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Safer Driving on a Safer Highway
Where West Virginia's scenery is its most spectacular, its roadways regrettably often are the most dangerous. In the northeastern section of the Mountain State, two lane roads wind up and down steep hills and around difficult curves. The Corridor H project is designed to improve basic highway travel. However, while the project will open the area from I-79 to the Virginia border for faster travel and greater economic development, Corridor H will also provide significant benefits in reducing accidents, thus reducing economic loss as well as the human toll of death and injury.

To travel from Elkins through Thomas and Scherr to Moorefield, and thence to the Virginia border, motorists now must drive more than 119 miles along U.S. Route 219 and West Virginia routes 93, 42 and 55. Statistics from 1995 to 1997 reveal 743 accidents on those roadways, accidents which produced 14 fatalities and 503 injuries. Beyond the human suffering, analysts report the resulting economic loss to the state and its citizens reached almost $85 million dollars.

While Corridor H could not eliminate accidents or loss of life and property, statistical experience indicates the completed project could produce a reduction in the accident rate of nearly 150 percent, cutting fatalities nearly in half. Incidentally, the new highway would also trim almost 20 miles from the total distance between Elkins and the state border.

One section of WV Route 55 (from Baker to the Virginia line) provides a striking illustration of today's travel problems. In a span of roughly 16 miles, there are more than 163 curves in the road. Of those, 65 do not meet modern design standards. To make matters worse, the majority of the distance (65 percent) has a double line, prohibiting passing. Fifteen percent of the distance has grades which exceed current design standards.

Corridor H has been designed to open up this section of West Virginia so motorists may make the trip in greater safety and comfort, while still being able to enjoy the spectacular scenery.
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