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Author Topic: Corridor H  (Read 388089 times)

sparker

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #950 on: March 16, 2017, 04:51:09 PM »

The same folks who voted him in (much of Appalachia went to Trump) are now seeing the effects of the elimination of the very programs and funding mechanisms that have made modern life somewhat possible.

I suspect it is because so many have long been disconnected with how their daily life has been impacted by government programs like the ARC. I know that, after reading some of those newspaper commentary at a newspaper in Kentucky, that many do not even realize that those four-lane (and improved two-lane) routes they take for granted were built with ARC funding as part of the ARC corridor program. And in many rural towns, they wouldn't have modern sewage treatment plants (versus straight pipes into creeks) without the ARC. Or hospitals, many of which are funded by the ARC.

What's that term I'm looking for here... shooting yourself in the foot?

It's likely many -- if not most -- of those cuts will be DOA in Congress; the realities regarding just what the Trump folks can actually affect versus the realities endemic to district and state representation (and what is expected/anticipated at ground level) are becoming apparent as the WH-based plans unfold.  Buckle up: expect a bloodbath punctuated by an ongoing war of words!
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SP Cook

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #951 on: March 21, 2017, 10:18:16 AM »

Confusing the ARC with the roads is a mistake.  Obviously these roads will be funded in general transportation bills as time passes.  As for the rest of the ARC it does nothing of value.  The program has been a failure by its own defination, as Appalachia was FAR more prosperous before it began. 

Amtrak, as it relates to Appalachia, means the two DC-Chicago routes.  The "Capitol Limited" which merely skirts the edge of what can best be called "legal Appalachia" (the overbroad region defined by the ARC) stopping only in WV's prosperous eastern panhandle, Cumberland, MD and the hardly Appalachian city of Pittsburgh.  No loss.  And Amtrak's most money losing route, the "Cardinal".  Because the "Cardinal" plys a longer DC to Chicago route than the "Capitol Limited" it gest no actual through traffic, it must depend on people it picks up along the way, passing through Charleston, Cincinnati and Indy.  A study by the CBO pointed out that the government could lose less money by buying everyone on the train a first class airline ticket.  While that is hyperbole, the fact is that bus services along the same routes have it covered, profitabaly.  The total number of "alightings" in the last Amtrak FY report in ALL Appalachian stations is less than 70K, out a "legal Appalachia" population of over 25M.

Which brings us to the "EAS" program.  Perhaps the most mis-named program in the federal government, as nothing it does is "essential" at all.  It play-pretends that it is will 1979 and pays the airlines to fly to places that make no economic sense.  It is not 1979, populations have changed, the airline business has changes, and, most importantly for this group, new roads have been built that make profitable airports available.  WV has 5 EAS airports, Virginia one, and southwestern PA 2 (Kentucky has none, because in the play-pretend its is 1979 system no place had air service then, even though there are as many people there as elsewhere in the EAS region today.

Understand that Charleston, Roanoke, Lexington, and Tri-Cites, non-EAS airports, have plenty of service, with people able to go one-stop to any of the major carriers hubs and then anywhere they want, plus discounters like Allegiant, Spirit and so on.  And Pittsburgh and Columbus are major airports with service way beyond that.  So we have:

- Morgantown - 79 miles from PIT, all interstate.
- Clarksburg - 107 miles from PIT, all interstate.  119 miles from CRW, all interstate.
- Lewisburg - 88 miles from ROA, 115 from CRW, 190 miles from GSO, all interstate.
- Beckley - 52 miles from CRW, all interstate, 213 miles from CLT, all interstate.
- Parkersburg - 129 miles from CMH, all 4 lane, 88 miles from CRW, all interstate, 145 miles from PIT, all 4-lane.
- Staunton - 147 miles from IAD, all interstate, 85 miles from ROA, all interstate. 
- Johnstown - 91 miles from PIT.

Johnstown, Beckley and Morgantown have each had years as the largest money losers in the EAS system.  It is not 1979 anymore.  New roads have been built, people have moved, and an hour or 2 drive for people who CHOOSE to live in a small town to get on an airplane is reasonable.  Further the  end of subsidy would add passengers to CRW and ROA.
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74/171FAN

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #952 on: April 01, 2017, 08:10:12 PM »

As I drove to the originally scheduled NRG/Beckley Meet today, US 48 was fully posted (minus some overheads) on all 4-lane sections of Corridor H.  It is posted in the gap between Kerens and Davis but it is much more sporadic and mainly where US 48 turns.  Also there was no US 48 WB shield where it turns onto US 219 SB from WV 32. (though there was an EB one)
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rickmastfan67

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #953 on: April 02, 2017, 06:20:47 AM »

As I drove to the originally scheduled NRG/Beckley Meet today, US 48 was fully posted (minus some overheads) on all 4-lane sections of Corridor H.  It is posted in the gap between Kerens and Davis but it is much more sporadic and mainly where US 48 turns.  Also there was no US 48 WB shield where it turns onto US 219 SB from WV 32. (though there was an EB one)

So, what I written here for the 'gap' in the route is correct? If so, I'll finally get the file updated for TM.

