"I now believe in my gut that we're heading down the homestretch," Foster said.
Murphy said after the meeting that even if all the funding needed to complete the project were now available, it would be difficult to build the highway by 2020 because of planning concerns and regulatory issues.
Foster said he has been told that highway officials in Virginia have submitted plans for constructing a 13-mile link of Corridor H that would extend from the West Virginia border to Interstate 81 near Strasburg, Va.
From Strasburg, trucks from Corridor H could travel another 12 miles east on Interstate 66 to reach Front Royal and the Virginia Inland Port, from which double-stacked rail containers make their way to Norfolk and one of the world's busiest ports.
"The people at Virginia Inland Port are pretty excited about Corridor H being completed," Foster said. "Wood products are one of the biggest items being shipped from there now."
Other Corridor H links still awaiting construction include the 6.8-mile stretch between Wardensville, in Hardy County, and the Virginia border, and the 15-mile segment between Kerens, in Randolph County, and Parsons.
Corridor H is complete from the Weston exit of I-79 to Kerens, a distance of about 41 miles. An additional 25 miles of the four-lane is open from Wardensville to a point near Scherr.
To reach the Canaan Valley Institute, the site of Monday's meeting and groundbreaking, "we had to cross the construction path for Corridor H," Foster said. "That's just a mile and a half out of Davis. It's exciting to think of the highway being open here within a year."
Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelham...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.