For informational/historical purposes only.


 Ohio Department of Transportation  Internet News Release
March 17, 2004


Jobs and Progress Plan Top Priority

COLUMBUS (March 17, 2004) C Governor Bob Taft today announced nearly $320 million will be invested this year to improve the highway network in the Akron-Canton and the Mahoning Valley Regions. Taft kicked-off the 2004 highway construction season at a Federal Express facility in the city of Green.

AThis spring, orange barrels will signify an unprecedented effort to put Ohioans to work and ensure the competitiveness of our transportation system,@ Taft said. AJobs and Progress will make our roads safer, less congested and more efficient for everyone.@

This year=s construction program begins the work on projects identified in the governor=s Jobs and Progress Plan unveiled last August. The $5 billion 10-year plan represents Ohio=s largest transportation initiative since the original creation of the interstate highway system. It will rebuild Ohio=s urban interstate networks, address high-crash and congested locations, and complete the state=s rural macro-corridors.

The Governor=s plan will create jobs for thousands of Ohioans. According to federal statistics, every $1 billion invested into the highway system supports more than 40,000 jobs with less than 25 percent of those in the actual construction field.

AThanks to Governor Taft=s leadership we will rebuild Ohio=s stressed transportation network, improve the state=s business climate for existing companies and open new economic development opportunities,@ said Ohio Department of Transportation Director Gordon Proctor.

Key construction projects this year include:

$ Interstate 77 widening in Stark County
$ Interstate 270/State Route 161/Sunbury Road interchanges in Franklin County
$ U.S. Route 33, Lancaster Bypass
$ Multiple projects along the I-75 corridor
$ Interstate 280 (Maumee River Crossing) in Lucas County
$ Widening of Interstate 71 in Ashland and Richland counties
$ Interstate 90 reconstruction in Cuyahoga and Lake counties

Additional projects that will affect the Akron and Canton area include:

$ New interchange construction at Interstate 77 and Shuffel Road in Stark County
$ State Route 8 reconstruction in Akron
$ Interstate 76 rehabilitation in Portage County
$ State Route 711 construction of new highway in Trumbull and Mahoning counties

ODOT=s 2004 Construction Brochure is available at ODOT district offices. Ongoing construction information can be accessed at