility. Most of the other corridors involved improving existing through routes (US 23, US 119, etc.). This is one of the few that involves a lot of new terrain construction over a string of routes that isn't a logical corridor. The convoluted US 119-US 25E-TN 63 and KY 80-KY 90-KY 61-TN 53-TN 56-unbuilt connector to Cookeville-TN 111 corridors followed routes that few would consider to be direct alignments, but they improved existing roads, more to the benefit of communities along the route rather than through traffic. (Not too many people are going to go from Chattanooga to London via Cookeville and Burkesville).

Cue SPUI and his "but it's still closer to take 79 and 68 through Morgantown and Hancock" comment, but Corridor H will still be a better route from Kentucky and West Virginia and other locations in this area to DC, with less traffic.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 17, 2014, 07:47:22 PM
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How much induced demand do you estimate will occur if and when Corridor H is completed?

Not enough to warrant 4 lanes.

Though "sprawl" was a reason touted in opposition to the project (http://www.users.cloud9.net/~kenner/cha/CHpro.html).  The opponents cannot have it both ways, yet that is what they have tried to do.

I have long suspected that people with money from the D.C. area were opposed to the project, but have only recently noticed that one of the plaintiff parties in the Clinton Administration-era federal lawsuit (http://www.users.cloud9.net/~kenner/cha/CHsuit.txt) against Corridor H was something called Reynolds Estates Landowners, with address in Springfield, Fairfax County, Va. (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=9207+shotgun+court,+springfield+va&ll=38.763415,-77.2629&spn=0.004091,0.007929&sll=38.763143,-77.262960&layer=c&cbp=13,189.76,,0,0&cbll=38.763415,-77.2629&gl=us&hnear=9207+Shotgun+Ct,+Springfield,+Virginia+22153&t=m&z=17&iwloc=A&panoid=41ZrFKvDu0bUIX8q166a5g) Why would someone located in Fairfax County (conveniently close to Va. 286, the Fairfax County Parkway) be a party to a federal lawsuit against a highway mostly in West Virginia?

Couldn't the same be said about many, if not most of the other ARC corridors? I can think of a number of others that are pretty lightly traveled. The concept of the Appalachian system wasn't centered on traffic volumes. It was built around economic development and improving accessibility. Most of the other corridors involved improving existing through routes (US 23, US 119, etc.). This is one of the few that involves a lot of new terrain construction over a string of routes that isn't a logical corridor. The convoluted US 119-US 25E-TN 63 and KY 80-KY 90-KY 61-TN 53-TN 56-unbuilt connector to Cookeville-TN 111 corridors followed routes that few would consider to be direct alignments, but they improved existing roads, more to the benefit of communities along the route rather than through traffic. (Not too many people are going to go from Chattanooga to London via Cookeville and Burkesville).

It is (or should be, in my opinion) a national priority to connect residents of these areas (and their land) to the national transportation network - and that means highways better than existing U.S. 50, U.S. 219, U.S. 33 and U.S. 250 (I suspect that both Adam, H.B. and many readers of this forum are familiar with all of them).

Perhaps I am going too far in use of rhetoric, but did anyone suggest that Corridor G between Pikeville, Kentucky and Charleston, West Virginia should not have been built?  Or that it should have been built as two-lane undivided?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on July 16, 2014, 07:02:42 AM
Bump.... Anybody been out to Bismarck to see how construction is going lately? I have not been up there since President's Day.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on July 16, 2014, 12:40:31 PM
Maybe old news, but..
http://www.times-news.com/local/x1535585868/Revamped-U-S-220-would-have-big-residential-impact
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bluecountry on August 11, 2014, 11:11:41 AM
Quote
How much induced demand do you estimate will occur if and when Corridor H is completed?

Not enough to warrant 4 lanes.

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Extremist hysteria is no substitute for critical thinking.

If we were truly doing critical thinking, we wouldn't have put a dime into Corridor H because the traffic level just doesn't justify the expense.  I have always maintained that the traffic volume is not sufficient to warrant the cost of this project.  If West Virginia wants it built?  They should fund it themselves, especially since they reap the vast majority of purputed benefits.  The environmental ramifications are only secondary.
You are 100% correct.  This is a clear waste of limited resources that would much be better spent repairing exisiting infrastructure and leaving the backwoods alone.
There are enough through routes and the population in Eastern WV is extremely sparse.
They need, if anything, better schools and health care, not mega roads
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on August 11, 2014, 12:24:10 PM
Once again, someone fails to grasp the concept of the Appalachian Development Highway System.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 11, 2014, 07:48:38 PM
Once again, someone fails to grasp the concept of the Appalachian Development Highway System.

Agreed.

As a senior staff member with a state highway agency in one of the ADHS states told me, as far as he was concerned, the purpose of the ADHS network is to induce demand.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on August 11, 2014, 09:33:55 PM
In addition, it was designed to be a system, like the interstate system, not a collection of individual roads.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtantillo on August 12, 2014, 06:23:07 PM
In addition, it was designed to be a system, like the interstate system, not a collection of individual roads.

And coupled with the Interstate system in those states, it actually makes a pretty decent, cohesive system. Corridor H is a big "missing gap" in that system.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on August 12, 2014, 08:22:25 PM
Despite the advent of the corridors in West Virginia, the state is still near bottom of the list for healthcare, education and nearly every metric for economic well being. It may be used, but it hasn't exactly brought prosperity.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on August 13, 2014, 06:32:34 AM
The ARC, and more broadly the entire social program system of that era, is made up of two things.  A few things such as the corridors, forced consolidation of lower education, improvements to higher education, which alleviate poverty, and the rest of it (give away programs that make work optional) that cause it. 

Do not make the mistake of confusing one with the other.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on September 05, 2014, 10:43:21 AM
Had to drive on the newest segment of Corridor H Saturday. An access road leads from WV 93/42 to Corridor H and down the Allegheny Front. There is an overlook going eastbound of the Lunice Creek valley and beyond. Other than the power and gas lines marring the otherwise unspoiled landscape, it's a great view: http://goo.gl/maps/9hA5K

The segment between US 219 and WV 93/42 is well under construction. Most of the eastbound lanes have been poured and traffic will shift to those lanes while the westbound lanes are graded and constructed.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on September 05, 2014, 11:04:00 AM
Had to drive on the newest segment of Corridor H Saturday. An access road leads from WV 93/42 to Corridor H and down the Allegheny Front. There is an overlook going eastbound of the Lunice Creek valley and beyond. Other than the power and gas lines marring the otherwise unspoiled landscape, it's a great view: http://goo.gl/maps/9hA5K

The segment between US 219 and WV 93/42 is well under construction. Most of the eastbound lanes have been poured and traffic will shift to those lanes while the westbound lanes are graded and constructed.

Where on 219 is it supposed to emerge? If you zoom in close enough, you can find Google Maps showing a route passing just on the northern edge of Davis, but their routing looks speculative to me because it shows a long route through the parkland west of there and I was under the impression no route through that area had been selected. Hence, it makes me skeptical of the accuracy of their map of the planned route east of that area.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on September 05, 2014, 11:15:12 AM
Pretty much right here: http://goo.gl/maps/HHCkF

To the east, it closely hugs the existing alignment due to the prevalence of the Canaan Valley NWR. To the west, it swings up due to the nearby state parks and geological features.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on September 05, 2014, 11:57:21 AM
Pretty much right here: http://goo.gl/maps/HHCkF

To the east, it closely hugs the existing alignment due to the prevalence of the Canaan Valley NWR. To the west, it swings up due to the nearby state parks and geological features.

OK, so it is about where Google Maps shows. Thanks. I drove on the then-entire eastern portion of Corridor H this past July (prior to the opening of the segment down the Allegheny Front), but we were coming south from Fallingwater and so approached down WV-42 from US-50 rather than from the direction of Davis and Thomas, hence why I haven't seen where it's due to emerge. I've been trying to find an excuse to get back out there some weekend but haven't found the time recently.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on September 05, 2014, 02:29:56 PM
Fall colors start changing in about two weeks and peak out by early to mid October, depending on elevation. Dolly Sods is always a must-see for the vistas. Canaan Valley for the wetlands and wildlife. Blackwater Falls for the ... waterfalls (there are 3). And of course, all of the awesome locally owned restaurants and shops in Thomas and Davis.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 05, 2014, 03:13:05 PM
Fall colors start changing in about two weeks and peak out by early to mid October, depending on elevation. Dolly Sods is always a must-see for the vistas. Canaan Valley for the wetlands and wildlife. Blackwater Falls for the ... waterfalls (there are 3). And of course, all of the awesome locally owned restaurants and shops in Thomas and Davis.

Going to try for a look-see along Corridor H and also turn back and check out the (now repaired) Oldtown low-water toll bridge this weekend.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on October 25, 2014, 11:02:40 AM
http://www.wboy.com/

Interesting TV station call sign -- counterpart to Pennsylvania's WGAL. 

Looks like it's time to pencil in another pre-Thanksgiving road trip out there.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mtfallsmikey on October 27, 2014, 10:56:49 AM
Was up there last weekend, the interchange at Rt. 93 not quite ready, paving done. Foliage was near peak. Saw a W.V. State Trooper near Moorefield, first one I've ever seen on the road.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: machpost on October 27, 2014, 02:45:51 PM
Was up there last weekend, the interchange at Rt. 93 not quite ready, paving done. Foliage was near peak. Saw a W.V. State Trooper near Moorefield, first one I've ever seen on the road.

For folks traveling the remaining 2-lane portion of Route 93 between Bismarck and Davis, I've been advised that the 45 MPH speed limit is being heavily enforced, with tickets being issued for exceeding that speed by as little as 2-3 MPH.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on October 27, 2014, 08:36:53 PM
Why is that a 45 mph zone? Because of adjacent construction? Because most every time I've driven that road, i was able to do 65-70 mph and there was very little traffic.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on October 27, 2014, 08:39:43 PM
Why is that a 45 mph zone? Because of adjacent construction? Because most every time I've driven that road, i was able to do 65-70 mph and there was very little traffic.

Probably a lot of adjacent construction.  It was a real mess around this time last year.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 27, 2014, 10:47:25 PM
Was up there last weekend, the interchange at Rt. 93 not quite ready, paving done. Foliage was near peak. Saw a W.V. State Trooper near Moorefield, first one I've ever seen on the road.

For folks traveling the remaining 2-lane portion of Route 93 between Bismarck and Davis, I've been advised that the 45 MPH speed limit is being heavily enforced, with tickets being issued for exceeding that speed by as little as 2-3 MPH.

I have observed some speed limit enforcement on W.Va. 93 approaching W.Va. 32, and near or within the corporate limits of Thomas.  I think the enforcement was by the Tucker County Sheriff's Office, but I am not 100% certain about that.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: machpost on October 29, 2014, 10:08:29 AM
Why is that a 45 mph zone? Because of adjacent construction? Because most every time I've driven that road, i was able to do 65-70 mph and there was very little traffic.

