By Lynn R. Mitchell
An engineering marvel, West Virginia’s U.S. 48 — known as Corridor H to West Virginians and as “Robert Byrd’s Road to Nowhere” to some conservatives and environmentalists — is an east-west four-lane highway that, when completed, will extend for 148 miles and connect I-79 in central West Virginia to I-81 in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley at Strasburg. The Virginia portion has not been started but in West Virginia it is open from Moorefield to east of Davis, and construction continues on the unfinished portions. The far-reaching views are spectacular as the ribbon of roadway slices through mountains along the ridge tops and crosses rivers and valleys through the rugged Appalachian Mountains.
While traveling U.S. 48, another engineering marvel came into view along the ridge tops of Backbone Mountain. Looming over the highway were 44 giant wind turbines that stretched along the mountains as far as the eye could see, part of the Mountaineer Wind Farm that began production in 2002. Each turbine is 345 feet tall, an overwhelming addition to the landscape. Here is a 2009 YouTube video I found that shows the turbines at work.