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N E W S W I R E

ohio department of transportation internet news release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 22,  1999
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

ODOT Seeks Public Comment On I-71 Construction Project
(From Interstate 76 in Medina County to State Route 36 in Delaware County)

(Columbus)-Ohio Department of Transportation Director Gordon Proctor today announced the department is asking for public comment regarding the Interstate 71 project between the State Route 36 interchange in Delaware County and the interchange at Interstate 76 in Medina County.

"This public notice is an opportunity for the department to receive input regarding the I-71 construction project from people who live and travel in the affected communities," said Proctor.

The project involves a 79-mile segment of I-71 and will begin in the spring of 2000 and is scheduled to be completed in 2008. This multi-phase project will add one travel lane in each direction within the median, and replace the existing pavement and base at various locations along the route. The shoulders and bridges will also be improved. In addition, a rest area in Ashland County will be closed to accommodate the expansion of the route, avoiding the destruction of an existing wetland.

Since the construction of I-71 nearly four decades ago, the 117-mile segment between the cities of Columbus and Cleveland has become one of the most heavily traveled highways in the state. More than 52,000 vehicles travel the route daily. Of those, nearly 16,000 are trucks. Current travel projections show the traffic in some sections will increase by more than 50 percent during the next decade, yet much of the original pavement is still in place and must be replaced.

The public comment period is required under federal regulations. By law, the department must consider the social and environmental effects any project may have on the surrounding area. The comments and opinions of the public will be used as part of the environmental report on the project that is approved by the Federal Highway Administration. That report will be made available in late fall.

Comments must be received by 5 p.m. on August 13, 1999 and should be directed to Larry Hoffman, ODOT project coordinator at (614) 466-6439 or E-mail: More information on the I-71 project can be found at the ODOT Web site: www.dot.state.oh.us.

Letters can be sent to: 
ODOT Central Office
Office of Environmental Services
Attention: Larry Hoffman
1980 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43223