Probably a lot of adjacent construction.  It was a real mess around this time last year.

Correct. There appears to be active construction, seven days a week, nearly all the way to Davis now.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CVski on November 21, 2014, 05:50:28 PM
Just arrived in Canaan Valley from NOVA.  The new 1.5 mile segment of highway is now open from Bismarck to the interchange just below the dam.  In addition, two-way traffic has been moved from the old road over to the new carriage way for the entire (6-8 mi?) stretch from the railroad crossing up to Beaver Creek at the Tucker County line.   Still marked at 45 mph everywhere.  There are some interesting new vistas, including a view down into the quarry just after passing the Mettiki coal mine entrance.   As it crosses the eastern divide, Corridor H must be reaching a new highest point as far as elevation, before you descend slightly down to Davis.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CVski on November 24, 2014, 08:18:53 PM
Correction:  New segment is 1.9 miles in length.  Shortly after passing the RR crossing above Mt. Storm, two-way traffic runs for about 1 mile on the new road, then detours back to old Rt. 93 for 3 miles, and then returns back to the new carriage way for just about 5 more miles.  All traffic returns to old Rt 93 at the Beaver Creek crossing, just in front of the Rubenstein Juvenile Center.       
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 24, 2014, 10:17:06 PM
I drove Corridor H between Davis and I-81 yesterday.  As CVski says, there are about 8 miles between the Rubenstein Center and Mount Storm Lake now where traffic is on the newly built eastbound lanes.  The 4-lane part from the interchange east of Mount Storm Lake to the WV 42 Bismarck connector is also open.

All of the construction has concrete travel lanes and shoulders.  About half of the new Davis-Bismarck section has Cor-Ten guardrails like the other recently built eastern sections of Corridor H.  The rest has traditional galvanized guardrail.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on November 24, 2014, 10:28:41 PM
Correction:  New segment is 1.9 miles in length.  Shortly after passing the RR crossing above Mt. Storm, two-way traffic runs for about 1 mile on the new road, then detours back to old Rt. 93 for 3 miles, and then returns back to the new carriage way for just about 5 more miles.  All traffic returns to old Rt 93 at the Beaver Creek crossing, just in front of the Rubenstein Juvenile Center.       

I was there earlier today (more to follow later, including a few photos).  My car's nav system, which uses ~2007 maps (never updated), indicates that much of the "new carriage way" is twinning of the old carriageway, with only a few short departures from the old alignment (in addition to the larger deviations noted by CVski).

Two more quick notes:

US 48 signage is on the new road west to the WV 93 interchange, and at the interchange itself directing traffic to US 48 eastbound.  But there is none west of there, including the parts of WV 93 following what will be the new Corridor H carriageways.

Also, all westbound traffic must exit at the WV 93 interchange and use WV 93 past the Mt. Storm plant, before returning to what will be the new Corridor H carriageways.  Eastbound traffic has to do the same moves in reverse. 

Barricades block off new pavement and bridges that will later provide a direct connection, bypassing the Mt. Storm plant.  How soon might that bypass open?  The parts I could see looked close to ready, but there's a lot I couldn't see.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on November 30, 2014, 07:59:49 AM
Here are many of the photos I took on my Corridor H construction tour last Monday.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-WB-at-CommDr-jct_DSC5470.jpg)

^   The newly-extended US 48 westbound, just west of the old end at Communications Drive (signed as "To WV 42").  The US 48 extension is signed here, on the eastbound lanes just east of the new WV 93 interchange, and in both directions on WV 93 at that interchange.  This new US 48 marker needs a more solid mounting (perhaps using two supports rather than just one, like many other signs), since it was flapping around a bit that windy day, and I had to wait for a break between wind gusts for the sign to steady enough for me to photograph it.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-CommDr-jct_DSC5449.jpg)
(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-CommDr-jct-signs-closeup_DSC5459.jpg)

^   Two photos from Communications Drive southbound of its intersection with US 48.  The closeup photo shows a WV 48 sign-o (maybe the same contractor who previously put up other sign-os elsewhere in the vicinity).

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-WB-app-jct-WV93_DSC5488.jpg)

^   Back on westbound US 48, approaching the WV 93 interchange, where all US 48 traffic is required to exit.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-WB-end-ramp-to-WV93_DSC5498.jpg)

^   The end of that exit ramp.  The route signs in the background are for WV 93.  There are no signs indicating that US 48 continues in either direction.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/WV93-WB-jct-US48_DSC5444.jpg)
(http://www.alaskaroads.com/WV93-EB-jct-US48_DSC5426.jpg)

^   The new US 48-WV 93 interchange, from WV 93 westbound (with the Mt. Storm power plant in the background) then eastbound.  None of the signs so far indicate that WV 93 will be relocated at this point onto the new US 48 roadway west of here once it opens.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48future-bridge-over-RR_DSC5516.jpg)

^   An unopened new bridge, which will carry US 48 over the railroad track to the Mt. Storm power plant.  The track is to the right of the center pier.  The road to the left of the pier may be just a construction access, rather than for a future ramp carrying westbound WV 93 traffic to westbound US 48.
 
(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48future-EB-from-WV93_DSC5524.jpg)

^   WV 93 meets the under-construction part of Corridor H here, at a perhaps-temporary at-grade intersection.  This photo shows the barricaded new pavement east of the intersection. 

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48future-WB-from-WV93-jct_DSC5529.jpg)

^   Facing westbound from the same point, WV 93 traffic in both directions uses the concrete pavement on the left, that will be US 48's eastbound lanes.  The parallel future westbound lanes remain closed, and for now are mostly asphalt-surfaced (maybe they were the old WV 93 alignment?).

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/WV93-EB-US48-project-sign_DSC5549.jpg)

^   This sign, on WV 93 eastbound, between WV 32 and the beginning of the Corridor H work zone, is the only one showing a US 48 marker that I saw west of the new WV 93 interchange northeast of Mt. Storm.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on November 30, 2014, 09:41:42 AM
Quote
An unopened new bridge, which will carry US 48 over the railroad track to the Mt. Storm power plant.  The track is to the right of the center pier.  The road to the left of the pier may be just a construction access, rather than for a future ramp carrying westbound WV 93 traffic to westbound US 48.

Assuming the final construction plans are similar to the preliminary design (Google Earth suggests yes), the road going under the bridge will become part of a frontage road on the other side of US 48....with the frontage road following WV 93's old alignment.

Quote
Facing westbound from the same point, WV 93 traffic in both directions uses the concrete pavement on the left, that will be US 48's eastbound lanes.  The parallel future westbound lanes remain closed, and for now are mostly asphalt-surfaced (maybe they were the old WV 93 alignment?).

Not in this area.  You need to get about 4 miles west of here to get to a point where the WV 93 lanes are utilized.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on November 30, 2014, 09:52:15 AM
Here are many of the photos I took on my Corridor H construction tour last Monday.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-WB-at-CommDr-jct_DSC5470.jpg)

^   The newly-extended US 48 westbound, just west of the old end at Communications Drive (signed as "To WV 42").  The US 48 extension is signed here, on the eastbound lanes just east of the new WV 93 interchange, and in both directions on WV 93 at that interchange.  This new US 48 marker needs a more solid mounting (perhaps using two supports rather than just one, like many other signs), since it was flapping around a bit that windy day, and I had to wait for a break between wind gusts for the sign to steady enough for me to photograph it.

If the signpost was two U-channels back-to-back, that would not be out of the ordinary for WVDOH when protected by a guardrail.  I can't tell from your photo.

When I was through the area last weekend, I noticed the signage for WV 42 was poorly done.  It looks like they hastily put up some signs so they could open the road.  I hope better permanent signage will be coming.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-WB-end-ramp-to-WV93_DSC5498.jpg)

^   The end of that exit ramp.  The route signs in the background are for WV 93.  There are no signs indicating that US 48 continues in either direction.

As far as WVDOH is concerned, US 48 ends at that ramp for now.  They've been OK with leaving the route with a dangling end (it was at a county route before).  Even when it gets to Davis, I doubt they'll tie it into US 219 at Thomas.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/WV93-WB-jct-US48_DSC5444.jpg)
(http://www.alaskaroads.com/WV93-EB-jct-US48_DSC5426.jpg)

^   The new US 48-WV 93 interchange, from WV 93 westbound (with the Mt. Storm power plant in the background) then eastbound.  None of the signs so far indicate that WV 93 will be relocated at this point onto the new US 48 roadway west of here once it opens.

Since WV 93 ends at Davis, there's really no reason to multiplex it with US 48 although that hasn't stopped WVDOH before.  I suspect it will be cut back to Mount Storm Lake or Scherr.  Personally, my preference would be to end WV 93 at its eastern Corridor H connector at Scherr and then realign WV 42 along old WV 93 and Corridor H to head up the mountain between Scherr and Bismarck.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48future-bridge-over-RR_DSC5516.jpg)
^   An unopened new bridge, which will carry US 48 over the railroad track to the Mt. Storm power plant.  The track is to the right of the center pier.  The road to the left of the pier may be just a construction access, rather than for a future ramp carrying westbound WV 93 traffic to westbound US 48.

When the project is done, this area will just be access to the power plant.  The railroad crossing out of the shot to the right will be removed.  There is a new intersection going in east of the railroad tracks to connect to current WV 93.  The road under the bridge and the road going off to the left will both remain so that coal trucks heading to the power plant don't have to make left turns across Corridor H.  See the plan sheets at http://www.wvcorridorh.com/mapping/corh_sh_29.pdf.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on November 30, 2014, 11:39:54 AM
If the signpost was two U-channels back-to-back, that would not be out of the ordinary for WVDOH when protected by a guardrail.  I can't tell from your photo.

I don't know either.  But even if the signpost is solid (the post was not swaying in the wind, only the sign), the sign itself is not mounted well enough on the single post.  Considering how windy the area gets even when the weather is better (as suggested by the wind farm to the east), two bolts mounting the sign to a single post might not be enough, even if they're re-tightened, since they could come loose again as the sign flexes in the wind.  Two signposts could help in this location.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 30, 2014, 11:55:38 AM
Here are many of the photos I took on my Corridor H construction tour last Monday.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/US48-WB-at-CommDr-jct_DSC5470.jpg)

Oscar, thanks for sharing these nice pictures.

