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NEWS RELEASE
The Ohio Department of Transportation & The Office of Governor Bob Taft
August 5, 2003

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TAFT UNVEILS PLAN TO IMPROVE OHIO'S TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
Jobs and Progress Plan to Create New Jobs and Stimulate Ohio's Economy

AKRON (August 5, 2003) Lt. Gov. Jennette Bradley was in Akron today to announce Gov. Bob Tafts Jobs and Progress Plan, the largest transportation initiative since the original creation of Ohios interstate system. The Plan will generate more than 4,000 highway construction jobs, ease freeway congestion, improve road safety and connect rural regions.

"This aggressive but realistic plan will improve our transportation system and open new economic development opportunities," said Bradley. "It will help to rebuild our congested and outdated highway network to keep Ohio competitive in the future."

Taft and Bradley were joined by elected officials and local business leaders at a series of events across the state to provide details of the plan. They also announced several projects that could be built if Ohio receives additional federal transportation funding.

The components of the Taft Jobs and Progress Plan include:

  • Creating a $5 billion, 10-year Ohio construction program to address our most pressing needs;
  • Addressing high-congestion, high-crash locations on freeways;
  • Improving state bridge and pavement conditions.
  • Connecting all parts of Ohio by completing rural routes.

While the majority of funds to implement the Plan are already in place, key to fully implementing this strategy is this years Congressional action regarding the reauthorization of the transportation act and the enactment of a new federal energy bill. These pieces of legislation will have a direct bearing on Ohios federal transportation revenue and how much additional transportation funding the state will receive. Taft and Bradley vowed to work with Ohios Congressional Delegation to secure additional federal funding.

"We are very pleased with the support our Congressional Delegation has provided in working to increase Ohios federal transportation funding levels," said Bradley. "Through their assistance we will expand our investment in our cities, improve safety and keep Ohio economically competitive in the 21st Century."

The Jobs and Progress Plan will address many transportation needs in Akron/Canton and Northeastern Ohio including:

  • Expanding State Route 8 in northern Summit County;
  • Improvement I-76 through Akron;
  • Widening U.S. 30 east of Canton; and
  • Improving the I-76/I-80 corridor through Summit, Portage and Mahoning counties.

For more information on the Jobs and Progress Plan, please visit: www.dot.state.oh.us/jobsandprogress/ ;
for the statewide overview of the plan, view the General Overview (2.67Mb PDF); and to access more information on this specific region, view the Northeast Ohio Region document (1.36Mb PDF covering ODOT Districts 4 and 12)

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Contact: , ODOT, at (614) 644-8640; or Orest Holubec, Governors Office, at (614) 644-0957

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