November 15, 2021
WASHINGTON DC – Today, US Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that their Complete the Appalachian Development Road Network Act (ADHS) was promulgated as part of the bipartite agreement Law on Investment in Infrastructure and Employment (IIJA). The IIJA recently passed the House by a vote of 228-206, having already passed the Senate in August by a vote of 69-30. End the ADHS law is set to provide $ 1.25 billion in dedicated funding over five years for the network of transportation corridors through the Appalachians for the first time since 2012. The Federal Highway Administration has confirmed that Ohio will receive 95.2 millions of dollars in funding through this legislation.
“The Appalachian Development Highway System has created thousands of miles of freeways, creating jobs and bringing significant economic development to rural Ohio and the rest of the Appalachians. Part of the system remains incomplete because it is difficult to build and expensive ”, Senator Portman said. “I am glad that we are one step closer to finalizing the system now that the President has enacted the bipartisan infrastructure bill.”
“In 1965, Congress authorized the creation of the Appalachian Development Highway System to bring trade and opportunity to our region. Since serving as Governor of West Virginia, I have worked hard to complete Corridor H, our last remaining section of ADHS, but we cannot do it on our own. And it is clear that West Virginia’s roads and bridges, which are among the worst in the country, require a significant investment, ” said Senator Manchin. “The bipartite infrastructure bill will continue the commitment that President Kennedy made in Appalachia so long ago, and I am glad that this language was included in the final bipartisan infrastructure bill. This investment will provide $ 1.25 billion, including nearly $ 200 million for Corridor H, to connect West Virginia and the region to the rest of the country. “
The ADHS was enacted in 1965 by President Johnson to build 3,090 miles of highway. As of fiscal 2021, 91.1% of the system is under construction or open to traffic, with just 276 miles to go. According to the CRA, the total cost of completing ADHS is approximately $ 9.7 billion. Its completion would create 47,000 jobs and facilitate billions of additional goods and services in the Appalachians. Every dollar invested in ADHS yields an estimated return of $ 7.10.
Since its inception in 1965, the ADHS has generally received funding specifically dedicated to its congressional construction on an annual basis. However, in 2012, the Moving Forward for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) and his successor, the Fixing the U.S. Surface Transportation Act (FAST), no longer provided dedicated ADHS funds to state transportation departments, and many projects languished.
The goal of ADHS was to build in isolated areas of the Appalachians – places that are difficult, expensive and difficult to access. Dedicated federal funding is the only viable solution to complete the last portions of this essential network.