ODOT ANNOUNCES 2005 CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM
Department Takes on Mega Projects to
Rebuild Ohios Roads
(COLUMBUS) ODOT kicks off its 2005 construction season today with
$1.3 billion in resurfacing, reconstruction, and major new
construction projects, including 68 projects to improve Ohios
The 2005 construction program is up from $1.2 billion in 2004 and
$1.1 billion in 2003 thanks to additional revenue from the 6-cent gas
tax, which was phased in 2 cents per year beginning in 2003.
This is the second year of Governor Bob Tafts 10-year Jobs and
Progress Plan, the largest transportation undertaking since the
creation of the interstate highway system more than 40 years ago. As a
result of the plan, Ohio will invest $5 billion over the next decade
to rebuild Ohios urban interstate networks, address high-crash and
congestion locations, and complete the states rural macro-corridors
like U.S. Route 30.
The amount of work being included in some construction projects
today raises them to mega project status, a term the industry uses
to describe projects exceeding the $100 million mark.
"Ohios roadways were built in the 1950s and 60s and are in need
of replacement," said ODOT Director Gordon Proctor. "Some of our
highways and interchanges have outdated designs and cant handle the
traffic demands placed on them. While were reconstructing the
highways, it makes sense to widen the roads, straighten curves, and
Mega projects slated for 2005 include:
Interstate 71 Corridor Reconstruction and Widening. Portions
of Interstate 71 will be widened in Medina, Richland, and Fayette
Interstate 77 Canton to Akron Corridor Reconstruction and
Widening. Portions of Interstate 77 will be widened and
reconstructed in Stark and Summit counties. This work is part of an
eight-year, $250 million plan to reconstruct and widen I-77 from
Canton to Akron.
Northeast Expressway Transformation (NExT). Major
reconstruction of State Route 161 interchanges at Interstate 270 and
Sunbury Road in Franklin County. This work is part of a 3.5-year,
$130 million project to eliminate weaving, merging, and pinch
points, and upgrade interchange ramps on S.R. 161 and I-270.
U.S. Route 30 Macro-Corridor Completion. Construction of
various new sections of U.S. Route 30, including a 16-mile stretch
in Crawford and Richland counties, a 25-mile stretch in Hancock and
Wyandot counties, and an eight-mile stretch in Wayne County. This
work continues the widening and relocation of U.S. 30 in northern
Reconstruction of various interchange ramps and
bridges on Interstate 70 and Interstate 75 in Montgomery County.
This work is part of a six-year, $145 million plan to reconstruct
the I-70/I-75 Interchange.
Interstate70/Interstate 75 Interchange
Maumee River Crossing. Construction of a
cable stayed bridge over the Maumee River in Lucas County. This work
is part of seven construction projects on Interstate 280 between
Interstate 75 and State Route 2 in Toledo. The main span project is
the largest and most expensive single project ever undertaken by
ODOT at a cost of $220 million. Work began in 2001 and is scheduled
for completion in 2006.
More work, however, will not mean longer traffic
delays. Of the 68 interstate construction projects planned for this
year, all include contract provisions that restrict work to off-peak
travel times, speed the pace of construction, or reward or penalize
contractors for early completion or delays.
In addition, Ohio requires contractors to maintain
at least two lanes in each direction during the day and on holidays on
heavily traveled interstates. Exceptions are rarely granted.
will begin distributing its 2005 Interstate Construction Brochure this
month at local ODOT district offices. The brochure is a good tool to
help motorists plan ahead for local or statewide interstate travel.
Motorists can also get up-to-date construction information via