Corridor H in the News
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johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
June 18, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Corridor H named by Taxpayers for Common Sense as one of the Nation's most Wasteful Highway projects:

See page 51 of the Road to Ruin report:

For PDF:

http://www.taxpayer.net/road2ruin/COMPLETEREPORT.pdf

For a web version:

http://www.taxpayer.net/road2ruin/
JohnL
June 18, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
One's opinion of the linked site will depend greatly on one's opinion of new highway development in general. Without taking a stand on the projects, there are lots of people who support the ICC, Western Beltway, Techway Potomac Crossing, I-81 improvements, etc. There are certainly lots of people who oppose those projects.

On the positive side, as a Virginia taxpayer, I am definitely getting my tax dollars' worth on the new Springfield Interchange. Big government occasionally does come through.
andy
June 18, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
Look its aproaching 2005 we are still crossing the mtn's on go-cart tracks! the mtn's are filling up with people there are potential ski resorts to be built its to dangerous to use the old rd's Get with the program & quit the whining.(to whoever is)
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
June 18, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Corridor H: FINISH IT NOW!
bawalker
June 18, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
Considering I'm a tax payer, seeing my dollars... or THAT MUCH of my dollars go for that isn't the highest thrill in the world. This is something that has been discussed in the past regarding traffic flow doesn't justify the money invested into CH. Now I'm not disagreeing that trafficflow on 55/32/28/220 isn't bad because it is but we have to remember is going from the smallest end of the spectrum to the largest end of the spectrum justifiable because the smallest end is clogged with traffic? Wouldn't a medium be satisfactory?

Now that doesn't say I don't or won't use CH because honestly I will. As far as I know the Wardensville to baker section didn't take any homes. So there is a compromise but now that the highway is here we need to still use it and treat the towns it goes through with diligent respect. Not just use it as some fly by nite 66 to zoom past, put a condo in in Moorefield or what not.

Anyway speaking of CorridorH... I will have some pictures coming this week of the latest construction. Lost River Sinks Bridges are halfway complete with incomplete girders stretching over the road. All dirt sections between Wardensville and Baker have been paved and the Saurkraut Run bridge is nearly finished. I'll post more this week.
RyanC
June 19, 2004
Member since 11/28/2003
160 posts
Well, it certainly is controversial, but even considering that, it's been started, so it must be finished. Let's get this show on the road and get it over with! I am glad there are enough vigilant people interested in protecting the environment and ensuring that Fairfax/Gaithersburg/Columbia, etc. tasteless crap style sprawl doesn't ensue. I think there is enough demand for small amounts of purposeful, quality developments that blend in w/ the surrounding area, without the low-class big-box stores.

I feel that the transportation infrastructure in the U.S. in general (train, plane, and auto transport) is grossly inadequate, and it will be nice when I don't have to drive on 3rd world quality, very dangerous roads to get to the mountain resort areas. But...obviously it's a balance, and while improvements are necessary, perhaps the road doesn't need to be Interstate-grade the whole way, it's all about compromises. But, let's face it, 55W from Wardensville to Moorefield is a death trap!
andy
June 19, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
You know,if they had built 270 at "future" specs then we wouldn't have spent gadzillions of money & tons of wasted gas & time in gridlock getting to work while they upgraded.Spend now save later! Same principle for Iraq ,Corr H ect... Preventive cost & maintenence
bawalker
June 19, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
Ryan,

Your right that the old 55 between Wardensville and Moorefield IS a death trap. While going to high school at East Hardy and having relatives goto Moorefield High school I either had 15-20 friends injured or killed in car accidents on that stretch of highway. Plus the chicken trucks leaked guts/grease on the highway so just about everytime it rained in the summer there was an accident somewhere on that road.

I agree something had to have been done because it was simply too deadly tod rive it. I should know since I've driven that stretch thousands of times before. Although before construction ever started it was my belief and the belief of most citizens in this county that current Rt 55 be highly upgraded rather than sending an interstate type highway dividing farms and mountains. My personal preference would have been to cut out sides of ridges, widen 55 to at least 16' per lane with plenty of passing lanes.

The largest gripe all citizens had about it was that there was never an adequate alternative study done on if it was feasable to upgrade 55 with maybe an interstate like section here and there. Rather than upgrading the state DOT was aiming at building an interstate from the get go to connect with I-66 to gain more tax revenue from a new connected outlet for all northern Virginianers to put housing and or businesses.

Now that the plan is eternally dead to ever connect CH with 66 that now leaves CH as a gateway to the western alleghenies rather than full connection from DC to western west virginia. At the moment Corridor H is a waste of tax dollars because it's more of an intercounty connector than anything else. With the next part of Corridor H going to be Moorefield to Foreman we aren't going to see any actual improvement for skiiers.

In fact Foreman is more in a remote out of the way area that if you ride CH to Foreman and get off, then you would have to take additional roads to get back to Petersburg to then take 55 to Seneca Rocks, etc. So unless a full Corridor H is completed skiiers and snow folk will have to continue to get off at Moorefield's exit and ride the same stretch of road to Timberline.

