Corridor H Home PageResource CenterSafety InformationEngineering/Construction InformationEconomics InformationCulture/History InformationEnvironmental InformationRoute Information
Wild and Scenic Rivers
Protecting Scenic Rivers Along Corridor H
Building a highway is far more than just contours and concrete. It must be designed from the very beginning to protect the original beauty of the land --- and the waters.

At least four streams flow through the area where Corridor H one day will wind from Elkins to the Virginia border – Shavers Fork, Blackwater River, Lost River and the Cacapon (pronounced kuh-kay'-pun) River. While none of the portions of rivers that Corridor H will cross have been officially designated by the federal government as "wild and scenic rivers," they are nonetheless wild and they are certainly scenic. And they must be protected.

If highway planners are not careful, they can forever damage the streams which flow through the mountains of West Virginia. The designers and builders must protect against:

Harmful sediment and silt stirred up during construction which may have an environmental impact.

Thoughtless planning which can result in loss of vegetation along banks.

Pollution sources which were present even before the highway came along may require more attention and remediation.

Should an access road be constructed to the stream, the possibility of environmental damage can be increased, and must be corrected.

While an "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," it takes far more than just an "ounce" to protect these valuable natural water resources. The West Virginia Department of Transportation, working with other agencies, has established a series of preventative measures designed to protect the streams near Corridor H. For example:

Revegetating and stabilizing the banks of these streams helps protect against sedimentation.

In some cases, limestone will be placed within contaminated rivers and streams to help clear the water of impurities; in effect, "cleaning" these mountain streams.

Where construction has come close to a stream, rare vegetation can be replaced during careful reclamation of the area.

In some situations, fences may be erected along stream banks to prevent animals from destroying unstable streambeds.

Stream protection may even require designing and installing specialized culverts with open bottoms to protect delicate streambeds.

The philosophy – and the practice – is simply this: Corridor H is a transportation necessity. But it is also necessary that construction of the highway consider – and protect – the natural beauty and ecology which were here in the Appalachian wilderness long before the automobile arrived.
top of page

Route | Environment | Culture | Economics | Engineering | Safety | Press | Resource | Home
email us your comments or questions
Copyright © 2003 Corridor H, West Virginia Division of Highways. All Rights Reserved.