74/171FAN

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #954 on: April 02, 2017, 06:33:04 AM »

As I drove to the originally scheduled NRG/Beckley Meet today, US 48 was fully posted (minus some overheads) on all 4-lane sections of Corridor H.  It is posted in the gap between Kerens and Davis but it is much more sporadic and mainly where US 48 turns.  Also there was no US 48 WB shield where it turns onto US 219 SB from WV 32. (though there was an EB one)

So, what I written here for the 'gap' in the route is correct? If so, I'll finally get the file updated for TM.

Yes, I had used this post from HB in response to noelbotevera to verify my route before I went in case it was not fully posted.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #955 on: April 18, 2017, 04:58:30 PM »

My Corridor H experiences:

-I can see why Virginia isn't working on Corridor H. For them, VA 55 is just a rural country road.

-The bridge over the Lost River was pretty high. I'm not sure why the sudden elevation change west of Wardensville is necessary (unless it involved cutting more rock).

-I'm not sure why there can't be a direct interchange with US 220 at Moorefield. Also, there's a strange sharp curve after WV 55 exits US 48. My best guess is that WV 55 once went into town, connecting with Old WV 55.

-Holy grades Batman! Some were pretty steep.

-I'm not sure why there's an interchange with WV 93 near the Mt. Storm Power Plant. You could've turned at WV 42/WV 93.

-The turn onto WV 32 North is still not signed, nor is the turn onto US 219 SB. US 48 only gets signed once US 219 begins the concurrency with WV 72.

-Nothing hasn't happened at Kerens. The hill seems a bit shorter, I guess.

-Corridor H was very light on traffic. I can see it as a replacement to US 50.

I only clinched Corridor H westbound (though, we turned EB briefly to see a dead deer that we snapped pictures of).
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #956 on: April 18, 2017, 05:09:58 PM »

-I'm not sure why there's an interchange with WV 93 near the Mt. Storm Power Plant. You could've turned at WV 42/WV 93.

If you're talking about the first interchange east of the power plant, that's where US 48 used to end, until a later construction phase extended the highway west past the power plant to an at-grade connection with WV 93.
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74/171FAN

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #957 on: April 18, 2017, 08:04:19 PM »

-The turn onto WV 32 North is still not signed, nor is the turn onto US 219 SB. US 48 only gets signed once US 219 begins the concurrency with WV 72.

I remember seeing a shield at the turn onto WV 32 NB a week earlier.  Also I did see a US 48 EB shield on US 219 NB at the turn onto WV 32 SB peeking through my mirror.

As I drove to the originally scheduled NRG/Beckley Meet today, US 48 was fully posted (minus some overheads) on all 4-lane sections of Corridor H.  It is posted in the gap between Kerens and Davis but it is much more sporadic and mainly where US 48 turns.  Also there was no US 48 WB shield where it turns onto US 219 SB from WV 32. (though there was an EB one)
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Bitmapped

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #958 on: April 19, 2017, 11:12:27 PM »

-The bridge over the Lost River was pretty high. I'm not sure why the sudden elevation change west of Wardensville is necessary (unless it involved cutting more rock).

Look at a topographic map. The ridgeline is much higher than the valley bottom in this area.

-I'm not sure why there can't be a direct interchange with US 220 at Moorefield. Also, there's a strange sharp curve after WV 55 exits US 48. My best guess is that WV 55 once went into town, connecting with Old WV 55.
The interchange is located outside of the floodplain. Before it was placed on its current alignment, WV 55 followed the road known as Old WV 55.

-I'm not sure why there's an interchange with WV 93 near the Mt. Storm Power Plant. You could've turned at WV 42/WV 93.
WVDOH generally builds grade-separated interchanges when crossing state routes on newer Corridor construction. In this case, they probably could have omitted the interchange given WV 93 has no through traffic here anymore.