Love how WVDOH likes to call its ADHS corridors "freeways," which they are usually not (they do meet my idea of expressways).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on December 17, 2014, 02:42:41 PM
  I drove over to the Bismarck area today. It appears that the section bypassing the dam is going to open soon. I didn't see to much action today (nor did I expect to) - they were working on guardrail around the overpass at the Bismarck interchange, I saw someone driving a roller around in the railroad overpass area, and it looked like some drainage work was going on about halfway to Davis on the north side of the road.
  More signage has been installed since oscar was there last month, especially west of the railroad overpass. Incredibly, they are going to sign WV 93 concurrently with US 48 west of there. As you approach the dam from the west (from Davis), there is a BGS that says WV 93/Bismarck, 2 miles. Then, after crossing the railroad overpass, is a sign directing route 93 off to the right, back onto its present alignment, after the RR crossing but before the dam. (see the right side of this map: http://www.wvcorridorh.com/mapping/corh_sh_29.pdf ) Shortly after that intersection,there is another BGS that says WV 93/Bismarck, 1 mile. East of the RR overpass, there are West US 48/West WV 93 assemblies.
  This makes no sense to me. It will probably confuse people who are not familiar with the area. I though that they would truncate 93 back to its historic terminus at Scherr, and I remember reading a web page somewhere that there was a plan to extend it east along US 50 and then have it replace WV 972.
  The WV 48 sign goof that appears in the photo upthread has been corrected. And that scenic overlook east of the WV 42 overpass is now open.
I'm not sure why the multiplex would be confusing to anyone. If anything, I think abruptly changing numbers while the corridor is still under construction would be more confusing to people.

FWIW, WVDOH has long liked useless multiplexes.  Today, WV 39 has a useless multiple with WV 16 for the last 6 miles into Gauley Bridge. Aside from the interchange connector at Moorefield, WV 55 is entirely multiplexed with other routes for its easternmost 211 miles. WV 92 and WV 28 also have 40+ mile multiplexes in the middle of their routes.  It used to be worse - WV 4 was formerly multiplexed with WV 20, US 33, WV 28, and US 50 from Buckhannon into Virginia.

I do agree the routes should be reshuffled.  I'd kill WV 55's multiplexes and move WV 42 onto part of current WV 93 and US 48 between Scherr and Bismarck. I'd either cut back WV 93 to Scherr or Mount Storm Lake. Hopefully DOH will review the issue once the have construction finished into Davis.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on December 17, 2014, 03:50:21 PM
FWIW, WVDOH has long liked useless multiplexes.  Today, WV 39 has a useless multiple with WV 16 for the last 6 miles into Gauley Bridge. Aside from the interchange connector at Moorefield, WV 55 is entirely multiplexed with other routes for its easternmost 211 miles. WV 92 and WV 28 also have 40+ mile multiplexes in the middle of their routes.  It used to be worse - WV 4 was formerly multiplexed with WV 20, US 33, WV 28, and US 50 from Buckhannon into Virginia.

I do agree the routes should be reshuffled.  I'd kill WV 55's multiplexes and move WV 42 onto part of current WV 93 and US 48 between Scherr and Bismarck. I'd either cut back WV 93 to Scherr or Mount Storm Lake. Hopefully DOH will review the issue once the have construction finished into Davis.

Indeed, it was worse. I have seen maps showing WV 4 co-signed with US 60 west of Charleston all the way to at least Huntington, if not the Kentucky state line. And isn't there still some WV 92 signage along WV 7 in Morgantown?

I thought that WV 55 was signed as one long route to denote a single scenic corridor. With the addition of US 48 east from Wardensville to the Virginia state line, there's only one small section of it that is independently signed.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on December 17, 2014, 04:51:09 PM
FWIW, WVDOH has long liked useless multiplexes.  Today, WV 39 has a useless multiple with WV 16 for the last 6 miles into Gauley Bridge. Aside from the interchange connector at Moorefield, WV 55 is entirely multiplexed with other routes for its easternmost 211 miles. WV 92 and WV 28 also have 40+ mile multiplexes in the middle of their routes.  It used to be worse - WV 4 was formerly multiplexed with WV 20, US 33, WV 28, and US 50 from Buckhannon into Virginia.

I do agree the routes should be reshuffled.  I'd kill WV 55's multiplexes and move WV 42 onto part of current WV 93 and US 48 between Scherr and Bismarck. I'd either cut back WV 93 to Scherr or Mount Storm Lake. Hopefully DOH will review the issue once the have construction finished into Davis.

Indeed, it was worse. I have seen maps showing WV 4 co-signed with US 60 west of Charleston all the way to at least Huntington, if not the Kentucky state line. And isn't there still some WV 92 signage along WV 7 in Morgantown?

I thought that WV 55 was signed as one long route to denote a single scenic corridor. With the addition of US 48 east from Wardensville to the Virginia state line, there's only one small section of it that is independently signed.
Yeah, WV 4 was multiplexed on the west end along US 60 over to Kentucky, too.  The signage for WV 92 along WV 7 between Reedsville and Morgantown finally came down a couple years ago.  According to some old maps, at point it actually also followed US 19 north to the PA line.

I think you're right on the WV 55 being intended as a scenic corridor since WV 150 (Highland Scenic Highway) was at one point along the part south/west of Elkins.  I've never actually seen it marketed as "follow WV 55 for scenery" or anything like that, though.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on December 17, 2014, 11:07:57 PM
Quote
I'm not sure why the multiplex would be confusing to anyone. If anything, I think abruptly changing numbers while the corridor is still under construction would be more confusing to people.

It's not the multiplex that is potentially confusing; it's traveling eastbound and seeing a BGS that says WV 93/Bismarck - 2 miles, then continuing less than a mile and seeing signs telling you to turn right to continue onto East 93 but seeing another BGS further down the highway that says WV 93/Bismarck - 1 mile, that's what might cause some confusion.
OK.  It could be a case where they pull the WV thing of removing the shields from the BGS.

Agreed regarding the 55 and 92 situations. That's a lot of money spent on signs. 55 should be truncated at Craigsville, and that southern piece of 92 could be an extension of either WV 311 or 84.
I've thought a southern extension of WV 28 to replace WV 92 would make sense.  WV 92 didn't exist south of Belington until sometime in the 1960s or 1970s.  WV 28 previously followed what is now WV 92 from Dunmore to Minnehaha Springs, where it ended.  The current WV 28 between Dunmore and WV 39 and WV 92 south of WV 39 were county routes.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on December 18, 2014, 08:21:00 PM
I've thought a southern extension of WV 28 to replace WV 92 would make sense.  WV 92 didn't exist south of Belington until sometime in the 1960s or 1970s.  WV 28 previously followed what is now WV 92 from Dunmore to Minnehaha Springs, where it ended.  The current WV 28 between Dunmore and WV 39 and WV 92 south of WV 39 were county routes.

I was going to say, I've seen old maps that show 92 extending down to White Sulphur Springs and WV 28 ending at US 250.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on December 19, 2014, 05:03:46 PM
I've thought a southern extension of WV 28 to replace WV 92 would make sense.  WV 92 didn't exist south of Belington until sometime in the 1960s or 1970s.  WV 28 previously followed what is now WV 92 from Dunmore to Minnehaha Springs, where it ended.  The current WV 28 between Dunmore and WV 39 and WV 92 south of WV 39 were county routes.

I was going to say, I've seen old maps that show 92 extending down to White Sulphur Springs and WV 28 ending at US 250.

I wonder if there was some intermediate period then where they truncated WV 28 and the re-extended it back down.  Southern WV 92 did not exist on the 1961 map, but it's there by the mid-1970s ones.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on December 21, 2014, 09:45:38 AM
If you go back far enough (the mid-30s), what is now 28 south of Petersburg to Dunmore then 92 via Frost to Minnehaha Springs was originally part of WV 42.  This was changed to WV 28, with WV 42 truncated to Petersburg, no later than 1938.

As Dave notes, the first map that shows WV 92 to the south is the 1970 map.  It is not shown on the 1968-69 map, so it can be surmised that WV 92 was extended ca. 1969.  Furthermore, for the first several years, WV 28/WV 92 were concurrent all the way to WV 39/Minnehaha Springs.  WV 28 wasn't given its current routing south of Dunmore until between 1976 and 1978.

On a related note, the maps show that what is now WV 28 south of Dunmore to WV 39 was paved by 1957.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 31, 2014, 12:01:16 PM
Corridor H complete?  According to Google Maps it is!  ;-)

Davis to Kerens (https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=davis+wva&daddr=kerens+wva&hl=en&sll=39.128719,-79.464774&sspn=0.053665,0.09244&geocode=FY8OVQIdunZD-ymFFXiY1MtKiDEOWz5l5JeXQQ%3BFf1IUwId0SM--ykbOcTabuZKiDGLDuxUXu0nIA&t=h&mra=ls&z=12), though it insists on routing via U.S. 219.  :-(
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 02, 2015, 03:19:33 PM
WVMetroNews.com: Big projects planned for state highways in 2015 (http://wvmetronews.com/2015/01/01/big-projects-planned-for-state-highways-in-2015/)

[Emphasis added]

Quote
The West Virginia Department of Transportation hopes to move forward on a number of highway projects in West Virginia during 2015.

Quote
State Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox recently told MetroNews the calendar this year includes advancements on several major projects already underway.

Quote
“We’ve got West Virginia 10 down in Logan County. We have let all the mainline contracts and look forward to letting the contract on the paving this year,” said Mattox. “We also continue work on Corridor H. We hope 2015 will see us complete Corridor H almost to the town of Davis.”

Quote
The next target for Corridor H will be the section from Parsons to Kerens. Mattox was optimistic that could be launched this year as well.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CVski on February 11, 2015, 04:46:15 PM
Update available at http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/map4.html.  Mostly what we already knew.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: machpost on May 28, 2015, 09:55:10 AM
Around four miles of new highway, from Bismarck to the Grant-Tucker line, are opening today: http://www.wchstv.com/news/features/eyewitness-news/stories/WV-Officials-To-Celebrate-Corridor-H-Highway-Opening-141531.shtml#.VWcduEYqqPW
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on May 28, 2015, 04:36:00 PM
Around four miles of new highway, from Bismarck to the Grant-Tucker line, are opening today: http://www.wchstv.com/news/features/eyewitness-news/stories/WV-Officials-To-Celebrate-Corridor-H-Highway-Opening-141531.shtml#.VWcduEYqqPW

Cool. More new US 48 to drive when I go to Maryland in September. Will anything else be opened between now and then?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: machpost on May 28, 2015, 07:21:29 PM
Around four miles of new highway, from Bismarck to the Grant-Tucker line, are opening today: http://www.wchstv.com/news/features/eyewitness-news/stories/WV-Officials-To-Celebrate-Corridor-H-Highway-Opening-141531.shtml#.VWcduEYqqPW

Cool. More new US 48 to drive when I go to Maryland in September. Will anything else be opened between now and then?

The last I heard, it should be complete to Davis by sometime this fall. Probably more like November than September, if I had to guess.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cl94 on May 28, 2015, 07:36:59 PM
Pictures of the ribbon cutting are on the WVDOT Facebook page
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 29, 2015, 07:45:44 PM
Around four miles of new highway, from Bismarck to the Grant-Tucker line, are opening today: http://www.wchstv.com/news/features/eyewitness-news/stories/WV-Officials-To-Celebrate-Corridor-H-Highway-Opening-141531.shtml#.VWcduEYqqPW

Cool. More new US 48 to drive when I go to Maryland in September. Will anything else be opened between now and then?

