BUCKHANNON – With Corridor H nearing completion, the final sections of the project were discussed during a recent Corridor H Authority meeting. Upshur County Development Authority director Jennifer Bostian attended the Nov. 3 Upshur County Commission meeting to request a letter of support for the proposed route from Parsons to Davis.
“I’m here to talk to you about getting an additional letter of support for the completion of Corridor H,” Bostian said. “Commissioner [Sam] Nolte and I sat in on the last Corridor H Authority meeting, and [the West Virginia Department of Highways] has extended the comment period for the section of from Parsons to Davis into early December. We just need to provide some additional support letters to the Department of Highways to talk about safety, economic development and the advantages of getting that last section completed — specifically in support of the current alignment so we don’t have to go back to the drawing board on this. It would be a disaster.”
The current proposed route would go past Tucker County High School, over the Blackwater River and between Davis and Thomas. (See the map here.) Some residents and businesses in the Davis and Thomas area have suggested an alternative route that runs north of the two small towns rather than between them.
Nolte noted that many of the comments opposing the current proposed route are from out-of-state and said a physical letter of support carries more weight than some of the negative comments the DOH might receive online.
“They have a comment period online, where it’s been overtaken probably by algorithms, putting in comments against the project,” Nolte said. “They are mostly organizations from outside of our state. That’s what’s so frustrating — the folks that live in that area, not all, but the majority, are OK with the project. I think this has been going on since the start of this project.”
Bostian said she plans to write a letter of support from the UCDA as well.
“I’m going to do one from UCDA for sure, and I’ll get the information to you,” Bostian said. “If you will make a motion to have president Tenney sign the letter, then we can get it done.”
The commission unanimously approved the motion.
According to previous press release posted on My Buckhannon, the section involves the construction of an approximately 10-mile new location, four-lane, divided highway, with partial control of access. The Parsons to Davis portion of Corridor H is one of the final pieces of the project, which stretches from Weston across central West Virginia, to eventually link up with Interstate 81 in Strasburg, Virginia. Construction is expected to start in 2024.