Forward Progress in the Relocation of State Route 18 in North Baltimore

BOWLING GREEN (Friday, April 29, 2011) – Today, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced the consultant findings for the relocation of State Route 18 in North Baltimore. ODOT shared the results of this study with local stakeholders in Wood County, and has narrowed the findings to two alternatives.

Alternative one is the proposed relocation of SR 18 starting at Liberty Hi Road and following a curve between SR 18 and Belmore Road then reconnecting at SR 18 and Main Street with a roundabout.

The second alternative, previously named alternative 4, will re-route SR 18 from Liberty Hi Road to Belmore Road then rejoining at SR 18 on Main Street. This alternative would contain three roundabouts.

Currently SR 18 passes through the center of North Baltimore and has a sharp L-shaped turn at a speed limit of 35mph. This not only causes increased safety risks to Village residents but also slows freight access to the highway.

Faced with a projected increase in truck traffic resulting from the newly opened CSX North Baltimore Intermodal Rail Facility, ODOT has been investigating how to safely reduce future congestion and provide more direct highway access.

"We recognize that North Baltimore has huge logistics potential," said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. "Being able to develop this route into a safe, efficient roadway, as quickly as possible, is vital to the region’s economic growth."

Designed to streamline the process of planning, designing and building Ohio’s critical transportation infrastructure needs, ODOT considers the SR 18 relocation a pilot project in an evolving Project Development Process (PDP).

The next step in this project is to move forward in the public comment process. ODOT will host a public meeting regarding the two feasible alternatives and take comments. The meeting will be held Thursday, May 19 at 10am, at the Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, 1399 Business Park Drive South, North Baltimore Ohio.

Additional information is available at:

www.dot.state.oh.us/districts/D02/Pages/StateRoute18RelocationProject.aspx

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For more information contact:

Theresa Pollick, District Two Communications Office, at 419-373-4428