The Appalachian Development Highway System in West Virginia:

Too Little Funding Too Late?

PSAD-76-155: Published: Nov 3, 1976. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 1976.

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The status of the Appalachian Development Highway System in West Virginia is described, and factors preventing its timely completion are identified. The Highway System was authorized to overcome the region's isolation and to encourage economic growth.

Estimated costs rose from $618 million in 1966 to $1,573 million by January 1976, and, although all West Virginia highway corridors were to be completed or under construction by June 30, 1976, only 57 percent of the State's participating miles were completed or under construction. More than 140 new plants were located in West Virginia between 1969 and 1975 and 83 plants were expanded from 1973 to 1975. Cost increases and delays are attributed to: (1) highway construction cost inflation; (2) changed highway design and safety standards; (3) revised relocation assistance requirements; (4) delays associated with environmental protection; (5) lack of matching funds in other states; and (6) federal funding limitations. Continued funding limitations appear inconsistent with the purpose of the Appalachian Regional Development Act.

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