Not sure any more will be "officially" open - but - a lot of Corridor H between Bismarck and Davis is open to traffic as a two-lane highway (the eastbound lanes).  Along this stretch, much of the pavement that made up W.Va. 93 has been entirely removed -  to some extent the westbound lanes will cross old the W.Va. 93 roadbed.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CVski on May 30, 2015, 02:13:43 AM
We drove home yesterday afternoon on the newest 3.0 mile segment from the Grant/Tucker County line to the Bismarck interchange that opened last November.  Got to see the much anticipated view of Mt. Storm dam from the downstream perspective as you cross the new Stony River bridge.  But if you blink you may miss it. 

Altogether, the completed eastern portion of Corridor H now measures 51 miles of 4-lane divided highway from the new entry point to the off ramp approaching Wardensville.  It took us just 43 minutes.  Nice. 

As far as that last remaining ~10 mile stretch of Corridor H within Tucker County; depending on the day or time, you can expect to see either a fair amount of heavy earthmoving equipment at work, or else nothing at all.  They were still blasting and hauling boulders in one area just three or four weeks ago.  At the current rate of progress, I don't really see how they can expect to be open to Davis by the end of calendar year 2015, as is still projected by WVDOT at http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/map4.html 

We've been driving east-west on WV55 and the new portions of US48 and observing the construction progress on this project for all 15 years of it now, and we haven't seen any previous segment get from basic earth and rock removal to ribbon cutting in anything less than 18 months.  So I'll be pleasantly surprised to be all the way thru to Davis on the completed highway too much before the first snow flurries arrive in the fall of 2016. 

And since the final piece of WV 93 thru Tucker that is still under some form of Corridor H construction was always a fairly flat, straight stretch of highland plateau to begin with, what we mostly look forward to is gaining back 20 or more mph from the dreadfully slow 45 mph pace now being endured as you alternate for practically all of that 10 miles between the old two lanes of 93 and the new and improved two lanes of Corridor H. 

Anyway, we still managed to set a new trip record from Timberline Rd in Canaan Valley to Exit 44 of I-66 at Gainesville, in only 2 hrs and 15 minutes. 

   
 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 02, 2015, 11:00:36 PM
TINewsDaily.com:  New Corridor H project to be put out to bid soon (http://tinewsdaily.com/stories/510547373-new-corridor-h-project-to-be-put-out-to-bid-soon)

Quote
With the recent completion of a 4.4-mile section of the Appalachian Corridor H, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced last week that construction on another project --  a 7.7-mile stretch of Corridor H -- would be put out for bid soon.

Quote
The new portion of the four-lane highway will run from Kerens, West Virginia, half way to Parsons.

Quote
“Completing Corridor H has been a work in progress for a number of years, and I’m pleased we are able to announce work on an additional stretch of roadway to bring this project one-step closer to completion,” Tomblin said. “These continued efforts are made possible through public-private partnerships that not only save taxpayers’ dollars, but help to speed up construction and spur economic growth. By investing in our infrastructure, we have the potential to impact both our state and local economies. I look forward to announcing the bidding process for this new stretch of road in a few weeks.”
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bugo on June 07, 2015, 10:41:26 AM
The EPA exists to provide cover for politicians to acomplish via regulatation things that they cannot come right out and say.  A politican that actually came out and said "I have mine and I really don't care about everybody else." would lose 95-5.  But you can, via environmental regulation, acomplish that selfish and self-centered goal. 

"I have mine and I really don't care about everybody else." is one of the Republic Party's main talking points, along with "if we let the bundles of sticks get married civilization will collapse and Christianity will be made illegal", plus "we get to tell you what you can do with your own bodies and in your own bedrooms."
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bugo on June 07, 2015, 10:51:17 AM
Really, you can be 2 miles from Corridor H and be unaware of its existance.  Its environmental impact (I use the common term the EPA uses, of course, nothing man does can have any real environmental impact, as man is a part of the environment) is really so near zero as to be not worth considering.

The state who allow(s?ed?) mountaintop removal has no room to talk. US 48 (I refuse to call it "Corridor H" because it sounds like a hallway in a psych ward) is barely noticeable and the environmental impacts are very low. I've never been in that part of West Virginia, but from what I've seen the terrain is similar to the Ozarks (yes, I know they were formed differently) and I-49 (nee I-540) hasn't changed the landscape or ruined the lifestyle of anybody down in the valleys except for a few high bridges that are quite scenic in my opinion. I-49 through the Ouachita Mountains will be going through folded mountains that are more rugged than the eroded plateau that formed the Ozarks.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bugo on June 07, 2015, 11:33:18 AM
A) Marijuana is wonderful.
B) Corridor H tears apart hillsides and doesn't get nearly enough traffic to justify itself as a four-lane expressway.
C) WV's tendency to build expressways instead of freeways is annoying at best.
D) No, seriously, have you smoked up yet?

I wonder if CPZ and HBE have smelled the good stuff or just old Mexican dirtweed. They smell COMPLETELY different (not that I would know by experience, hehehe). Even different strains of high quality cannabis flowers can smell completely different. Some of it has a skunky odor. You might have smelled some shitty weed because good weed has a wonderful odor.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bugo on June 07, 2015, 12:01:52 PM
Kentucky does pretty much the same thing as West Virginia when it comes to building roads through the mountains. You ought to check out the two newest sections of US 119 for evidence.

We'll find out how Arkansas does it when I-49 between Ft Smith and about DeQueen is built. Most of their new highway construction has been on the southeastern half of the state, which is largely flat (the new interstates they have recently built, I-530/AR 530 (Future I-530), I-555, AR 440 (Future I-440) US 67 (Future I-30) and Future I-69 all go through flat areas.) My hypothesis is that AHTD builds roads where they can build them the cheapest. I-49 north of Fort Smith and south of Texarkana were the easiest parts of 49 to build, so of course we got them first. I-49 north of Alma runs along ridges and doesn't have a lot of steep mountains to climb, and many of the valleys are simply bridged. The one big "mountain" on the route is tunneled. I would be willing to bet that not one person on this forum will live to see the day that I-49 is completed from the Louisiana line to the Missouri line.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 07, 2015, 01:25:19 PM
I wonder if CPZ and HBE have smelled the good stuff or just old Mexican dirtweed. They smell COMPLETELY different (not that I would know by experience, hehehe). Even different strains of high quality cannabis flowers can smell completely different. Some of it has a skunky odor. You might have smelled some shitty weed because good weed has a wonderful odor.

I know what marihuana smells like, but no idea how to distinguish good stuff from dirtweed, as I have not smoked any of it (what I have smelled was remarkably nasty, but I did not know its origin).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 07, 2015, 01:45:35 PM
Really, you can be 2 miles from Corridor H and be unaware of its existance.  Its environmental impact (I use the common term the EPA uses, of course, nothing man does can have any real environmental impact, as man is a part of the environment) is really so near zero as to be not worth considering.

The state who allow(s?ed?) mountaintop removal has no room to talk. US 48 (I refuse to call it "Corridor H" because it sounds like a hallway in a psych ward) is barely noticeable and the environmental impacts are very low.

The western part of Corridor H (between Weston and Kerens) is not currently signed as U.S. 48 (in spite of what Google Maps says).  It is either U.S. 33, U.S. 119, U.S. 219, U.S. 250, W.Va. 92 or some combination thereof.

I've never been in that part of West Virginia, but from what I've seen the terrain is similar to the Ozarks (yes, I know they were formed differently) and I-49 (nee I-540) hasn't changed the landscape or ruined the lifestyle of anybody down in the valleys except for a few high bridges that are quite scenic in my opinion. I-49 through the Ouachita Mountains will be going through folded mountains that are more rugged than the eroded plateau that formed the Ozarks.

I have not been in Arkansas, so I will not make any comments about the environmental or socioeconomic impacts of large highway projects there.

But I know this part of West Virginia pretty well.

The Ozarks are not as high as the Alleghenies, which the U.S. 48 part of Corridor H now reaches. 

At the Eastern Continental Divide (Tucker County/Grant County border), the road tops out at well over 3,300 feet (the nearby Maryland high point on the ridgetop of Backbone Mountain is about 3,380 feet AMSL, the West Virginia high point is some distance south, on Spruce Knob at better than 4,800 AMSL), all of which are significantly higher than the high point of Arkansas.   
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on June 07, 2015, 05:49:26 PM
West Virginia has taken pains to make the easternmost portion of Corridor H as much of a scenic highway as possible, including decorative bridge railings, Core-Ten guardrail, brown signposts and a few other features.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 07, 2015, 08:51:48 PM
West Virginia has taken pains to make the easternmost portion of Corridor H as much of a scenic highway as possible, including decorative bridge railings, Core-Ten guardrail, brown signposts and a few other features.

Agreed.

A lot of money was spent designing and building stormwater management/detention basins along the road.

The scenic view areas (one on each side of Moorefield, plus one that is spectacular on the eastbound side between Bismarck/Mount Storm (W.Va. 42 and W.Va. 93) and Scherr, where the highway descends the Allegheny Front range) are a nice added touch. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bugo on June 08, 2015, 07:21:02 AM
At the Eastern Continental Divide (Tucker County/Grant County border), the road tops out at well over 3,300 feet (the nearby Maryland high point on the ridgetop of Backbone Mountain is about 3,380 feet AMSL, the West Virginia high point is some distance south, on Spruce Knob at better than 4,800 AMSL), all of which are significantly higher than the high point of Arkansas.   

The distance above sea level is irrelevant. The distance between the mountain peaks and the valleys below is what is important if you're comparing the two.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 08, 2015, 07:57:35 AM
The distance above sea level is irrelevant. The distance between the mountain peaks and the valleys below is what is important if you're comparing the two.

That is pretty significant as well.

What's built now rises from an elevation of around 1,000 feet near the Cacapon River at Wardensville up to about 3,400 feet near the crest of the Eastern Continental Divide.  By East Coast standards, that is a lot of elevation gain.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: bugo on June 08, 2015, 09:44:15 AM
The distance above sea level is irrelevant. The distance between the mountain peaks and the valleys below is what is important if you're comparing the two.

That is pretty significant as well.

What's built now rises from an elevation of around 1,000 feet near the Cacapon River at Wardensville up to about 3,400 feet near the crest of the Eastern Continental Divide.  By East Coast standards, that is a lot of elevation gain.

That is indeed more of a vertical distance than the highest point in the Ozarks (Turner Ward Knob). The vertical distances in the Ouachitas are greater than the distances in the Ozarks, and the tallest mountains are taller than the mountains in the Ozarks.

