For informational/historical purposes only.

NEWS RELEASE

Governor Bob Taft/Ohio Department of Transportation Internet News Release
February 8, 2001


TAFT ANNOUNCES RAIL GRADE SEPARATION PROJECTS
10-Year ODOT Program Will Provide $200 Million to Local Communities

Toledo (Feb. 8, 2001) Governor Bob Taft today unveiled a $200 million program to provide railroad grade separations to communities most affected by increased train traffic. 

Taft and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Gordon Proctor announced that 31 projects have been selected for funding or further study through ODOTs Rail Grade Separation Program. The 10-year program will help communities that have seen increased train traffic as a result of recent rail company mergers.

I am deeply concerned about the safety of our citizens who live, work and attend schools near these rail lines, Taft said. With the completion of these projects we will not only address existing safety concerns, but increase traffic mobility and promote economic development in the affected communities.

As part of this initiative, each project was ranked and studied for funding by a subcommittee of ODOTs Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC). Projects that demonstrated the greatest need among several categories were given priority. The draft project list was divided into three tiers: Tier I projects selected for funding this year; Tier II projects identified for further development; and Tier III projects that did not meet all of the program criteria and are not identified for further development.

Projects to receive funding this year include: 
  • Lucas Co. Construct an overpass at Seaman Rd. and relocate Lallendorf Rd.;
  • Hamilton Co. Construct an underpass at SR 747 in conjunction with a widening project;
  • Butler Co. Construct an overpass at CR 115 in conjunction with a widening project; and 
  • Lake Co. Construct two overpasses at Heisley Rd. in conjunction with a widening project.

The TRAC subcommittee received 74 applications for funding, totaling $450 million. While we could not possibly fund all of the projects, the committee is confident it has selected those which are in the most dire need of aid, Proctor said.

A schedule of feasibility studies for the 27 Tier II projects has been developed. These projects are expected to be considered for funding, following completion of the studies. Nearly 60 percent of funding for this initiative will be provided by ODOT. In some cases, railroad funds may be pooled with TRAC funds to provide a comprehensive community freight solution.