Virginia's Newest US Highway
The Corridor 'H' Saga Solved?

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 are planned to run through Virginia.  The others are the nearly completed Corridors 'B' and 'Q' which run in Southwestern Virginia.  ARC highways are not full fledged Interstate Highways.  Many are multi-laned partially controlled access roadways.  There are interchanges and grade separation for most routes, and some are full freeways including Corridors B and Q in Virginia and some are scheduled to become Interstates, Corridor B (I-26) in North Carolina.  As of the close of 2002, approximately 85 percent of the ARC highway system is complete. (1)

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 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.

US 48/VA 55 West
US 48 Shields
(Seth Dunn)
Click to Enlarge
1994-1996 WV Official
1994-94 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." (2)  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 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 aggression to the highway and in 1995 announced that the Commonwealth was not interested in building their portion of Corridor H.  West Virginia, in turn, stopped the project at WV 55 in Wardensville. 

Since then, West Virginia has begun to build portions of Corridor H from Elkins to Wardensville.  They have faced numerous amounts of opposition and other obstacles, but since the late 1990s small pieces of the highway have begun to fall into place.  (For more information regarding Corridor H in WV, head over to Mountain State Road Photos: Corridor H).   Around the late 1990s, West Virginia had begun talking about designating Corridor H as US 48.  Finally, on October 11, 2002, AASHTO approved the designation for both states. (3)  Although Virginia has signed US 48, it has not changed its position to not build their section of Corridor H.

US 48/VA 55 BGS (Exit 296)
on I-81 North 
(Oscar Voss)
Click to Enlarge

US 48/VA 55 BGS (Exit 296)
on I-81 South
(Oscar Voss)
Click to Enlarge

US 48 West and VA 55 Shields
(Oscar Voss)
Click to Enlarge

US 48/VA 55 Shields
(Seth Dunn)
Click to Enlarge


Site Navigation:

  • Return To Old Dominion Roads
  • Corridor H in WV: Conflict in the Mountains
  • Sources & Links:

  • (1) Appalachian Regional Commission. "Appalachian Development Highway System." Web page: (May 1, 2003)
  • (2) Murdock, T. Micheal. "Gov. Underwood Dedicates New Section Of Corridor H." Jan. 6, 2001.  
  • (3) Droz, R. "Re: US 48 Signed in Virginia" Post to misc.transport.road: April 24, 2003
  • US 48 @ Virginia Highways Page ---Micheal Roberson
  • ARC Corridor Index @ ---Andrew Field & Alex Nitzman
  • Corridor H/US 48 @ Ohio River Valley Roads ---Sherman Cahal
  • US 48 Shield Created via Dave Kendrick's Shields Up!

  • Page Created: May 4, 2003
    Last Updated: May 28, 2005

    (C) 2003-05 William Lawson