March 13th, 2009
09:33 AM ET
6 years ago

West Virginia's road to nowhere gets stimulus boost

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Critics of the uncompleted, lightly traveled Corridor H say its cost is too high.
Critics of the uncompleted, lightly traveled Corridor H say its cost is too high.

WARDENSVILLE, West Virginia (CNN) - After more than 40 years and $1.5 billion, West Virginia's massive "Corridor H" project is getting another boost from the Obama administration's economic stimulus package, despite questions over whether the project will ever be completed.

The plan is to build a 100-mile, four-lane highway through the Appalachian Mountains, connecting West Virginia to the eastern seaboard. It has been receiving federal money for decades, largely due to Sen. Robert Byrd, the Democrat who has represented West Virginia in the Senate since 1958.

Byrd has steered hundreds of millions of dollars to the project, including a $9.5 million earmark in the $410 billion spending bill signed by the president Wednesday. Another $21 million will come from the nearly $800 billion economic stimulus bill Obama signed into law in February.

Corridor H has been billed as a way to promote economic development in the impoverished state. But most of it remains on the drawing board. It's not projected to be complete until 2035 - and neighboring Virginia says it has no plans to add on to the eastern end of the highway, meaning the road will end in West Virginia, 10 miles from the state line.

So why keep building it?

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Filed under: economic stimulus • West Virginia
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