Off topic, but the Ozark Mountains are an eroded plateau, while the Ouachita Mountains are folded mountains. The Ozarks were once flat until they were slowly eroded into what they are today, while the Ouachitas were created when the South American plate crashed into the North American plate and the area that was once a shallow sea was pushed upward. The Ouachitas were once as tall as the Rockies but they have eroded to what they are now.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 07, 2015, 12:17:08 PM
The Inter-Mountain.com: Rotary hears Corridor H news (http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/586900/Rotary-hears-Corridor-H-news.html)

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Robbie Morris, president of the Robert C. Byrd Corridor H Authority, gave the Elkins Rotary Club an update on the status of Corridor H construction during the club's Monday meeting.

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Morris began by giving a factual overview of the Corridor, saying slightly more than three quarters of the roadway within West Virginia either is completed or currently under construction.

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"Corridor H is 130 miles long going from Weston, I-79, eventually to Strasburg, Front Royal and the I-81/I-66 interchange in Virginia," Morris said. "With the 4.4 miles just recently opened around Mt. Storm, 76 percent of the road in West Virginia is now complete, with the recent announcement of another 7.5 mile stretch that will go under construction later on this year.

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"By the time the current section from Davis to right around Mt. Storm is completed later on this year, we will be up close to 87 percent complete or under construction," Morris continued.

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The segments still left to be completed are the 15.5 mile section from Kerens to Parsons, the 9.2 mile section from Parsons to Davis and the 6.8 mile section from Wardensville to the Virginia state line.

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Due to the current funding structure of the Corridor H project, the estimated completion date is between 22 and 27 years away.

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"Currently with the funding mechanism for Corridor H, depending upon which agency you talk to, Corridor H is expected to be completed by either 2037 or 2042," Morris said. "(The state Division of Highways) says 2037, Appalachian Regional Commission says 2042."

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Morris said a transportation bill passed a few years ago took away a requirement that a state must match 20 percent of federal funding to complete ADHS Corridors.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 07, 2015, 12:18:49 PM
Off topic, but the Ozark Mountains are an eroded plateau, while the Ouachita Mountains are folded mountains. The Ozarks were once flat until they were slowly eroded into what they are today, while the Ouachitas were created when the South American plate crashed into the North American plate and the area that was once a shallow sea was pushed upward. The Ouachitas were once as tall as the Rockies but they have eroded to what they are now.

The Appalachians were created when the African and North American plates crashed into each other, but are much lower than they once were.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on July 07, 2015, 03:24:35 PM
The Inter-Mountain.com: Rotary hears Corridor H news (http://www.theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/586900/Rotary-hears-Corridor-H-news.html)

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Robbie Morris, president of the Robert C. Byrd Corridor H Authority, gave the Elkins Rotary Club an update on the status of Corridor H construction during the club's Monday meeting.

Quote
Morris began by giving a factual overview of the Corridor, saying slightly more than three quarters of the roadway within West Virginia either is completed or currently under construction.

Quote
"Corridor H is 130 miles long going from Weston, I-79, eventually to Strasburg, Front Royal and the I-81/I-66 interchange in Virginia," Morris said. "With the 4.4 miles just recently opened around Mt. Storm, 76 percent of the road in West Virginia is now complete, with the recent announcement of another 7.5 mile stretch that will go under construction later on this year.

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"By the time the current section from Davis to right around Mt. Storm is completed later on this year, we will be up close to 87 percent complete or under construction," Morris continued.

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The segments still left to be completed are the 15.5 mile section from Kerens to Parsons, the 9.2 mile section from Parsons to Davis and the 6.8 mile section from Wardensville to the Virginia state line.

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Due to the current funding structure of the Corridor H project, the estimated completion date is between 22 and 27 years away.

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"Currently with the funding mechanism for Corridor H, depending upon which agency you talk to, Corridor H is expected to be completed by either 2037 or 2042," Morris said. "(The state Division of Highways) says 2037, Appalachian Regional Commission says 2042."

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Morris said a transportation bill passed a few years ago took away a requirement that a state must match 20 percent of federal funding to complete ADHS Corridors.

It is looking good for Corridor H. Virginia is still a long way off from building their part of Corridor H however they do have it in long range plans.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on July 07, 2015, 07:56:22 PM
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however they do have it in long range plans.

Ummmm, no it's not.  Those reports that VDOT would supposedly have their part finished in the mid-2020s were from overoptimistic West Virginia politicians who misunderstood a VDOT document.  VDOT Staunton District officials have made it clear that they don't have anything on the docket for Corridor H, as recently as last week (http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2015/06/corridor-h-development-moves-forward-without-virginia/).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Mapmikey on July 07, 2015, 08:10:08 PM
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however they do have it in long range plans.

Ummmm, no it's not.  Those reports that VDOT would supposedly have their part finished in the mid-2020s were from overoptimistic West Virginia politicians who misunderstood a VDOT document.  VDOT Staunton District officials have made it clear that they don't have anything on the docket for Corridor H, as recently as last week (http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2015/06/corridor-h-development-moves-forward-without-virginia/).

Nothing with Corridor H is in Vtrans 2025 or Vtrans 2035 plans either...

Mike

Fixed quote. (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=4000.0) - rmf67
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on July 07, 2015, 09:33:33 PM
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however they do have it in long range plans.

Ummmm, no it's not.  Those reports that VDOT would supposedly have their part finished in the mid-2020s were from overoptimistic West Virginia politicians who misunderstood a VDOT document.  VDOT Staunton District officials have made it clear that they don't have anything on the docket for Corridor H, as recently as last week (http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2015/06/corridor-h-development-moves-forward-without-virginia/).

Nothing with Corridor H is in Vtrans 2025 or Vtrans 2035 plans either...

Mike

Fixed quote. (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=4000.0) - rmf67

Oh
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 08, 2015, 12:11:56 AM
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however they do have it in long range plans.

Ummmm, no it's not.  Those reports that VDOT would supposedly have their part finished in the mid-2020s were from overoptimistic West Virginia politicians who misunderstood a VDOT document.  VDOT Staunton District officials have made it clear that they don't have anything on the docket for Corridor H, as recently as last week (http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2015/06/corridor-h-development-moves-forward-without-virginia/).

Agree with Adam that it is not in anything that VDOT is working on now or planning on working on in the reasonably near future.

Perhaps more to the point, if it were in the Virginia six year improvement program (sometimes called the "six year plan" or "VDOT six year plan"), even for planning and preliminary engineering, it would show up on the Web site that VDOT has developed for same, which is located here (http://syip.virginiadot.org/Pages/allProjects.aspx).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mattpedersen on July 10, 2015, 11:32:40 AM
I have driven Corridor H twice in the past few weeks, once from Davis to Wardensville two weeks ago, and Bismark to Wardensville yesterday. I snapped some photos two weeks ago, and will try to get them off my phone and posted sometime soon. Sections 26-28 look like they will open by the end of the summer. Sections 22-25 Eastbound lanes are completed and open to two way traffic. The Westbound lanes look like they are still in "rough grading" and appear to have a lot of work to do to get them open. Otherwise the route is an easy drive where it has been completed.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 11, 2015, 09:13:14 AM
I have driven Corridor H twice in the past few weeks, once from Davis to Wardensville two weeks ago, and Bismark to Wardensville yesterday. I snapped some photos two weeks ago, and will try to get them off my phone and posted sometime soon. Sections 26-28 look like they will open by the end of the summer. Sections 22-25 Eastbound lanes are completed and open to two way traffic. The Westbound lanes look like they are still in "rough grading" and appear to have a lot of work to do to get them open. Otherwise the route is an easy drive where it has been completed.

It appears to me that a two-lane Corridor H between the current western terminus of the eastern four-lane section at the Tucker County/Grant County border (a few miles west of the DVP Mount Storm Generating Station) and W.Va. 32 between Thomas and Davis should be complete before the current construction season ends.  Not sure that all four lanes will be done, however.  That may have to wait for 2016.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mattpedersen on July 11, 2015, 09:51:07 PM
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It appears to me that a two-lane Corridor H between the current western terminus of the eastern four-lane section at the Tucker County/Grant County border (a few miles west of the DVP Mount Storm Generating Station) and W.Va. 32 between Thomas and Davis should be complete before the current construction season ends.  Not sure that all four lanes will be done, however.  That may have to wait for 2016.

I agree with that statement. That section was mostly built on it's own ROW too.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 12, 2015, 01:51:22 AM
Up to this year, I had seen almost no traffic law enforcement on the eastern part of Corridor H (now Wardensville to outskirts of Davis).

That seems to have changed.  This year, I have seen WVSP as well as deputies from Hardy and Grant Counties stopping motorists (presumably for speeding over the posted 65 MPH limit along most of the road).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mattpedersen on July 12, 2015, 09:44:14 PM
That seems to have changed.  This year, I have seen WVSP as well as deputies from Hardy and Grant Counties stopping motorists (presumably for speeding over the posted 65 MPH limit along most of the road).

I saw a WV Trooper heading Westbound on Thursday, the first time I have seen any law enforcement presence on the road.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 12, 2015, 09:49:27 PM
That seems to have changed.  This year, I have seen WVSP as well as deputies from Hardy and Grant Counties stopping motorists (presumably for speeding over the posted 65 MPH limit along most of the road).

I saw a WV Trooper heading Westbound on Thursday, the first time I have seen any law enforcement presence on the road.

I have seen (marked) WVSP trooper cars on the road in the past, but until this year, I had not seen anyone stopped by them or deputy sheriffs.  Most recently, I saw the Grant County SO with someone stopped on the westbound side between W.Va. 93 and the Nedpower windfarm east of the generating station.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on July 14, 2015, 08:09:07 PM
That seems to have changed.  This year, I have seen WVSP as well as deputies from Hardy and Grant Counties stopping motorists (presumably for speeding over the posted 65 MPH limit along most of the road).

I saw a WV Trooper heading Westbound on Thursday, the first time I have seen any law enforcement presence on the road.

I have seen (marked) WVSP trooper cars on the road in the past, but until this year, I had not seen anyone stopped by them or deputy sheriffs.  Most recently, I saw the Grant County SO with someone stopped on the westbound side between W.Va. 93 and the Nedpower windfarm east of the generating station.

Speed enforcement in rural areas in WV is generally pretty minimal, but from what I've seen with traffic going well above 65-70 on Corridor H, I'm not surprised there is a move to tamp that down.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 14, 2015, 10:35:13 PM
Speed enforcement in rural areas in WV is generally pretty minimal, but from what I've seen with traffic going well above 65-70 on Corridor H, I'm not surprised there is a move to tamp that down.

Somewhat surprised that the D.C. crotch rocket (high-powered motorcycle) crowd has not discovered Corridor H yet.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: DeaconG on July 15, 2015, 07:54:23 AM
Speed enforcement in rural areas in WV is generally pretty minimal, but from what I've seen with traffic going well above 65-70 on Corridor H, I'm not surprised there is a move to tamp that down.

