For informational/historical purposes only.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 1998
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

TRAC RELEASES NEW PROJECTS LIST

(COLUMBUS) - The Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) today released its list of transportation projects receiving funding during the next four years.

"This year, we are funding work on more projects than we have in the past because of increased federal funding and continued internal cost savings," said ODOT Director and TRAC Chairman Jerry Wray.

The TRAC funded 64 projects at a total cost of $1.6 billion during 2000 through 2003. Download the QuattroPro files detailing the projects:  See HTML versions of these documents.

Highlights of the major new construction list include:

  • The US Route 35 corridor from Dayton to the Ohio River will be completed;
  • The US Route 30 corridor will be completed from Interstate 77 to US Route 23 and right of way will be purchased on the remaining sections between US 23 and Interstate 75;
  • Approximately $100 million will be provided for transit improvements; and
  • A new high-level bridge on Interstate 280 in Toledo will be built.

In 1997 the Ohio General Assembly created the TRAC at the request of ODOT to provide oversight for the department’s major new capacity project selection process. The TRAC is an independent body consisting of nine members and is chaired by the ODOT Director.

"By developing this independent body and establishing an open, objective criteria-driven project selection process we have been able to fairly balance the requests of local communities for major new construction projects with our available resources," said Wray.

The TRAC’s project selection process prioritizes major new capacity projects for funding based upon a formula that scores transportation factors such as traffic accident rates, congestion and average daily track traffic. Economic development criteria such as the number of jobs created and level of investment attracted by a project is also measured. Based upon project scores projects are grouped in Tier I, Tier II or Tier III.

Tier I - Consists of projects recommended for construction during the next four years

Tier II - Projects funded for additional environmental, design or right of way development activities necessary before the projects would be available for construction

Tier III - Projects which are not recommended for further development

 

 

Transportation Review Advisory Council
TRAC Fact Sheet

Who

The Transportation Review Advisory Council oversees the selection of major new transportation projects in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Transportation asked the Ohio General Assembly to create the TRAC as a permanent body in 1997. It has nine members who serve overlapping five-year terms. It is not a commission and it does not run ODOT. Instead, it serves as a board of directors to manage one process - the selection and funding of major new construction projects.

 

What

The Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) today announced the major new capacity projects to be constructed in the four-year period of State Fiscal Years 2000 to 2003. Major New Capacity projects are projects which cost ODOT more than $5 million and which do one or more of the following: increase mobility, provide connectivity, increase the accessibility of a region for economic development, increase the capacity of a transportation facility, or reduce congestion. This definition includes all new interchanges proposed for economic development or local access, any significant interchange modifications, bypasses, general purpose lane additions, intermodal facilities, major transit facilities, or passenger rail facilities.

 

 

When

The TRAC announcement addresses projects to be constructed or developed in State Fiscal Years 2000 to 2003. The TRAC lists projects in three tiers. Tier I are projects to be constructed in the four-year period. Tier II are projects to be advanced in the environmental, design or right of way process for construction after 2003. Tier III are projects which were proposed but were not selected for action.

 

Why

ODOT asked the Ohio General Assembly to create the TRAC to have a permanent body to oversee an objective and open process for selecting new transportation projects. ODOT created an objective process in 1995 to select new projects based upon their transportation, safety and economic development merits. ODOT refined that process in 1996 and 1997. It sought the creation of the TRAC as a permanent body which is empowered in Ohio law to manage the selection process and to decide which projects are funded.

 

How

The TRAC used a written process to evaluate approximately 175 candidate projects. Each was ranked based upon its effect upon moving people and goods, safety, economic development impacts and regional support. Points were awarded and projects ranked. The TRAC was given a budget for new construction projects by ODOT. ODOT determined how much money was available for the TRAC after ODOT estimated how much money it needs to meet basic maintenance and operational needs. Based upon the project ranking, the project costs and the available revenue, the TRAC compiled a final, four-year list of projects.

 

 

Selected Highlights

  • The new program comprises 64 projects to be constructed between 2000-2003.
  • It includes 45 projects to advanced for further development.
  • A total of $1,683,000,000 is to be expended in the four-year period for construction and project development.
  • The amount available is nearly double the amount available in last-year’s forecast. The higher amount is attributable primarily to congressional enactment of a new transportation act, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. The new act increases Ohio’s total federal highway dollars from about $650 million annually to about $850 million annually. In addition, ODOT has continued to constrain its operating costs, which frees dollars for construction. ODOT has reduced its workforce by 1,400 from 7,800 employees to 6,400 and has reduced operating expenses by more than $150 million in the past two biennia.
  • The TRAC’s scoring process encourages local communities to contribute to the cost of projects. About $48 million in local participation is contained in this package.
  • The project’s list includes nearly $100 million in transit improvement projects reflecting the multi-modal nature of the selection process.
  • The mix of projects reflects the diverse nature of Ohio’s transportation system. The list includes projects as diverse as a new trolley system in downtown Cleveland to many rural corridor-completion projects.
  • There are three predominant types of projects in this list:

Urban re-investment or reconstruction projects such as the Euclid Avenue trolley project in Cleveland and a multi-modal station in Cincinnati;

Interstate widening and reconstruction projects such as the reconstruction and improvement of the Interstate 70/75 interchange near Dayton;

Rural corridor completion projects such as US Route 35 across southern Ohio, US Route 30 across northern Ohio and State Route 16 in Central Ohio.

  • This mix of projects reflects the selection criteria’s attempt to be responsive to the diverse transportation needs in Ohio. Ohio has the tenth largest highway network in the country, the fifth highest volume of traffic of any state, the fourth largest interstate network, the second largest number of bridges and the most urbanized areas of any state except California.
  • The list today is a draft list issued for public comment. Public comment will be received through April 16, 1999, by the TRAC directly and by individual metropolitan planning organizations according to their public-comment schedules.