Skip to main content

US 48 - Corridor H in Virginia

(Seth Dunn)
In April of 2003, new signs were erected on VA 55 west of Interstate 81 and Strasburg.  The new signs are for US 48, the approved designation for Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Corridor 'H'.  Corridor H is one of three ARC routes that run through Virginia.  The others are the nearly completed Corridors 'B' and 'Q' which run in Southwestern Virginia.  Most ARC highways are not full fledged Interstate Highways; typically they are multi-laned partially controlled access roadways.  There are interchanges and grade separation for most routes, though some do include full freeways which Corridors B and Q in Virginia do have.  Further, some have been converted to Interstates, Corridor B (I-26) in North Carolina, is an example.  As of September 2015, nearly 88 percent of the ARC highway system is complete.

Corridor H is legislatively routed from Interstate 79 near Weston, West Virginia to Interstate 81 near Strasburg, Virginia.  Construction began on the I-79 to Elkins, WV segment in the 1970s and was finished by the mid-1990s.  Corridor H from Weston to Elkins carries US 33 in its entirety and parts of US 119 and 250.

1994-96 WV State Map showing Corridor 'H' and US 33
entering into Virginia and terminating at Interstate 81
After completion of the highway to Elkins, West Virginia began a push to complete the entire route into and through Virginia.  Then Governor Cecil Underwood made it a point of his administration to "...move aggressively toward construction of every segment of Corridor H as we have been financially and legally permitted to do so." (1)  Underwood's aggressiveness was clearly demonstrated in the 1994-96 Official West Virginia Transportation Map.  The map showed the entire proposed routing of Corridor H, including showing the highway's possible route in Virginia. (See Map on Left) West Virginia also gave the new route the designation of US 33.

However, Virginia did not share Underwood's aggressive approach towards building the highway and in 1995 announced that the Commonwealth was not interested in completing their portion of Corridor H.  West Virginia, in turn, lowered the priority of completing the highway west of Wardensville.  As of 2017, WV intends to begin construction from Wardensville to the Virginia state line in 2027

Since the mid-1990s, West Virginia has begun to build portions of Corridor H from Elkins to Wardensville.  There have been various amounts of opposition and other obstacles, but since the late 1990s small pieces of the highway have begun to fall into place.  During that same time period, West Virginia had begun talking about designating all of Corridor H as US 48.  Finally, on October 11, 2002, AASHTO approved the designation for both states.  Although Virginia has signed US 48, it has not changed its position to not build their section of Corridor H.  Though prior to the 2012 MAP-21 transportation funding authorization by Congress, Virginia had told the federal government that they would complete their section of Corridor H by 2030.  However, since that point there has been no movement within Virginia towards completion of this route.

US 48/VA 55 BGS (Exit 296) on I-81 North  (Oscar Voss)

US 48 West and VA 55 Shields (Oscar Voss)

US 48/VA 55 BGS (Exit 296) on I-81 South  (Oscar Voss)

US 48/VA 55 Shields (Seth Dunn)
Navigation, Sources & Links:

Comments

Mike Calabrese said…
I travel to WV from northern VA to hike, camp and fish a number of times a year. The new road in WV along corridor H is a joy to drive on. It will not only help WV tourism but will also help commerce within and outside of WV. I sincerely hope that VA will complete their portion of this road to I81 in my lifetime. Could this be the next westward extension of I66?

Popular posts from this blog

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

The story of the Boy Scout Ramps on Interstate 79 North in NW Pennsylvania

If you are traveling on Interstate 79 North of Pittsburgh, you may notice the remnants of a set of off and on ramps at mile 100 just north of Exit 99 (US 422).  There's a story behind these ramps.  Forty years ago, these ramps were built specifically for two Boy Scout Jamboree's that were held at Moraine State Park - 1973 and 1977.  The ramps purpose were to provide access to the north shore of Lake Arthur where the bulk of the festivities and campsite for the Jamboree were located.  (Lawrence County Memories has a great write up and map of the festivities on its site.)

Not long after the Jamboree ended the ramps were abandoned.  There are still remnants of the Boy Scout Ramps today.



Above: Sattelite view of the Boy Scout Jamboree Ramps. 
Below: A view of the ramps from I-79 South.



The google street view image above gives a view along West Park Road of where the set of ramps intersected the highway.  The ramps provided direct access to North Shore Drive (which is the right tur…

The few clues of the Northern Durham Parkway

Sometimes when you look through a box of maps for the first time in five years, you come across something you may have easily over looked.  Such was the case when I found a 2004 (so rather recent) map of Raleigh.  This map was made by the Dolph Map Company for WakeMed.  In the Northwestern corner of Wake County, there were two items to the map showing roads that are still not in existence 13 years later.

The road is the Northern Durham Parkway - this is a proposed 19 mile highway from US 501 north of Durham to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  The first proposals for this highway date back to 1967 when Eno Drive-Gorman Road was listed on the Durham Area Thoroughfare Plan. (1)  Other proposals called the highway the Northwest and Northeast Durham Loop. (2)  The route would serve as a northern and eastern bypass of Durham almost serving as a near loop.  The route was fought vigorously for three decades by the Eno River Association citing concerns for the the Eno River, nearby n…