Somewhat surprised that the D.C. crotch rocket (high-powered motorcycle) crowd has not discovered Corridor H yet.

All it will take is for one of them to post a YouTube of their GoPro/camcorder footage and away we go...
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 15, 2015, 10:48:42 AM
All it will take is for one of them to post a YouTube of their GoPro/camcorder footage and away we go...

Agreed. Though they might be in for an unpleasant surprise with West Virginia law enforcement and the judicial system.

I suspect that West Virginia law enforcement is not under any limitations when it comes to pursuits, and judges in places like Hardy County and Grant County are probably perfectly willing to sentence a crotch rocketer from the District of Columbia to a stay in jail (though I have not read of speeders being sentenced to jail in West Virginia, as they are with some frequency in rural Virginia counties).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Thing 342 on July 16, 2015, 03:50:04 PM
All it will take is for one of them to post a YouTube of their GoPro/camcorder footage and away we go...

Agreed. Though they might be in for an unpleasant surprise with West Virginia law enforcement and the judicial system.

I suspect that West Virginia law enforcement is not under any limitations when it comes to pursuits, and judges in places like Hardy County and Grant County are probably perfectly willing to sentence a crotch rocketer from the District of Columbia to a stay in jail (though I have not read of speeders being sentenced to jail in West Virginia, as they are with some frequency in rural Virginia counties).
Yeah, speed enforcement in the western Virginia counties can be quite strict. A friend of a friend once spent a weekend in the slammer for doing 85 or so along US-211.

At the end of the month I'll be headed through the eastern section of Corridor H. Does anyone know how far west it has been opened to traffic?  Google says it's been opened to about CR-90/1, but other mapping sites (OSM, Bing) seem to put its ending further east.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: davewiecking on July 16, 2015, 05:31:05 PM
You do not want to be caught driving over 80 ANYWHERE in the Commonwealth, even if the speed limit is 70. Check with Jason Werth.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Rothman on July 16, 2015, 05:35:29 PM
All I know is that Waverly, VA (not western Virginia, but still) has one of the dirtiest speed traps I've ever come across countrywide along US 460.  The only thing keeping that town alive is speeding fines (just check out their Taj Mahal of a courthouse!).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on July 16, 2015, 07:18:21 PM
You do not want to be caught driving over 80 ANYWHERE in the Commonwealth, even if the speed limit is 70. Check with Jason Werth.

Jayson Werth was clocked at 105 in a 55-mph zone on the Capital Beltway that happened to be a work zone. That's just plain dumb on his part.

But yes, anything over 80 mph is grounds for a reckless driving ticket regardless of the posted speed limit, and in Virginia reckless driving is a misdemeanor.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Thing 342 on July 16, 2015, 09:40:53 PM
You do not want to be caught driving over 80 ANYWHERE in the Commonwealth, even if the speed limit is 70. Check with Jason Werth.

Jayson Werth was clocked at 105 in a 55-mph zone on the Capital Beltway that happened to be a work zone. That's just plain dumb on his part.

But yes, anything over 80 mph is grounds for a reckless driving ticket regardless of the posted speed limit, and in Virginia reckless driving is a misdemeanor.
I'd like to know how he managed that. I'd imagine that the beltway is busy all hours of the day.

Nexus 6

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on July 16, 2015, 10:03:43 PM
It was 8:00 on a Sunday morning over Independence Day weekend last year (Sunday, July 6). He entered the Inner Loop from Georgetown Pike (Exit 44) and exited onto the GW Parkway (Exit 43). He lives on Georgetown Pike.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 17, 2015, 12:44:52 AM
At the end of the month I'll be headed through the eastern section of Corridor H. Does anyone know how far west it has been opened to traffic?  Google says it's been opened to about CR-90/1, but other mapping sites (OSM, Bing) seem to put its ending further east.

It is completely open (all four lanes) to the Tucker County/Grant County line (also the Eastern Continental Divide), west of the DVP Mount Storm Generating Station.

At that point, you are forced off onto the old W.Va. 93 for a relatively short distance, then back onto the new pavement of Corridor H, but only in a two-land undivided configuration. That new pavement continues much of the way to W.Va. 32  between Thomas and Davis, the work zone ends a short distance east of the tee intersection at W.Va. 32.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: mrsman on July 19, 2015, 09:50:16 AM
You do not want to be caught driving over 80 ANYWHERE in the Commonwealth, even if the speed limit is 70. Check with Jason Werth.

Jayson Werth was clocked at 105 in a 55-mph zone on the Capital Beltway that happened to be a work zone. That's just plain dumb on his part.

But yes, anything over 80 mph is grounds for a reckless driving ticket regardless of the posted speed limit, and in Virginia reckless driving is a misdemeanor.

105 is crazy, but 80 is too low for many freeways to be considered a misdemeanor in my opinion, particulary for many rural Interstates that are straight and clear and in many other states would be signed for 70 or 75 easily.

I'd say, better to make the limit for recklessness 20 over or 90, whichever is higher.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on July 19, 2015, 10:51:05 AM
I agree with you completely and I think the Virginia law is a bit of a "gotcha" law, especially since 70-mph speed limits were made routine in 2010. It's rather absurd of them to claim that 11 mph over the limit is inherently reckless. Of course it CAN be, depending on the conditions, but it shouldn't AUTOMATICALLY be.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on July 19, 2015, 11:20:10 AM
The idea that there is some sort of thing less than a "misdemeanor", which is something the kangaroo court and traffic cop random tax scum use to deny people their Constitutional rights is, of course, fundamentally un-American and repugnant.  If a law enforcement officer (health inspector, truck weigher, enviro officer, squirrel sheriff, or whatever)  tries to take one cent from you, IMHO, that is a misdemeanor and you have a inalienable right to a full trial before a jury with every single Constitutional protection that is accorded any criminal defendant charged with anything.  If it too much burden on the random taxing jurisdiction, then there is an easy solution.  Rip the radar gun out of the car, take an exit and DO SERIOUS AND USEFUL WORK against actual criminals.

As to "reckless", there, of course, should be no numerical definition.  "Reckless" means "without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action".  Which is, of course, a question of fact for a jury, considering all of the circumstances.  Certainly, there exist plenty of roads that, after considering all of the consequences, can be safely driven by highly skilled drivers at speeds far above the posted SL, no numerical definition is possible.  At such a trial, the first question a good lawyer would ask the random taxer would be "have you ever driven X MPH?"  The second would be "and you were acting at that time 'without thinking of the consequences' ?"  Case dismissed.  Maybe Mr. Wyrth's actions were "reckless" or maybe not.  I do not know the totality of the circumstances.  I do know, of course, that there was a dark age when ignorant people said "55 saves lives", and that history has proven these morons dead wrong, so, if on Mr. Wyrth's jury, I would have to hear a lot of evidence to overcome the Constitutional presumption of innocence. 

Of course, the random tax scum often openly commit perjury in their random tax "tickets" (sworn court papers) by falsely claiming their victim was going X when he or she was actually going many multiples of that, telling their victim they are "giving them a break" because they could be charged with "reckless driving".  Which is much like a rapist asking for mercy because he wore a condom.

Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on July 23, 2015, 05:05:04 PM
I have driven Corridor H twice in the past few weeks, once from Davis to Wardensville two weeks ago, and Bismark to Wardensville yesterday. I snapped some photos two weeks ago, and will try to get them off my phone and posted sometime soon. Sections 26-28 look like they will open by the end of the summer. Sections 22-25 Eastbound lanes are completed and open to two way traffic. The Westbound lanes look like they are still in "rough grading" and appear to have a lot of work to do to get them open. Otherwise the route is an easy drive where it has been completed.

I was just through there yesterday (no photos, I limped back home tired and sick from a month-long road trip). The open four-lane section, east from the Tucker/Grant county line, is signed as US 48/WV 93, with the first EB signs right at the county line. WV 93 peels away at an intersection NW of the power plant, east of there the new Corridor H segment is signed only as US 48.

The closed section just west of the county line looks close to ready, and indeed already has US 48/WV 93 signs posted. Traffic is detoured onto the old WV 93 roadway for now. The rest of the way is as Matt reports, but the newly built EB lanes (carrying two-way traffic for now) start about a mile or so east of WV 32, with traffic using the old WV 93 roadway between WV 32 and the new EB lanes. No US 48 signage there, or at the WV 32 junction.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2015, 05:10:26 PM
No US 48 signage there, or at the WV 32 junction.

IMO, it's about time for WVDOT to (at least) post U.S. 48 trailblazers from the intersection of W.Va. 32 and U.S. 219 in downtown Thomas and from the state parks and resorts along W.Va. 32 south of Davis.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on July 31, 2015, 09:24:31 PM
No US 48 signage there, or at the WV 32 junction.

IMO, it's about time for WVDOT to (at least) post U.S. 48 trailblazers from the intersection of W.Va. 32 and U.S. 219 in downtown Thomas and from the state parks and resorts along W.Va. 32 south of Davis.

There is really no reason that WVDOT can't sign US 48 in its entirety from Weston to the state line. Route it concurrently with US 219 from Elkins to the Davis/Thomas area. More than likely, US 219 is going to be concurrent with US 48 from Elkins all the way to where the routes will split in that area anyway.

This would also allow WVDOT to route US 33/250 along the old route into Elkins that is now signed only as WV 92. It really never made a lot of sense to me to have only WV 92 on that road, and the route number designation change completely for through traffic at the interchange north of Elkins where US 33/250 currently leave Corridor H and US 219 enters.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 01, 2015, 01:51:40 AM
No US 48 signage there, or at the WV 32 junction.

IMO, it's about time for WVDOT to (at least) post U.S. 48 trailblazers from the intersection of W.Va. 32 and U.S. 219 in downtown Thomas and from the state parks and resorts along W.Va. 32 south of Davis.

There is really no reason that WVDOT can't sign US 48 in its entirety from Weston to the state line. Route it concurrently with US 219 from Elkins to the Davis/Thomas area. More than likely, US 219 is going to be concurrent with US 48 from Elkins all the way to where the routes will split in that area anyway.

I agree.  Since it is pretty clear that there is going to be a continuous four-lane expressway-type road from Weston at least as far east as Wardensville, and perhaps the ridgetop of Great North Mountain (W.Va./Va. state line) and eventually on to I-81 outside of Strasburg, Va. 

Only issue I am aware of is a posted bridge on U.S. 48/W.Va. 55 at a tributary of the Cacapon River east of the current W.Va. 259 intersection at about where the road starts to climb up the mountain toward Virginia. The weight limits on that bridge are not terribly low, but that could be a problem for some loads.

In spite of its steep grades and sharp curves between Parsons and Thomas, current U.S. 219 (Seneca Trail) is open to all traffic - no truck restrictions, so it could be signed as U.S. 48.