-The turn onto WV 32 North is still not signed, nor is the turn onto US 219 SB. US 48 only gets signed once US 219 begins the concurrency with WV 72.
Signage has been gradually extending further east this year.
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hbelkins

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #959 on: August 13, 2017, 09:33:35 PM »

As I drove to the originally scheduled NRG/Beckley Meet today, US 48 was fully posted (minus some overheads) on all 4-lane sections of Corridor H.  It is posted in the gap between Kerens and Davis but it is much more sporadic and mainly where US 48 turns.  Also there was no US 48 WB shield where it turns onto US 219 SB from WV 32. (though there was an EB one)

It's now fully posted, including on overheads on the mainline (but not on side roads such as where US 33 and US 250 leave the corridor at Elkins, and in Buckhannon).

I drove Corridor H today from Strasburg to Buckhannon. Some observations:

*As noted, it's fully posted. Several weeks ago I was on Corridor H between Buckhannon and Weston, and there's an "End US 48" sign there. Today I saw that the route is fully posted along WV 32 and US 219 between Davis and Elkins. On the portion west of Elkins, the US 48 signs have mostly been tacked on underneath the US 33 signs, but there are independent posts with US 48 signage next to the US 219 signs.

*There's been some discussion about cellphone service along the route. I have AT&T, and I had service all the way from Strasburg to the Grant/Hardy county line. From there to a point between Mount Storm Lake and Davis, service was intermittent and spotty. From Davis on to Buckhannon, service was uninterrupted.

*You can see the Mount Storm power plant from miles away.

*Traffic seems to be picking up along the route, but this time I didn't see any police officers patrolling today.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #960 on: August 13, 2017, 10:31:16 PM »

*Traffic seems to be picking up along the route, but this time I didn't see any police officers patrolling today.

Any evidence that Kokosing has really started work between Kerens and Moore (south of Parsons)?
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #961 on: August 13, 2017, 10:41:14 PM »

My Corridor H experiences:

-I can see why Virginia isn't working on Corridor H. For them, VA 55 is just a rural country road.

I disagree.  It's an interstate highway in a place where there are not that many roads crossing North Mountain (the crest of which is the boundary between Virginia and West Virginia).  Driving U.S. 48/VA-55 between Wardensville and I-81 is not an especially pleasant experience if one has the bad luck to be behind a laden  truck.

As has been pointed out, getting Corridor H completed (in Virginia) also improves highway access to the Virginia  Inland Port for trucks coming from  as far away as the I-79 corridor at Weston (current all-freeway routes are circuitous, and while Corridor H will not be a full freeway road, it will effectively function as one because there are not very many signalized intersections, and none east of Elkins).

-Holy grades Batman! Some were pretty steep.

I don't think any of the four-lane parts of Corridor H are steeper than 6%.  Given the terrain, that's pretty good (and lots better than the roads that were there before, such as WV-55 and WV-42/WV-93 (that one is especially bad climbing or descending the Allegheny Front between Scheer and the intersection at the Liberty gas station).

-I'm not sure why there's an interchange with WV 93 near the Mt. Storm Power Plant. You could've turned at WV 42/WV 93.

(1) Highway access to and  from the Mount Storm Generating  Station, especially for trucks; and
(2) Highway access to the Mountaintop Industrial Park site that Grant County wants to develop.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 10:47:33 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #962 on: August 13, 2017, 11:02:14 PM »

My Corridor H experiences:
-I can see why Virginia isn't working on Corridor H. For them, VA 55 is just a rural country road.
I disagree.  It's an interstate highway in a place where there are not that many roads crossing North Mountain (the crest of which is the boundary between Virginia and West Virginia).  Driving U.S. 48/VA-55 between Wardensville and I-81 is not an especially pleasant experience if one has the bad luck to be behind a laden  truck.

As has been pointed out, getting Corridor H completed (in Virginia) also improves highway access to the Virginia  Inland Port for trucks coming from  as far away as the I-79 corridor at Weston (current all-freeway routes are circuitous, and while Corridor H will not be a full freeway road, it will effectively function as one because there are not very many signalized intersections, and none east of Elkins).

A completed Corridor H will be an extension of I-66 at Strasburg to I-79 in central West Virginia, albeit built to expressway standards, meaning a limited access right-of-way but with some of the public road junctions being at-grade intersections.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #963 on: August 14, 2017, 06:39:54 AM »

A completed Corridor H will be an extension of I-66 at Strasburg to I-79 in central West Virginia, albeit built to expressway standards, meaning a limited access right-of-way but with some of the public road junctions being at-grade intersections.

What are the chances Corridor H will be fully built out -- including the VA 55 segment and the WV remainder east of Wardensville -- within the next 20 years or so?  AFAIK, there's been little interest within the VA transportation hierarchy (including the DOT) in expediting such a project; if anyone has info to the contrary, please let the rest of us in on it!
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #964 on: August 14, 2017, 09:03:06 AM »



I don't think any of the four-lane parts of Corridor H are steeper than 6%.  Given the terrain, that's pretty good (and lots better than the roads that were there before, such as WV-55 and WV-42/WV-93 (that one is especially bad climbing or descending the Allegheny Front between Scheer and the intersection at the Liberty gas station).



