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Byrd, Webb, Casey and other Senators propose legislation to continue ADHS for five more years

Robert Byrd is still alive and kicking as he and five other U.S. Senators are crafting legislation to continue funding for the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) for another five years.

Currently, the ADHS program is set to expire on September 30th.

Co-Sponsors of the legislation include - Sens. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.; Jim Webb, D-Va.; Bob Casey, D-Pa.; Mark Warner, D-Va.; and Richard Shelby, R-Ala.

The bill, if approved, will allow federal funding for the completion of the ADHS which began in 1965. Currently, 2,672 miles or 86.5 percent of the 3,090 mile system has been completed or is currently under construction.

A significant amount of the unfinished system is Corridor H - an east-west corridor through Central West Virginia from I-79 in Weston to I-81 south of Winchester, VA.

Earlier this year, President Obama's fiscal budget cut funding for Corridor H - an outcome Byrd vowed to fight.

Though it is not said how much money would be allocated in the bill to finish the ADHS. On the Appalachian Regional Commission's website, it is noted that nearly $6.5 billion is needed to complete the entire system. The figure is based on September 2008 estimates.

Pennsylvania and Alabama would need the most funding. Pennsylvania needs an additional $1.5 billion to complete their portion of the ADHS. While Alabama would need close to $2.25 billion.

Most of Alabama's needs are for Corridor X-1, a northern bypass of Birmingham. Corridor X-1 was added to the ADHS in 2004 from legislation in the FY 2004 Consolidated Appropriations Act.

Story Links:
Senators announce support for legislation ---Northern Virginia Daily
Byrd: Finish the corridors ---Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail
Senators seek highway renewal ---Beckley Register-Herald

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