I am reacting to the Letter from Ms. Deborah McHenry in the April 27th issue of the Advocate. First I appreciate bringing the issue to the fore as we citizens who are affected and interested need to be involved and aware. Your letter comes across as one of highly responsible civic duty. But without knowing you, nor biased by any published data other than the public information on the Corridor H website, you also come across as one more thinly disguised activist whose main goal is delay. Is that true? I have followed this project for 40 years which is literally half of my life. I have dreamed of the day when my family and I could use Interstate quality highway for safer and faster travel both directions –East and West — from Canaan where I have owned property since 1970. At least once a month I travel among my childhood farm in Harrison County, my place there in Canaan, and my home in southern Maryland. I care that Corridor H gets done. I’d really like to see it done while I am still able to drive. I have seen infuriating and senseless delays, 2 inch thick Environmental Impact documents, obscure zoological oddities and all manner of historical artifacts used to delay the project and they have largely succeeded. Absurdly so.
Now to some of the specific claims you made in your letter. The highway “bisects Thomas and Davis and will harm their character and economies? ” Balderdash ! Nothing could be further from the truth. Virtually every resident there, all of us really, know that it will improve, not harm, their economies with long term benefit to the entire region. It will positively affect jobs, cash flow in most businesses and tourist activity. You claim DOH is “bent on crossing the canyon” whatever that means. You never explain. No such aspect shows on the latest published maps or news releases. Currently posted 2017 Alignment and Resource Location Plans show the “Preferred Alternative” routing none of which resembles “cannibalizing the communities of Thomas and Davis” that you mention. I think that gave away your true role. In fact the route appears to carefully avoid both towns. You are grasping at straws regarding “unstable reclaimed mine soil” and the highway leading to acid mine drainage which is flimsy speculation. Raising these issues 5 years after the alignment plan now that the schedule improved seems to me like an attempt to cause more delay.
It seemed to bother you that the construction date for the Parsons-Davis section has been moved up by 7 years from 2031 to 2024 as if that were some kind of dastardly deed. I say it means I may be able to use that section while I am still alive after all. I’m in favor of that.
J.Wm. (Bill) Rymer
Lexington Park, MD 20653