For informational/historical purposes only.

The Ohio Department of Transportation

Internet News Release

March 7, 2006


(COLUMBUS) - The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) today kicked off another record-breaking construction program worth about $1.4 billion. The 2006 program is up from $1.3 billion in 2005 and has been steadily growing since 2003.

For the third year in a row, the departments focus will be to move forward with Gov. Bob Tafts Jobs and Progress Plan.  Announced in 2003, the Jobs and Progress Plan is a 10 year, $5 billion effort to rebuild Ohios urban interstate networks, address high-crash and congested locations and complete the states rural macro-corridors.

Since Governor Tafts announcement of the Jobs and Progress Plan, ODOT has been carefully planning its construction program to deliver this major investment, said ODOT Director Gordon Proctor.  While some of the projects have already begun, we are just now beginning to see the full plan unfold across the state.

An estimated $590 million of this years program will go toward Jobs and Progress projects.

This years construction program also includes close to $100 million in resurfacing and roadway maintenance work.  Forty five projects will improve the interstates and five mega projects projects costing more than $100 million - will advance the governors Jobs and Progress Plan. 

More work, however, will not mean longer delays.  Of the 45 interstate construction projects planned this year, all include contract provisions that restrict work to off-peak travel times, speed the pace of construction and reward or penalize contractors for early completion or delays.

In addition, Ohio requires contractors to maintain at least two lanes of traffic in each direction during peak travel hours and on holidays on heavily traveled interstates.

The largest, most expensive single project set to begin this year is the Interstate 80 Meander Reservoir project in Mahoning County.  The interstate will be reconstructed and widened to six lanes from the Ohio Turnpike to State Route 46 at a cost of $86.7 million. 

This project includes the replacement and realignment of the two existing bridges over the Meander Creek Reservoir.  Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction at all times on I-80 throughout the duration of this project.

Work will continue this year to widen portions of Interstate 71 in Medina and Richland counties.  This is a continuation of the I-71 Reconstruction and Widening Plan, which began in 1998.  Once completed, only two portions of I-71 will remain two lanes in each direction on the interstate between Columbus and Cleveland.

Phase one of the two-phase State Route 161 project will begin widening the route from two to four lanes on a new alignment from the eastern edge of Franklin County to Watkins Road in Licking County.  Phase one is estimated at $49 million. The entire project is worth $137 million. Phase two will begin construction in the spring of 2007. This mega project is vital to the communities along the route as well as commuters. The SR 161 corridor has become one of the most congested in central Ohio with an accident rate that is 70 percent higher than similar roadways around the state.

Multi-year projects wrapping up this year include:

  • I-71 reconstruction and widening in Richland County

  • Construction of a new interchange on Interstate 77 at Shuffel Road in Stark County

  • Widening of I-77 from four to six lanes in the city of Green

  • Major reconstruction of a four-mile section of Interstate 90 in Ashtabula County

  • Reconstruction of U.S. Route 224 in the city of Akron

  • Construction of a new interchange on I-71 north of Polaris Parkway in Columbus

  • Interstate 70 reconstruction and widening in Madison County

  • Bridge replacement on the State Route 129 (High/Main street) bridge in the city of Hamilton

  • Rail grade separation on State Route 747 in Hamilton County

  • Replacement of the U.S. Grant Bridge (U.S. Route 23) in Portsmouth 

Motorists can find up-to-date information about the 2006 construction season at

Click here for a fact sheet with highlights of new and currently active Jobs and Progress projects.


T h e   O h i o   D e p a r t m e n t   o f   T r a n s p o r t a t i o n   ( O D O T )

Ted Strickland, Governor |  James Beasley, P.E., P.S., Director
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