Letter to the Editor: States need to discuss Corridor H

Editor:

This is in response to a letter urging negotiations between Virginia and West Virginia over completion of Corridor H.

The letter was written by West Virginia Sen. Bob Williams and Del. Isaac Sponaugle and published by a West Virginia newspaper on Aug. 17. I am in full agreement that the time has come to engage in serious discussions about completion of this badly needed East-West connector between Interstate 79 in West Virginia and Interstate 81. Completion of this highway makes sense on several levels: efficient delivery of raw materials through West Virginia to Virginia’s Inland Port and its rail connection to Hampton Roads ports; encouraging and expediting tourist travel from Northern Virginia through the Blue Ridge parks, George Washington National Forest and beyond; and action on a long-standing national emergency need for a dependable evacuation route out of the nation’s capital. As West Virginia continues to push toward its western terminus, the eastern end remains static at Wardensville, West Virginia, with an uncertain future.

Now that Virginia has put West Virginia on notice that it has no plan to complete the highway, I believe the time has come for the states to enter into discussions about the ultimate fate of Corridor H. I believe that completion of the highway would be a win-win for both states. But I am also aware of the strong and stubborn opposition that has existed in the Shenandoah Valley from its inception, particularly from several of our past and present local delegates. The construction phase will be disruptive, particularly in Shenandoah County, but all major infrastructure projects are temporarily disruptive. Would sensible citizens argue that the economic advantages created by I-81 were not worth the inconvenience of its construction?

My wife and I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley and we have ancestral ties to Hardy and Hampshire counties in West Virginia. We feel an intimate connection to both sides of North Mountain. We hope to see that connection strengthened by the completion of an enduring economic bond between our two states. It is time to begin engaging in open and constructive dialogue on this important issue.

Charles Funk, Front Royal

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