This would also allow WVDOT to route US 33/250 along the old route into Elkins that is now signed only as WV 92. It really never made a lot of sense to me to have only WV 92 on that road, and the route number designation change completely for through traffic at the interchange north of Elkins where US 33/250 currently leave Corridor H and US 219 enters.

Also agree.  U.S. 48 really ought to take precedence over all those other routes that run along parts of Corridor H, east and west.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Thing 342 on August 02, 2015, 08:48:14 AM
Just took a trip along the eastern portion of Corridor H today, from the state line to Davis, where I'm staying for the weekend. I didn't see any type of law enforcement, except along the 25 mph speed trap in Wardensville on the old two-lane section. It was a nice ride, however, we kept passing an aggressive Hummer who would do 80+ down the hills and 45-ish on the way up. The newest section just west of the Grant-Tucker line looks about ready to open, with the lanes painted and mileage signs up. The other side of the currently two-lane section near Davis is still mostly in the grading stage, however, a section had recently had a layer of fresh concrete poured over it. The speed limit on that section is an agonizingly slow 45mph with no passing zones, which is weird since the final speed on that section will be 65mph.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/hvxLxJwwwVQC3oY7y4ArrGqt-eLGwhUZ1sE0lng2fUg=w1920-h1082-no)

I'm currently planning on taking a trip to Weston, which will get the rest of Corridor H. Will probably take a few photos of that stretch and post them in a few days.

Photos can be found here: https://goo.gl/photos/WKqnrESqUDXxTvNG6 (https://goo.gl/photos/WKqnrESqUDXxTvNG6)
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CVski on August 18, 2015, 12:37:59 AM
Less than 3 months later, WVDOH has quietly slipped the schedule for completion of the 4-lane segment to Davis to the summer of 2016... which is about what I was expecting to see sooner or later.
http://www.wvcorridorh.com/route/map4.html


     
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: The Ghostbuster on August 19, 2015, 02:42:22 PM
How long before Corridor H is completed and signposted as US 48 between Interstate 79 and Interstate 81?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 19, 2015, 04:28:52 PM
How long before Corridor H is completed and signposted as US 48 between Interstate 79 and Interstate 81?

It will be a while. WVDOH seems uninterested in signing the western part as U.S. 48, and only signs the eastern part as sections are completed. 

And it is signed in Virginia, but there is no mention of Corridor H in the Commonwealth's Six Year Program.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Thing 342 on August 19, 2015, 09:13:57 PM
How long before Corridor H is completed and signposted as US 48 between Interstate 79 and Interstate 81?
Construction on the segment from Parsons to Davis is not scheduled to start until 2031 at the earliest.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on September 21, 2015, 08:23:20 PM
I had the opportunity to drive the newest sections of Corridor H from Davis/Thomas a few weeks back. The newest segment east of Davis/Thomas is on its way to completion and features two notable changes to its construction from earlier segments. The transversely tined concrete has been switched to longitudinally tined that's now showing up extensively elsewhere in the state and in Ohio. It should be a lot quieter - I can unfortunately hear Corridor H's traffic from certain vantage points in Canaan Valley, so anything less noisy should help out in that regard.

It also seems that West Virginia is switching to snowplowable recessed markers by installing a groove 8' in length to hold two markers. (Very similar to what Kentucky is now doing after numerous tests over the past few years: http://uknowledge.uky.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1310&context=ktc_researchreports). The new markers were very effective at night and in the rain on my last trip.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on September 21, 2015, 09:56:33 PM
I drove it eastbound last week. I still don't understand why parts of it are on a completely new alignment, while others will use the existing WV 93 as the westbound Corridor H lanes.

Some have mentioned increased law enforcement along the route. I didn't see any -- only a local law enforcement officer having someone stopped on the access road from US 220 to US 48 at Moorefield, and said stop would not have been initiated on Corridor H.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on September 23, 2015, 08:32:32 PM
It also seems that West Virginia is switching to snowplowable recessed markers by installing a groove 8' in length to hold two markers. (Very similar to what Kentucky is now doing after numerous tests over the past few years: http://uknowledge.uky.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1310&context=ktc_researchreports). The new markers were very effective at night and in the rain on my last trip.

I also noticed plowable RPMs in recessed grooves on a newly resurfaced section of US 33 at Allegheny Mountain this past weekend. This is a brand new practice for WVDOH. Hopefully itwill help the markers last longer as WV has never been good about replacing damaged pavement markers and they tend to put the blade directly on the surface when plowing.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on November 14, 2015, 08:25:02 PM
Just got back from an afternoon tour of the newest Corridor H section.

There's still no US 48 signage at the WV 32 junction. Indeed, for the 0.8 mile east of that junction, no obvious improvements have been made nor are any under construction. For the next seven miles or so, there's two lanes of concrete pavement (both directions of traffic two-way on what will become the EB roadway). For the parallel future WB roadway under construction, about half is unfinished concrete pavement and the rest is only graded.

The old WV 93 roadway west of the Tucker/Grant county line, that had carried traffic around the new segment while it was u/c, has now been closed off at both ends. All WV 93 traffic west of the county line is now on the new roadways, signed as US 48/WV 93. WV 93 traffic was also moved off fragments of old WV 93 roadway west of the new US 48 segment, to the future US 48 EB lanes, due to curve straightening.

I'll add more later after reviewing my photos. You can also read more (mostly GPS reads and other boring stuff, to get the new segment added to the Travel Mapping highway database) at the Clinched Highway Mapping forum, http://clinched.s2.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=2332&start=15&mforum=clinched
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on November 15, 2015, 09:08:46 PM
There's really no reason that West Virginia can't extend the US 48 designation to at least the US 219 intersection at Thomas.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: oscar on November 15, 2015, 09:45:25 PM
There's really no reason that West Virginia can't extend the US 48 designation to at least the US 219 intersection at Thomas.

Other than WVDOT's apparent preference for not extending the US 48 designation westward except for segments upgraded to "corridor" standards (at a minimum, four lanes divided, perhaps also with limited but not necessarily controlled access).

I think the designation is far less important than the improved road, so it's OK to tie the two. But it would be nice to at least extend the designation to WV 32, since the road has been at least partially upgraded except for that last 0.8 mile to the WV 32 junction.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 28, 2015, 07:56:46 PM
Just got back from an afternoon tour of the newest Corridor H section.

There's still no US 48 signage at the WV 32 junction. Indeed, for the 0.8 mile east of that junction, no obvious improvements have been made nor are any under construction. For the next seven miles or so, there's two lanes of concrete pavement (both directions of traffic two-way on what will become the EB roadway). For the parallel future WB roadway under construction, about half is unfinished concrete pavement and the rest is only graded.

The old WV 93 roadway west of the Tucker/Grant county line, that had carried traffic around the new segment while it was u/c, has now been closed off at both ends. All WV 93 traffic west of the county line is now on the new roadways, signed as US 48/WV 93. WV 93 traffic was also moved off fragments of old WV 93 roadway west of the new US 48 segment, to the future US 48 EB lanes, due to curve straightening.

I'll add more later after reviewing my photos. You can also read more (mostly GPS reads and other boring stuff, to get the new segment added to the Travel Mapping highway database) at the Clinched Highway Mapping forum, http://clinched.s2.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=2332&start=15&mforum=clinched

I drove it this past Black Friday.  The section of old W.Va. 93 just west of the Tucker County/Grant County border has been blocked-off  with Jersey barriers and barrels, and is probably waiting to be torn-out. 

Many sections of old W.Va. 93 in Tucker County (closer to Davis) have been ripped-out down to the subgrade. Long sections of the westbound lanes have been paved, and will presumably be opened sometime in calendar year 2016 (no lines have been painted or pavement markers placed). 

Closer to the juvenile jail outside Davis, it appears that the new westbound lanes will be built next year (looks like subgrade has yet to be placed, and that may be waiting for the 2016 construction season).

For the first time ever, I saw a West Virginia trooper car out on a traffic stop between the juvenile jail and the Grant County line. 

Previously, I had seen West Virginia troopers on patrol along eastern Corridor H, but not on traffic stops (I had seen the Hardy County and Grant County deputies on traffic stops). I have seen them stopping drivers along western Corridor H.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CVski on February 05, 2016, 07:58:08 PM
Two lanes in each direction are now open from A-Frame Road eastward.  That merge point is just about 1 mile east of the entrance to the Mettiki coal mine, and ~8.7 miles east of the intersection with WV32. 

The blue ARC mile markers are not quite all in place to that point yet; (I think the first one I noticed may have been MM 76.5, and spaced every 0.5 mile), but if they were, A-Frame Rd would be at about ~72.7.  The exit at Wardensville is at about ~128.2 miles. 

So there are now ~55.5 miles of continuous four lane Corridor H highway open through Tucker, Grant, and Hardy counties, and all of it is posted at 65 MPH.

I also found a WVDOT District 8 Work Zone status page that indicates the entire WV93 segment is due for completion on 9/1/2016. 

Here's the link:  http://www.transportation.wv.gov/highways/districts/district-eight/Pages/work-zones.aspx




 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 05, 2016, 09:26:28 PM
WVDOT has received bids on the section of Corridor H from Kerens to a new connector road to U.S. 219 south of Parsons. 

The apparent low bidder is Kokosing Construction Company, Inc. of Westerville, Ohio

From poking around on the BidX site (here (https://www.bidx.com/wv/letting?lettingid=OCT2915)), it appears little work will start until relatively late in calendar year 2016, so there may not be that much to see during the Corridor H meet in May.

According to the WVDOT documents on that site, the contractor has to have the project complete by April 2019.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 30, 2016, 10:38:35 PM
Thanks to all that attended the Corridor H (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=16445.0) meet.  Final meet notes are here (https://www.dropbox.com/s/4fnj58pdqs3ztj2/2016%20Corridor%20H%20Road%20Meet%20notes.pdf?dl=0).

A few observations from the meet. 

Not much has happened since April along the new construction work that will extend western Corridor H from Kerens into Tucker County between the Tucker County/Randolph County line and the unincorporated community of Moore.

The area of land that had been cleared beyond the bridges that mark the current end of western Corridor H did not appear to have been touched. H. B. suggested (and I agree with him) that the contractor may have to wait until fall to start clearing and grubbing work along this section of Corridor H.

At the far western end of the eastern section of Corridor H (near Davis), the last several miles are something like a Super-2 highway.  All traffic is using the eastbound lanes.  Some of the new westbound lanes have been poured (all of it will apparently be concrete), but the last few miles approaching the interim western end of eastern Corridor H are not completely graded yet, with the exception of the bridge near the juvenile facility over Beaver Creek (at least that is what Google calls it), which is complete for both directions (but all traffic is using the bridge for eastbound movements).
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on May 31, 2016, 02:22:19 PM
The area of land that had been cleared beyond the bridges that mark the current end of western Corridor H did not appear to have been touched. H. B. suggested (and I agree with him) that the contractor may have to wait until fall to start clearing and grubbing work along this section of Corridor H.

