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

Unknown 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

Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge - Maine

  Spanning over the Ossipee River on the border between Porter in Oxford County, Maine and Parsonsfield in York County, Maine is the 152 foot long Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge. The Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge is built in a Paddleford truss design, which is commonly found among covered bridges in the New England states. The covered bridge is the third bridge located at this site, with the first two bridges built in 1800 and 1808. However, there seems to be some dispute for when the covered bridge was built. There is a plaque on the bridge that states that the bridge may have been built in 1876, but in my research, I have found that this bridge may have been built in 1859 instead. That may check out since a number of covered bridges in northern New England were built or replaced around 1859 after a really icy winter. The year that the Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge was built was not the only controversy surrounding its construction. There was a dispute over building and maintain

Route 75 Tunnel - Ironton, Ohio

In the Ohio River community of Ironton, Ohio, there is a former road tunnel that has a haunted legend to it. This tunnel was formerly numbered OH 75 (hence the name Route 75 Tunnel), which was renumbered as OH 93 due to I-75 being built in the state. Built in 1866, it is 165 feet long and once served as the northern entrance into Ironton, originally for horses and buggies and later for cars. As the tunnel predated the motor vehicle era, it was too narrow for cars to be traveling in both directions. But once US 52 was built in the area, OH 93 was realigned to go around the tunnel instead of through the tunnel, so the tunnel was closed to traffic in 1960. The legend of the haunted tunnel states that since there were so many accidents that took place inside the tunnel's narrow walls, the tunnel was cursed. The haunted legend states that there was an accident between a tanker truck and a school bus coming home after a high school football game on a cold, foggy Halloween night in 1

US Route 299 and modern California State Route 299

US Route 299 connected US Route 101 near Arcata of Humboldt County east across the northern mountain ranges of California to US Route 395 in Alturas of Modoc County.  US Route 299 was the longest child route of US Route 99 and is the only major east/west highway across the northern counties of California.  US Route 299 was conceptualized as the earliest iteration of what is known as the Winnemucca-to-the-Sea Highway.  The legacy of US Route 299 lives on today in the form of the 307 mile long California State Route 299.   Featured as the cover of this blog is the interchange of US Route 101 and US Route 299 north of Arcata which was completed as a segment of the Burns Freeway during 1956.   Part 1; the history of US Route 299 and California State Route 299 The development of the State Highways which comprised US Route 299 ("US 299") and later California State Route 299 ("CA 299") began with 1903 Legislative Chapter 366 which defined the general corridor of the Trinit