Gateway to Port Columbus Opens
Unique Partnership will provide travelers safer and more efficient access
COLUMBUS (Monday, November 16, 2009) - Arriving and departing from the Port Columbus International Airport is about to be faster and safer for Central Ohio drivers, just in time for the busy holiday travel season.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) today opened the new International Gateway projects designed to reduce traffic congestion and delays, improve access to the airport, and increase safety for drivers on Interstate 670.
The two-year construction project involved the separation of local traffic from airport traffic by relocating 4500 feet of International Gateway and reconstructing 1800 feet of Stelzer Road. The second project which began in 2008 included five new bridges along International Gateway and new ramps to and from I-670 to make traffic flow smoother and safer.
“Through this unique investment partnership, we are delivering on time and on budget a project that will make it safer and quicker for travelers and businesses who come to Port Columbus,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris, who joined Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Congressman Patrick Tiberi, Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks and officials from the airport at a special ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Investment in this $41 million project included $23.8 million from CRAA, $17.4 million from ODOT which includes a Congressional transportation appropriation of $451,290.
While work was under way on the interchange, CRAA also realigned International Gateway and built a new aircraft crossover taxiway to create room for a future second terminal.
“Port Columbus is a vital transportation gateway to the City and to Ohio,” said CRAA Board Chair Kathy Ransier. “The combination of the new interchange and the realigned roadways will provide more efficient access for today’s travelers while also positioning the airport for long-term development.”
The new interchange will open Monday evening. Although some work will continue into 2010, it is not expected to impact the flow of traffic.
So far this year, more than 5.2 million airline passengers have used Port Columbus.