At least one 8% grade...the US 48 EB descent into Wardensville:  https://goo.gl/maps/8hpKfQUdhiE2

The US 48 WB descent to Patterson Creek Rd is also pretty stout (no GMSV yet to check actual grade) and it is very difficult to not be going 80 mph at the bottom of that one.  ISTR another grade like that EB leaving the Bismarck area.

At any rate, I may be driving it both directions on Saturday so I will try to pay attention to this...
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #965 on: August 14, 2017, 09:23:02 AM »

*Traffic seems to be picking up along the route, but this time I didn't see any police officers patrolling today.

Any evidence that Kokosing has really started work between Kerens and Moore (south of Parsons)?

That's what I forgot to note. There's a "Your Tax Dollars At Work" sign posted southbound on US 48/219, but the only evidence that anything is going to happen along the route is the placement of a construction trailer office and a few other structures at the stub ending at Kerens. I know the contractor has been trying to get access to the south end of the site via the rail trail there, and last I heard they were successful. Maybe that's what they're waiting for, or perhaps (as I speculated previously) they have to wait until winter to start clearing and grubbing due to bat habitat regulations.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #966 on: August 14, 2017, 11:44:40 AM »

A completed Corridor H will be an extension of I-66 at Strasburg to I-79 in central West Virginia, albeit built to expressway standards, meaning a limited access right-of-way but with some of the public road junctions being at-grade intersections.

What are the chances Corridor H will be fully built out -- including the VA 55 segment and the WV remainder east of Wardensville -- within the next 20 years or so?  AFAIK, there's been little interest within the VA transportation hierarchy (including the DOT) in expediting such a project; if anyone has info to the contrary, please let the rest of us in on it!

Last time I checked, it was not in the Virginia Six Year Program, not even for preliminary engineering, and since this is truly a federal program (and the two  counties that it crosses in the  Commonwealth are not in the Appalachian Regional Commission footprint), I think that the federal government should fund  100% of the costs to engineer and built it to VDOT expressway standards.  I say that even though the project has clear benefits for Virginia -  especially in the form of significantly improved access to the Inland Port. 
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #967 on: August 14, 2017, 11:50:41 AM »

Quote
I say that even though the project has clear benefits for Virginia -  especially in the form of significantly improved access to the Inland Port. 

Both of which are debatable.  This would benefit West Virginia far more than it would Virginia.  There isn't that much coming from West Virginia or points west to the Inland Port that would make this worthwhile.  And points west could easily hop other highways or the rail network to get to the James River, Norfolk, or other East Coast destinations.

And Virginia would get more bang for the buck spending that money on track improvements (particularly along the I-81 corridor) or on I-81 itself.

Now, if West Virginia wants to pay for the completion of Corridor H, that would be one option.  But you'd still have to get through the locals (particularly Shenandoah County).
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #968 on: August 14, 2017, 12:19:03 PM »

A completed Corridor H will be an extension of I-66 at Strasburg to I-79 in central West Virginia, albeit built to expressway standards, meaning a limited access right-of-way but with some of the public road junctions being at-grade intersections.
What are the chances Corridor H will be fully built out -- including the VA 55 segment and the WV remainder east of Wardensville -- within the next 20 years or so?  AFAIK, there's been little interest within the VA transportation hierarchy (including the DOT) in expediting such a project; if anyone has info to the contrary, please let the rest of us in on it!
Last time I checked, it was not in the Virginia Six Year Program, not even for preliminary engineering, and since this is truly a federal program (and the two  counties that it crosses in the  Commonwealth are not in the Appalachian Regional Commission footprint), I think that the federal government should fund  100% of the costs to engineer and built it to VDOT expressway standards.  I say that even though the project has clear benefits for Virginia -  especially in the form of significantly improved access to the Inland Port. 

That is odd that it is designated as part of the ADHS, but those VA counties are not in the ARC --
https://www.arc.gov/program_areas/MapoftheADHS.asp
One of only 3 places in the ADHS that extend outside of the ARC.

Nevertheless they should get the same federal funding as the rest of the ADHS.  The VA section is needed to connect the WVA section to I-66 and I-81, and that also connects the eastern WVA panhandle (which is in the ARC) to WVA Corridor H.