Kentucky is restricted to tree-cutting during winter months (I think November to March) because of requirements that bat habitat not being disturbed. We have one project on which clearing and grubbing will be delayed until this fall because of delays in awarding the contract caused the tree-cutting window to be missed.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Jmiles32 on May 31, 2016, 06:38:15 PM
That's great, I support corridor H and hopefully when it's finshed will help basically revive West Virginia's economy. I have no doubt that this is road will probably be completed in WV in 15 years. The problem though is the section in VA form the boarder to I-81. Were there any updates on this section? I can't see Vdot building this section using it's own money since it means everything to WV and really doesn't impact VA at all. A similar problem occurred on the WV/VA route 9 corridor in the DC region. WV put all this money in to upgrading their portion of it to VA line to help their DC commuters. The problem is VA isn't upgrading their section because VA people don't use it. So the highway turns into a little farm road. Basically somebody throw WV a bone whether it be VA or the Feds.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: codyg1985 on June 01, 2016, 07:40:12 AM
I think it would actually help Virginia in that it would take some traffic off of I-81 between US 48 and I-64.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: froggie on June 01, 2016, 08:25:42 AM
Not enough to be worthwhile.  Despite the congestion, trucks will stick to I-81 because A) lacks the traffic signals along both the western part of Corridor H and along US 19 (between Beckley and I-79), B) is less hilly and a gentler grade than dipping into West Virginia, and C) is less mileage than dipping into West Virginia.

Regarding Jmiles' comment, I believe it was discussed up-thread (probably a ways back), but VDOT considered their portion but pulled the plug.  Not just because of NIMBYs, but because the benefit of the route to Virginia was far less than the cost of constructing it.  Nevermind that, aside from the need for spot improvements here and there, the existing route is not that bad of a route.  I would certainly push for spot improvements along VA 55 (sic US 48), namely shoulder/bridge widening, a few left turn lanes, and perhaps a passing lane or two (especially on the westbound uphill towards the state line), but a full 4-lane corridor is not necessary.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on June 01, 2016, 08:47:19 AM
Corridor H will not revive the economy. The highlands was wholly dependent on timbering and coal mining, both of which are or have declined. Timbering started to drop off by the early 20th century as the original growth stands were depleted. Coal has begun its drastic decline in this century and is not expected to recover (for a variety of reasons that's not on topic here).

For that area, tourism is the best bet and a growth industry. Corridor H improves access to the Mon National Forest, numerous state parks, several wildernesses, a few ski resorts, and rail excursions (Elkins, Durbin, and Cass). It won't bring back that area's population - and nor should it. Those towns were considered "boom and bust" communities and lived and died by one (sometimes two) industry.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: SP Cook on June 01, 2016, 01:59:33 PM
Sheman is pretty much right.  This is really a different economy than most of WV.  After you get east of the continental divide, you are out of coal country.  There is not that displaced "excess" polulation that used to mine coal.  Grant and Hardy counties' peak population is, umm, currently.   Very different from coal counties (including those further west on H).  The blunt point is there is not developable land for manufacturing.   Nor is there an economic system nor an educational infastructure to support manufacturing.

At best you are looking at some tourism and making money off what truck traffic does pass through. 
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cl94 on June 01, 2016, 02:03:21 PM
At best you are looking at some tourism and making money off what truck traffic does pass through.

Part of the reason why having a high-quality road is important. Get through traffic to take Corridor H instead of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, for example, and you could put people to work at hotels and truck stops. Not glamorous living, but for many people, a job is better than no job.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: Bitmapped on June 01, 2016, 02:42:09 PM
At best you are looking at some tourism and making money off what truck traffic does pass through.

Part of the reason why having a high-quality road is important. Get through traffic to take Corridor H instead of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, for example, and you could put people to work at hotels and truck stops. Not glamorous living, but for many people, a job is better than no job.

Nobody is going to take Corridor H instead of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I-68 exists. Traffic is never going to be high enough along this corridor to support truck stops or hotels for through travelers, anyway.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on June 01, 2016, 03:07:24 PM
I-68 exists for those looking to "shunpike" Pennsylvania. To the south, I-64 exists, and even then, AADT is now under 10,000. It looks like WVDOH may have been using a formula with prior AADT's as the new numbers are much more precise.

Corridor H west of Elkins has areas under 9,000 AADT, with some areas jumping to over 12,000 AADT (closer to Weston). North of Elkins, the route has less than 2,500 AADT (17% trucks). WV 93 east of Thomas/Davis (soon to be four-lane Corridor H) has less than 2,000, with 28% of that trucks. Not too long ago, traffic levels were under 1,000 - for what was essentially a new terrain route built in the late 1960's. The newer segments in the east carry less than 2,000 AADT. East of Moorefield, it goes to over 5,000 before declining to 4,000 at its eastern terminus.

That's hardly any justification for a four-lane route. I wonder how much money could have been saved with a two-lane variant on a four-lane ROW similar to US 19? After all, WV 93 east of Thomas/Davis was more than adequate for traffic.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 01, 2016, 04:47:10 PM
I-68 exists for those looking to "shunpike" Pennsylvania. To the south, I-64 exists, and even then, AADT is now under 10,000. It looks like WVDOH may have been using a formula with prior AADT's as the new numbers are much more precise.

I-68 was not built as a route to shunpike the Pennsylvania Turnpike (but as Pennsylvania has raised (and will keep raising) tolls to subsidize transit all around the state, it has become an increasingly attractive route for some trucks).  The Maryland part of I-68 was built as a way to increase highway connectivity between its two western counties (Garrett and Allegany) and the rest of the state, and to make those counties more attractive to tourist traffic from places to the east (Maryland and elsewhere).

Corridor H west of Elkins has areas under 9,000 AADT, with some areas jumping to over 12,000 AADT (closer to Weston). North of Elkins, the route has less than 2,500 AADT (17% trucks). WV 93 east of Thomas/Davis (soon to be four-lane Corridor H) has less than 2,000, with 28% of that trucks. Not too long ago, traffic levels were under 1,000 - for what was essentially a new terrain route built in the late 1960's. The newer segments in the east carry less than 2,000 AADT. East of Moorefield, it goes to over 5,000 before declining to 4,000 at its eastern terminus.

That's hardly any justification for a four-lane route. I wonder how much money could have been saved with a two-lane variant on a four-lane ROW similar to US 19? After all, WV 93 east of Thomas/Davis was more than adequate for traffic.

Ever driven some of the grades on the roads that have been replaced by (or will be replaced by) Corridor H?

Like Va. 55; W.Va. 55; U.S. 50; W.Va. 42/W.Va. 93 (consider the winding and steep road up the Allegheny Front from Scherr to Bismarck); W.Va. 32; U.S. 33 and U.S. 219 (Kerens to Thomas/Davis)?

The AADT numbers that you cite are current, but are they accurate for the future, with a continuous Corridor H from I-79 at Weston, W.Va. to I-81 at Strasburg, Va.?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 01, 2016, 04:53:34 PM
Nobody is going to take Corridor H instead of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I-68 exists. Traffic is never going to be high enough along this corridor to support truck stops or hotels for through travelers, anyway.

But they will take it if Corridor H is shorter than I-68 (Corridor E), and perhaps more-direct (and no tolls) than using I-64.  Even though Corridor H is not a freeway-class road, its expressway-type design is plenty good enough for truck traffic.

The present U.S. routes (33, 50, and 250) that cross the Alleghenies near Corridor H are not practical for most trucks (and for drivers without the experience on such roads), and I suspect that most trucking company managers actively discourage or forbid their drivers from using them.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: 1995hoo on June 01, 2016, 08:51:43 PM
At best you are looking at some tourism and making money off what truck traffic does pass through.

Part of the reason why having a high-quality road is important. Get through traffic to take Corridor H instead of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, for example, and you could put people to work at hotels and truck stops. Not glamorous living, but for many people, a job is better than no job.

Nobody is going to take Corridor H instead of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I-68 exists. Traffic is never going to be high enough along this corridor to support truck stops or hotels for through travelers, anyway.

I take Corridor H instead of the Turnpike if I'm going to Columbus or points west.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: CVski on June 01, 2016, 08:59:01 PM
  The blunt point is there is not developable land for manufacturing.   Nor is there an economic system nor an educational infastructure to support manufacturing.

Quote

There's certainly available land and there's also an underutilized workforce, and within those two, some basis for economic growth.  Get to know the good folks of the highland counties of WV (Tucker, Randolph, Pocahontas to name just three) and you hear a familiar tale running through the last three or four generations.  Their kids grow up, get their educations, (sometimes very good ones), and then they move away, far from home. 

Take a drive through the US 550 or 340 corridors from Winchester/Stephens City to Front Royal (some of you just did), and see the manufacturing and transportation complexes, the expanding communities, the opportunities for economic growth.  Contrast and compare with the highland counties of WV.  The missions of the ARC and ADHS may not be any more relevant anywhere else.

How strong were Winchester and Front Royal's infrastructures before I-81 and I-66 came through?   In 1950 or 1960, how did folks from the east describe the economic potential of Virginia's northwestern counties?  What do we think today?
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: hbelkins on June 02, 2016, 12:24:38 AM
I-68 was built using the same funding mechanism that's building US 48 -- ADHS funding.

It was mentioned during the meet that Virginia's opposition to finishing Corridor H might be softening due to the retirement of an anti-H politician whose name I cannot recall. Also, didn't the feds up their portion of the funding to encourage Virginia to finish its part?

I had mentioned last fall that Moorefield has grown since Corridor H opened. And that was just what I observed right at the intersection of Corridor H and US 220/WV 28. On my way from Weston to Front Royal Saturday, I opted to follow my GPS' suggested routing to go from Elkins via Harman, Seneca Rocks and Petersburg to get to Moorefield. This was my first time to travel through downtown Moorefield on US 220 in several years. While Petersburg was always bigger than Moorefield in terms of the number of businesses, Petersburg appears to have stagnated. Moorefield, on the other hand, has grown on the other end of town opposite Corridor H as well as around the interchange. And I understand there are new businesses on the north side of Corridor H that I didn't see.
Title: Re: Corridor H
Post by: seicer on June 02, 2016, 08:37:44 AM
I-68 exists for those looking to "shunpike" Pennsylvania. To the south, I-64 exists, and even then, AADT is now under 10,000. It looks like WVDOH may have been using a formula with prior AADT's as the new numbers are much more precise.

I-68 was not built as a route to shunpike the Pennsylvania Turnpike (but as Pennsylvania has raised (and will keep raising) tolls to subsidized transit all around the state, it has become an increasingly attractive route for some trucks).  The Maryland part of I-68 was built as a way to increase highway connectivity between its two western counties (Garrett and Allegany) and the rest of the state, and to make those counties more attractive to tourist traffic from places to the east (Maryland and elsewhere).