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Igniting Ohio’s Economic Engine: Historic Construction Season Underway
More than $2 billion to be invested across every Ohio county, every mode of transportation

GARFIELD HEIGHTS (Thursday, April 8, 2010) - With investments being made in every county of Ohio and in every major mode of transportation, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is “igniting Ohio’s economic engine” with the official start of the largest construction season in state history.

During the 2010 season, ODOT will award more than $2 billion in transportation construction projects - outnumbering investments in past seasons by more than 30 percent.  When you add together the projects that are already under construction and those stimulus projects made possible by the Recovery Act, there will be more than $4 billion in active construction taking place this summer – and much of that work is taking place right here in northeast Ohio.

ODOT and its local partners will administer more than 1,600 projects statewide this year, including more than 130 interstate projects, 300 resurfacing/pavement upgrade projects, 290 bridge and culvert modernizations, 30 pedestrian and bikeway improvements, and seven maritime projects at Ohio’s water ports along the Ohio River and Lake Erie.

In northeast Ohio’s District 12, ODOT will administer over 85 active construction projects at a total value of nearly $1billion – or approximately one quarter of total active statewide construction. 

The largest project to be awarded this year will also represent the state’s largest single investment in Ohio history: the $450 million Interstate 90 Innerbelt Bridge in downtown Cleveland. Although construction isn’t expected until 2011, designers and engineers will work this summer on expedited efforts to replace the Innerbelt Bridge under a unique design-build contract to be awarded this fall.

This summer, ODOT District 12 will also complete several large bridge projects including the $46 million Fulton Road Bridge replacement and the $25.5 million replacement of the east and westbound I-90 Twin Bridges in Lake County. 

“Just as important as the number of projects under construction this year is the number of paychecks these investments are helping to write,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris, who pointed to a well-studied formula from the Federal Highway Administration showing that every $1 billion invested in highways and bridge impacts 27,800 jobs.

With more than $4 billion in active construction this year alone, Ohio’s transportation investments will positively impact an estimated 111,000 jobs, ranging from direct jobs on construction sites, indirect jobs at companies that supply materials and good for construction, and spin-off jobs that benefit from all of the investment.

Increased construction on Ohio’s roadways will require greater attention to safety by Ohio’s motorists. An ODOT safety analysis shows 4,933 crashes in work zones along Ohio’s roadways last year. 13 people lost their lives.

To help drivers safely navigate Ohio’s historic construction season, ODOT is offering the latest information on all of the construction projects in Ohio that might impact travel on www.BuckeyeTraffic.org. ODOT’s premier Web site offers up-to-the-minute road conditions and details on highway construction projects in every area of the state.

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For more information contact: Scott Varner,  ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640

or your local ODOT District Public Information Office, at 216-584-2006.