MID-OHIO VALLEY-(WTAP) The recent opening of a new medical complex along U.S. Route 50 in Belpre, coupled with the opening earlier in this decade of Marietta Memorial Hospital's Belpre campus, are seen as signs of the impact of the Corridor D expansion.
"I know there are a lot of people coming from Parkersburg and St. Marys clear into Belpre, to go to the Marietta Memorial complex," Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz said Wednesday. "You take a complex of that size in our small city; we've never had anything come into town before of that magnitude."
While there's been little actual development along the corridor itself, Parkersburg city officials point to the opening of businesses along Camden Avenue and Division Street, as a sign of the road's impact.
"You've had the new Speedway (gas station), you've had Dunkin Donuts, you've had Family Dollar," Rickie Yeager, Parkersburg Development Director, told us in an interview in February, 2017. "You've had the new Peoples Bank. So it's happening organically, and I think the demand will be there, especially in the city of Parkersburg."
City officials in the past also said it's helped divert traffic, particularly among large trucks, from Parkersburg's other streets and bridges.
"There's three bridges now that feed from West Virginia into Ohio," Mayor Lorentz said. "And I think it's been a benefit."
And that was the original intent of Corridor D, when it was first proposed 50 years ago: a better way of getting from Point A to Point B.