For informational/historical purposes only.

The Ohio Department of Transportation & The Office of Governor Bob Taft
Sept 18,  2001



Nearly $80 Million New Alignment to Increase Safety in Southeast Ohio

DARWIN, MEIGS COUNTY (September 18, 2001) Governor Bob Taft today broke ground on construction to build a new section of U.S. Route 33 between Athens and Darwin in Meigs County. The project is expected to improve traffic flow and increase safety in southeast Ohio.

Taft was accompanied by Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Lucasville) and Ohio Department of Transportation Director Gordon Proctor. The ceremony was held at a site near the end of the existing U.S. 33 four-lane highway at Darwin. Approximately 13 miles of highway will be built on a new alignment to connect the four-lane section of U.S. 33 at Athens with the four-lane section at Darwin. The project will begin later this month and is expected to be completed in 2004.

"The upgrades will turn U.S. Route 33 into a major thoroughfare, making it safer and easier to travel," Taft said. "The project also will help stimulate economic development in the region. This means more jobs, a better standard of living and overall improved quality of life for the people of southeast Ohio."

ODOT Director Proctor added, "This project represents Governor Tafts commitment to improving the quality of life for all Ohioans and specifically those living in southeast Ohio."

Two other construction projects along the U.S. 33 corridor, the Lancaster Bypass in Fairfield County and the Ravenswood Connector in Meigs County, began earlier this summer. These three projects will provide a direct link to Interstate 77 in West Virginia, and will make U.S. 33 the most direct route between the two state capitals, Columbus and Charleston and all points south.

The U.S. 33 corridor project is one of several significant improvement projects funded by ODOT. Other upgrades include the repairs and improvements to U.S. 50 in Athens, State Route 7 in Lawrence County, U.S. 35 in Ross County and U.S. 23 in Scioto County. Since 1996, ODOT has invested more than $380 million into southeastern Ohios roadway system.

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