PARKERSBURG, WV (AP) The first segment of Corridor D in Wood County is open to motorists.
A 1.9-mi. stretch of U.S. Route 50 connecting Interstate 77 and state Route 47 opened to public traffic Monday after more than three years of construction.
"We found we had to tweak a few things, such as some striping issues, but for the most part, things are going smoothly," said Darin Simpson, a spokesman for the state Division of Highways.
He warned that awe-struck motorists should not become caught up in seeing the sights.
"I don’t think people fully understand this is going to be like an interstate,’" Simpson said. "I have heard a few people have not been paying attention. ... They can look around and enjoy the view later."
Wood County Commission President Rick Modesitt says drivers near West Virginia University-Parkersburg should benefit immediately.
"It also, more importantly, opens up some area for economic development,’" Modesitt said. "Hopefully we’ll see a growth spurt in that area."
Officials say the project will be completed by 2007. The four-lane stretch of U.S. 50 known as Corridor D will run from Interstate 77 in Clarksburg to the Ohio River. It is part of the Appalachian Corridor system covering counties in 12 states from Mississippi to New York.