ODOT seeks feedback on proposed improvements to I-70/US 40/SR 331 Interchange in Belmont County
Impacts to Fox Shannon Park to be minimized
New Philadelphia, Ohio (Tuesday, June 19, 2012) – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 is seeking feedback on proposed improvements to the Interstate 70, U.S. Route 40, and State Route 331 Interchange in Richland Township, Belmont County.
The current interchange and surrounding roadways have numerous safety and functional deficiencies associated with the existing interchange configuration. Over the past year, ODOT has met with project stakeholders and members of the public to review conceptual design alternatives developed for improvements to the interchange. The feedback solicited from the public was used by the Project Management Team to refine the concepts into feasible designs and identify a Preferred Alternative.
Based on the Preferred Alternative design, minor impacts to the Fox Shannon Park will occur during construction. Fox Shannon Park is a recognized Section 4(f) property in accordance with 23 CFR 774. The use of federal funds subjects the project to the requirements of Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) Act of 1966. This law protects publicly owned parks, recreation areas, wildlife and waterfowl refuges as well as public or privately-owned historic sites.
Due to the scope of the project and the presence of a Section 4(f) property, measures to minimize harm have been developed that creates a de minimis impact (as defined in 23 CFR 774.17) on the Section 4(f) property (Fox Shannon Park). Applying a de minimis determination includes all possible planning to minimize harm by reducing the impacts on the Section 4(f) property. A de minimis impact is one that will not adversely affect the features, attributes, or activities qualifying the Section 4(f) property (Fox Shannon Park) for protection.
As part of the project, an old farm fence along the northern property line of the park will be removed. The single lane, gravel access drive into the park will be upgraded to two lanes and paved which also includes the addition of more parking spaces within the Park’s parking lot. To allow for construction of the driveway and removal of the fence, approximately 0.73 of an acre of temporary right of way will be acquired along the northern and eastern property boundaries. Additionally, about 0.04 of an acre of permanent right of way will be acquired along the northern property boundary for the construction of a small retaining wall. During construction, access to the park will be maintained.
Please submit any questions and/or comments regarding this project to: ODOT District 11, ATTN: Christopher J. Varcolla, 2201 Reiser Avenue SE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663. In order to proceed with the project in a timely manner, all comments/questions must be submitted by July 19, 2012.
Ohio’s highways are essential to keeping and creating new jobs. With a mission to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for maintaining one of the largest transportation networks in the nation. Guided by ethical principles and accountability, ODOT works to improve safety, enhance travel and advance economic development. As a $2.8 billion enterprise, the department wisely invests in its core services of snow and ice removal, annual construction program and highway maintenance operations.
For more information contact:
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, Public Information Officer, at (330) 308-3949