Cumberland Times-News

February 12, 2013

Corridor H not only unfinished highway in Appalachian system

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— I am writing today regarding the Jan. 27 article carried by the Cumberland Times-News concerning the completion of Corridor H, written by Katie Kuba of The (Elkins, W.Va.) Inter-Mountain (“Federal funding key to completion of Corridor H,” Page 1A).

This was an extremely well-written article promoting the economic benefits the completion of this corridor will provide to our region; however, one statement was not correct.

Ms. Kuba states, “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 the information from Corridor H Authority, a group advocating for the Corridor’s completion.”

This is not correct. Corridor H is West Virginia’s only unfinished Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) roadway.

There are numerous unfinished ADHS roadways within the 13 Appalachian Regional Commission states, one of which is getting significant attention, Corridor N from Maryland’s Interstate-68 to Somerset, Pa., U.S. Route 219.

This particular section of Route 219 is the northern leg of our three-state, regional North/South Appalachian Highway Project.

To offer some additional background, The Greater Cumberland Committee (TGCC) became the agency for advancing this project in 2009 and since that time, we have built a Coalition across Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia consisting of 165 businesses, government, and civic agencies equating to nearly 27,000 employees within and beyond our five county service area.

The southern leg of our North/South Highway Project is U.S. Route 220 from Maryland’s I-68 to Corridor H, and its connection to where Virginia’s I-81 and I-66 intersect with the Virginia Inland Port.

Access to this intersection is particularly important to our paper pulp, coal and timber industries, among others.

Brenda Smith, executive director

The Greater Cumberland Committee