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Interstate 68 (I-68) is a 112.6-mile (181.2 km) Interstate highway in the U.S. states of West Virginia and Maryland, connecting Interstate 79 in Morgantown to Interstate 70 in Hancock. I-68 is also Corridor E of the Appalachian Development Highway System. From 1965 until the freeway's construction was completed in 1991, it was designated as U.S. Route 48 (US 48). In Maryland, the highway is known as the National Freeway, an homage to the historic National Road, which I-68 parallels between Keysers Ridge and Hancock. The freeway mainly spans rural areas, and crosses numerous mountain ridges along its route. A road cut at Sideling Hill exposed geological features of the mountain and has become a tourist attraction. The construction of I-68 began in 1965 and continued for over 25 years, with completion on August 2, 1991. While the road was under construction, it was predicted that economic conditions would improve along the corridor. The two largest cities connected by the highway are Morgantown and Cumberland, both with permanent populations of fewer than 30,000 people. Despite the fact that the freeway serves major metropolitan areas, I-68 provides a major transportation route in western Maryland and northern West Virginia and also provides an alternative to the Pennsylvania Turnpike for westbound traffic from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.
West Virginia University (WVU) is a public research university in Morgantown, West Virginia, USA. Other campuses include: West Virginia University at Parkersburg in Parkersburg; West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery; Potomac State College of West Virginia University in Keyser; and a second clinical campus for the University's medical and dental schools at Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston. Since 2001, WVU has been governed by the West Virginia University Board of Governors. Enrollment for the fall 2007 semester was 28,113. The University offers 185 majors in 15 colleges and has produced 25 Rhodes Scholars, including former WVU president David C. Hardesty Jr. The University also has produced 30 Goldwater Scholars, 19 Truman Scholars, five members of USA Today 's All-USA College Academic First Team, and two Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship winners. WVU is ranked by The Princeton Review as one of the best 368 colleges in the nation.
The Fort Henry Bridge is a crossing of the Ohio River main channel in Wheeling, West Virginia. The tied-arch bridge carries two lanes in each direction of Interstate 70 (I-70), U.S. Route 40 (US 40), and US 250. The bridge opened after four years of construction work on September 8, 1955, costing $6.8 million, $1.8 million over budget. The bridge, along with the aging Wheeling Suspension Bridge, are the only two road links from Wheeling Island to downtown Wheeling. In 2009, the structure carried an average of over 60,000 vehicles per day.
Byzantine is a heavy metal band from Charleston, West Virginia that formed in 2000. The band consists of frontman and co-founder Chris "OJ" Ojeda (rhythm guitar, vocals), Brian Henderson (guitar), Matt Wolfe (drums) and Michael "Skip" Cromer (bass guitar, backing vocals). They have released three studio albums on Prosthetic Records. Due to various circumstances the band reported their split on January 26, 2008, four days after the release of their third album, then reunited in 2010. Byzantine is known for its unique sound, technical, aggressive and melodic simultaneously, modern and "forward thinking" musical style, which explores different musical territories or song structures.
Interstate 70 (I-70) in the U.S. state of West Virginia crosses the Northern Panhandle region, through Ohio County and the city of Wheeling. The shortest segment of I-70 in any state it crosses is the segment in West Virginia, spanning 14.45 miles (23.26 km) across the panhandle. The portion of the route in West Virginia begins on a bridge between the eastern border of Ohio, over the western channel of the Ohio River, crossing onto Wheeling Island. The Fort Henry Bridge carries I-70 across the main channel of the Ohio River and onto mainland West Virginia. The city of Wheeling sits on the eastern banks of the Ohio River, and I-70 passes over the town on an elevated structure before entering the Wheeling Tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel, the highway meets the eastern terminus of I-470, a bypass of Wheeling. Before the highway crosses into Pennsylvania, I-70 passes The Highlands, a major shopping center in the panhandle. The first portions of the freeway were opened in 1963, and construction was completed in 1971. On average, between 32,000 and 60,000 vehicles use the freeway every day.
Interstate 470 (I-470) is a 10.63-mile (17.11 km) long loop of Interstate 70 bypassing the city of Wheeling, West Virginia. The western terminus of the freeway is at an interchange with I-70 near Blaine, Ohio. Traveling southeast through rural Belmont County, the highway approaches the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge carrying I-470 over the Ohio River. After crossing the river into Ohio County, West Virginia, the highway turns northeast, towards the Wheeling neighborhood of Elm Grove and its eastern terminus at I-70 near Wheeling Park. Construction began in 1975 in the two states but due to a chronic lack of funding, construction in Ohio was stalled between 1976 and 1981. By 1983, both states had completed construction on the freeway. The three-level diamond interchange with concurrent highways U.S. Route 250 (US 250) and West Virginia Route 2 (WV 2) on the eastern banks of the Ohio River was thought to be the most complex interchange in West Virginia's Interstate Highway System at the time of construction. On average, between 26,000 and 38,000 vehicles use the highway daily. During the reconstruction work on the Wheeling Tunnel, I-470 was one of two suggested detour routes to avoid the closed tunnel.
In the U.S. state of West Virginia, Interstate 81 (I-81) crosses the Eastern Panhandle region, linking Virginia to Maryland. The Interstate Highway, completed in 1966, spans 26.00 miles (41.84 km) through Berkeley County, paralleling U.S. Route 11 (US 11) for its entire length. I-81 enters the state near Ridgeway and travels northeast, bypassing the city of Martinsburg, and leaves the state at the Potomac River, which serves as the state line. The first solicitations for the construction of I-81 were published in 1959, with the first 6 miles (9.7 km) of freeway being opened in 1963, and the full length was completed by 1966. On average between 45 and 60 thousand vehicles use the freeway though the panhandle per day.