KERENS — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, joined West Virginia Secretary of Transportation Byrd White, Deputy Secretary and Acting Commissioner of Highways Jimmy Wriston, and others in Kerens Monday, where she received an update on the Corridor H construction project.
Throughout her time in Congress, Senator Capito has made the Corridor H project a top priority and has worked directly with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao and other leaders to secure necessary financial resources to advance its construction. Monday’s visit follows another infrastructure-related visit Senator Capito made on Friday where she toured portions of U.S. Route 35, which is slated to be complete in July 2021.
“Completing Corridor H will benefit West Virginia in so many ways—from improving safety for families and commuters, to making it easier for residents and out-of-state visitors to travel across our state, to driving economic growth. That’s why I’ve made it a top priority during my time in Congress, and have utilized my senior role on the Senate EPW Committee, to maximize resources for projects like this across the state. I thank Secretary White and Commissioner Wriston for joining me today to provide an update on this project, which has the ability to create tremendous opportunities for economic growth in West Virginia. I will continue working with them, other local and state officials here at home, federal officials, and leaders from the private sector to advance projects like Corridor H that have the potential to make a big and positive difference in West Virginia.”
“Senator Capito has showed quite an interest in this project, and we appreciate the opportunity to work cooperatively with all our elected officials for the good of our citizens,” Secretary of Transportation Byrd White said. “This project is a win for everyone. It will really open up the area for economic development, and help to give West Virginians the future they deserve.”
Throughout her time in Congress, Senator Capito has championed federal funding for Corridor H. Senator Capito’s senior role on the Senate EPW Committee has been critical to securing West Virginia’s future infrastructure funding and completing infrastructure projects like Corridor H.
In her role as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, Senator Capito played an integral role in the writing of the Senate highway bill—America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act—ensuring the needs of West Virginia and greater Appalachia are met. The bill authorizes $287 billion over five years—including $259 billion for formula programs—to maintain and repair America’s roads and bridges. The legislation would also increase West Virginia’s highway formula dollars by $50 million in the first year alone. Given the significant role that these formula dollars play in both highway maintenance and construction, getting the bill passed into law and thereby increasing West Virginia’s allocation is critical to advancing Corridor H.
Discretionary federal grant funds also play a significant role in large projects like Corridor H; however, from 2013 through November 2018, West Virginia received only $10 million in discretionary federal grant funds for roads and bridges. Additionally, not a single dollar of federal discretionary grant money between 2010 and November 2018 went to Corridor H.
Since Senator Capito became chairman of EPW’s Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee following the November 2018 election and prioritized bringing more discretionary highway funding to West Virginia, she has secured $132 million in these discretionary highway funds for Corridor H through her position as chairman and in partnership with President Trump’s administration. Overall, West Virginia has received $181.4 million in discretionary highway grants over the past 20 months; more than 18 times the amount the state received over the prior five years.