Drivers Begin Using New Section of Corridor H

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GRANT COUNTY, W.Va. (WHSV) -- Drivers are using one of the newest portions of highway in our area.

It's the latest part of a highway years in the making to open, Corridor H or U.S. 48.

It's been built across the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia in stages over the last few years.

Corridor H is complete in Grant County, but there's still work ahead to finish the highway which is planned to run from Interstate 79 in West Virginia over into the Valley.

State leaders are optimistic that as more of Corridor H is finished the area will see the effects.

"It's absolutely vital for the economic development of West Virginia to get this corridor finished," said Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.

There are sections of the road that haven't been upgraded to a freeway. For example, it becomes a two-lane road just west of Wardensville in Hardy County. Virginia's section of Corridor H is also two lanes.

Farther west in Grant County, Josh Hedrick at Smoke Hole Outfitters wonders if some people will take the four-lane road, sending travelers on a route farther from the resort that's always been part of his life.

"That's part of being a business person. You have to adapt and tweak everything as progress comes along," said Hedrick, "You have to keep up with the changes and what you have to do to market your business."

The people charged with helping bring visitors to the area think it will open the area to new visitors.

"Sure, there's going to be some people that drive by because the road is right there and they can go to other places," said Grant County CVB Director Eileen Sindledecker, "To me, it's a quicker way to get them from northern Virginia, DC, right to our county to enjoy all the things we have here, which is a lot"

Virginia's section from the state line to Interstate 81 is not in the Virginia Department of Transportation's six year plan. The Commonwealth Transportation Board looked into the idea in the mid 90s, but decided against the project. A spokesman said that things could change, but there's no indication that would happen in the near future.