Some current ADHS projects such as the US-219 freeway in Somerset County, PA are getting 100% federal funding for PE, RW and Const., and that is a $300 million project.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 12:23:59 PM by Beltway »
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #969 on: August 14, 2017, 12:32:47 PM »

Scott, you're aware that MAP-21 eliminated dedicated ADHS funding, correct?  True, ADHS projects can now use 100% federal funding, but it comes from each state's allotted FHWA funding...which means other Interstate, NHS, and STP-eligible projects are not being funded.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #970 on: August 14, 2017, 12:42:32 PM »

Scott, you're aware that MAP-21 eliminated dedicated ADHS funding, correct?  True, ADHS projects can now use 100% federal funding, but it comes from each state's allotted FHWA funding...which means other Interstate, NHS, and STP-eligible projects are not being funded.

Yes, that was my understanding.  But I am puzzled as to where PennDOT got those funds, as the traffic warrants are very low, as one section existing US-219 has only about 5,000 AADT.
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #971 on: August 15, 2017, 02:32:18 PM »

Scott, you're aware that MAP-21 eliminated dedicated ADHS funding, correct?  True, ADHS projects can now use 100% federal funding, but it comes from each state's allotted FHWA funding...which means other Interstate, NHS, and STP-eligible projects are not being funded.

Stupid move by stupid people.  ADHS was never intended to "compete" against other transportation projects - especially in states where most of the state is not in the ARC footprint, like Virginia and Maryland (IIRC, West Virginia is the only state where every  county is within the ARC boundaries).
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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #972 on: August 15, 2017, 02:36:58 PM »

Quote
I say that even though the project has clear benefits for Virginia -  especially in the form of significantly improved access to the Inland Port. 

Both of which are debatable.  This would benefit West Virginia far more than it would Virginia.  There isn't that much coming from West Virginia or points west to the Inland Port that would make this worthwhile.  And points west could easily hop other highways or the rail network to get to the James River, Norfolk, or other East Coast destinations.

That's an argument that should be rejected (also used by Montgomery County, Maryland NIMBYs to object to highway projects for many years, going back at least to the construction of I-495 through Chevy Chase), as we are a United States, not a "confederation."

And Virginia would get more bang for the buck spending that money on track improvements (particularly along the I-81 corridor) or on I-81 itself.

Virginia's failure to upgrade I-81 is Virginia's fault (and the fault of the PEC, which has set up at least one front group to object to I-81 improvements).  And I-81 does not just belong to Virginia, as it is an Interstate highway, the construction of which was 90% funded by federal dollars.

Now, if West Virginia wants to pay for the completion of Corridor H, that would be one option.  But you'd still have to get through the locals (particularly Shenandoah County).

ADHS is a federal program to meet federal requirements. 
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hbelkins

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #973 on: August 15, 2017, 03:14:21 PM »


That is odd that it is designated as part of the ADHS, but those VA counties are not in the ARC --
https://www.arc.gov/program_areas/MapoftheADHS.asp

This is ridiculous -- by any geographical definition, those counties ARE in Appalachia. As I always understood it, the definition of the region for purposes of the ARC was all counties within the Appalachian Mountains, plus counties that border them. That's how Clark and Madison counties in Kentucky got to be eligible for ARC project funding -- they border true Appalachian counties.

Yet the ARC territory has been expanded to include a few counties in Kentucky, such as Green and Edmonson, that by no logical means could be considered to be in Appalachia.



Re: the funding discussion -- the "your tax dollars at work" sign south of Parsons listed only federal funds ($230-plus million, IIRC) and no state funds being used for the project.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Corridor H
« Reply #974 on: August 15, 2017, 04:44:04 PM »


That is odd that it is designated as part of the ADHS, but those VA counties are not in the ARC --
https://www.arc.gov/program_areas/MapoftheADHS.asp

This is ridiculous -- by any geographical definition, those counties ARE in Appalachia. As I always understood it, the definition of the region for purposes of the ARC was all counties within the Appalachian Mountains, plus counties that border them. That's how Clark and Madison counties in Kentucky got to be eligible for ARC project funding -- they border true Appalachian counties.

They clearly have a fair amount  of mountainous terrain, so I agree with you.

Washington County, Maryland has similar landscape, and has only a narrow connection (west of Sidling Hill) to "true Appalachia" of Maryland).

Yet the ARC territory has been expanded to include a few counties in Kentucky, such as Green and Edmonson, that by no logical means could be considered to be in Appalachia.

Yes, I think the case can  be made that Shenandoah and Frederick Counties in Virginia should be in the ARC region.


Re: the funding discussion -- the "your tax dollars at work" sign south of Parsons listed only federal funds ($230-plus million, IIRC) and no state funds being used for the project.

That's the one on U.S. 219 southbound at Moore, right?
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