Direct access to the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal, Va., could benefit West Virginia tremendously by opening the state's heartland to a wide range of new international business and industrial opportunities.
This is especially true given the soon-to-be-completed Panama Canal expansion, coupled with the fact that the inland port serves as a designated U.S. Customs and U.S. Department of Agriculture point of entry.
And there is precedent for the redesignation, as Interstate 68 from Morgantown to Cumberland, Md., was Corridor E before it was upgraded, resulting in a much safer highway -- something that can be done all along the designated right of way of Corridor H.
What it will take is the political will to see it through and the ability to work with the president -- something that will never happen so long as Rep. Shelley Capito continues to vilify the administration for a so-called jobs-killing agenda.
To the point, West Virginia has already lost one huge opportunity when shovel-ready projects were sought several years ago under the various federal stimulus programs.
And if Interstate 73/74, currently being built in West Virginia's southwestern coalfields, can be designated a "national high priority," then Congress can do the same for I-66.
The most important political issue for West Virginia's economic future really is how to create more jobs.
Let's borrow a page from the Eisenhower administration and expand upon what has been proven to be one of the greatest economic development projects in our nation's history.
I-66 is worth fighting for, and when it is completed it will yield one of the highest returns of any investment in infrastructure in West Virginia history.
Swint, a commercial property broker in Charleston, is the Democratic candidate for West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District seat.