Like I've said before and still continue to say, the sections between Davis and Foreman are still too hot in controversy that we won't see those built for at least another 15 years if they are built. I know for a fact the opposition groups believe that if they can sever at least 1-2 sections of the highway it will effectively kill development in the area for a long time. Because who wants to drive an interstate, come to an end, get off, take a backroad fora nother 20 miles, get back on the interstate, do that again etc.
RyanC
June 20, 2004
Member since 11/28/2003
160 posts
Brad,
You're 110% correct. I'm guessing that the complete Wardensville to Moorefield stretch will be open by this fall. I just looked at the map, and Moorefield to Forman will be pretty useless. Unless the highway goes all the way from I-66 to Davis, it's of minimal value. Granted, it will make the trip safer and shave off about 30 min. from DC, but is that really worth millions and millions of dollars. Of course not. As I've said before, I think better roads are much needed for various reasons, but I agree w/ you that upgrading existing roads would be more logical and cost effective. But, that would make too much sense, wouldn't it [Roll Eyes]

Unfortunately, Corridor H is useless unless I'm going straight from work (in downtown DC) to CV. If I'm coming from where I live in Baltimore, the highway would have to be 100% open from I-66 all the way to Davis to warrant dealing with DC/NoVa traffic as opposed to heading out I-70 and I-68 west from the Baltimore Beltway. But, the WV resort areas tend to cater to DC area (mainly Northern Virginia) people, so the District/Arlington/Fairfax crowd could probably get to, say, Timberline in less time than Ocean City/Bethany/Rehoboth once the Wardensville to Moorefield section is open.
bawalker
June 20, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
Unfortunately the Wardensville to Moorefield section won't be open by this fall. The McCauley bridge, Lost River Sinks, and Baker/Lost River bridges are no where near completed yet. The McCauley section doesn't even have 6 piers finished yet with no girders in sight, and the Lost River Sinks bridges have only half of their girders in place. Plus the interchange for the Wardensville/Trout Run Road/55 is also getting a bridge which hasn't even been constructed yet. Look for the complete section to open next April.

I will have digital photos of these areas tomorrow. Nothing beats having that entire road and construction area to myself on a 4wheeler and bike. [Smile] It'll give you DCSkier's a taste of what has happened up here since April's last snow.
Norsk
June 20, 2004
Member since 05/13/2003
315 posts
I just dont get some of the comments that this topic always produces. For example, how can it be that a highway that shaves 30 mins off a 4 hour drive is "useless", simply because it doesn't go four lanes all the way from the Beltway to Davis? Or how can it be that a highway that replaced a "deathtrap" (by universal acknowledgement) is one of the nation's "most wasteful" highway projects?

Yes Corridor H will produce some new development, and yes it will not all be classy or enhancing of the local environment. But its all a question of tradeoffs and balance. If bawalker is correct (and as our local eyes in WV I assume he is), Corr H is likely to run four lanes from Wardensville to Moorefield by 2005. That alone cuts out several of the curviest, slowest, most dangerous ridge crossings. Now just dream a little: The stretch to Foreman wouldn't do much for CV-bound skiers, but with Foreman to Bismarck added to it, it would be heaven. Bismarck to Davis is a mostly straight, mostly flat, never crowded road. Corr H not needed. I-66/81 to Wardensville would still be two-lanes and twisty, but really just enough to deter fair-weather types and manic developers. What's not to like?

Seems like Corr H is headed to a form of partial completion where it pleases neither its fanatical supporters nor its militant opponents. And that's probably just right for the rest of us.
dmh
June 23, 2004
Member since 12/11/2003
127 posts
I just returned from CV this weekend. The progress on CH is impressive, with frenetic activity on the remaining bridges. Contrary to Bawalker's projections, I think they will be open by Thanksgiving. They are throwing a lot of men and equipment at the Wardensville/Baker stretch and seem intent on getting it completed. Even more encouraging there appears to be some preparatory work being done at the Moorefield. It is not clear but they may be starting work on the next stretch.

I am a staunch evironmentalist but just don't see the harm in CH and see the benefits it offers to the communities and those who seek to enjoy CV and environs. It is not merely that it reduces the time of the trip--I made it from my house at Black Bear to my house in Arlington in 3 hours, 5 minutes--but it makes the trip safer and much, much less stressful. Instead of winding, narrow road, you now have wide, safe roads. The entire travel experience is greatly enhanced even if the time savings in modest. WV has suffered economically for decades, in part because of its isolation. To the extent CH can help relieve the isolation, I say good for CH.
andy
June 25, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
Nice to hear something positive...thanks for the info
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
June 26, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
I'm optimistic about Corridor H as well. Just getting the Wardensville to Moorefield stretch open in its entirety will begin to transform skking in the Canaan Valley. For the first time, we're going to see a serious influx of day trippers, and this influx hopefully will start to convince the Timberline ownership that it needs to do something to improve the lift situation.

I'd also like to see someone improve the lodging situation for people who just want to spend 1 night. 7 Springs and Whitetail have chain hotels nearbye where you can stay cheaply for one night but the CV area only has a few places that will rent rooms by the night. Condos must be rented for a minimum of 3 nights. We've seen a lot of new houses being built on the mountain (mostly trophy homes not on the rental market) but no new hotels or even condo units. Hopefully, corridor H will change this trend.
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