Update on Ohio’s Transportation Stimulus Investments
ODOT’s First Stimulus Projects Move Closer to Construction
as Additional Projects are Certified and Advanced
COLUMBUS (April 22, 2009) - As part of the continued coordination between the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the first 15 projects in Ohio have been authorized for funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) - allowing these projects to move closer to construction.
This initial federal authorization of $12.8 million of stimulus funds includes investments in three interstate projects and three bridge replacements. Highlights of the authorization list include:
Interstate 75/Hancock County and Interstate 77/Guernsey County - Two separate projects will improve major sections of I-75 and I-77, both of which have seen continued increases in truck traffic along these North-South shipping corridors. Approximately $1.2 million will be invested on I-75 near Findlay in Hancock County; $1.6 million will be invested on I-77 near Senecaville in Guernsey County.
State Route 39/Carroll and Columbiana Counties - By resurfacing five miles of SR 39 in Carroll County and eight miles in Columbiana County, this $1.4 million project will improve roadway conditions to the Wellsville Intermodal Facility along the Ohio River - a hub for river, rail, and roadway cargo movement.
State Route 61/Erie County - This $500,000 project will replace the outdated twin 10-foot arch bridges on SR 61 near Berlin Heights. For businesses and travelers in the region, SR 61 is a direct connection to U.S. Route 6, the Lake Erie coast and ports in Sandusky and Vermillion.
U.S. Route 22/Perry County - Modernizing a main connector for residents and businesses to the major cities of Zanesville in Muskingum County and Lancaster in Fairfield County, this $1.6 million project will resurface 14 miles of highly-travelled sections of US 22 in Perry County.
State Route 571/Darke County - With an investment of $510,000 in stimulus funds, this project will resurface 4.5 miles of SR 571 near the Darke/Miami County Line between the City of Greenville and the Village of West Milton. This route is heavily traveled by truck traffic going to the Ethanol Plant in Greenville.
FHWA expects to authorize more Ohio projects soon. A complete list of the projects prioritized for stimulus funding - with updates on which projects have been authorized by FHWA - can be found on ODOT's Federal Stimulus Ohio Transportation Project Information Page . ODOT expects to award contracts for this first round of stimulus projects starting in May.
Certification of Prioritized Stimulus Projects:
Today ODOT will send to the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) the next list of projects to be certified for stimulus funding: 69 of the projects announced by the Governor in March; 65 local projects identified by the state’s Major Metropolitan Planning Organizations; and 142 investments in Ohio’s Rural Transit Systems.
This certification letter is required by US DOT to verify that projects to be funded with stimulus dollars meet all federal eligibility requirements, including inclusion on Ohio’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
A total of $161.5 million was directly allocated to Ohio’s eight major Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). The MPO sub-allocations include $14.1 million to Akron, $6.6 million to Canton, $30.1 million to Cincinnati, $44.2 million to Cleveland, $28 million to Columbus, $17.4 million to Dayton, $11.8 million to Toledo, and $9.3 million to Youngstown.
As part of the Recovery Act, Ohio also received $29.8 million for Rural Public Transit capital projects, including dollars set aside for rural intercity bus capital projects. Combining the Recovery Act dollars with Ohio's annual federal transit funding, ODOT will be able to fund every rural transit system request for new vehicles.
ODOT has already certified 38 of the projects announced by the Governor in March; 19 local projects identified by the state’s Major Metropolitan Planning Organizations; and 88 investments by Ohio’s Urbanized Transit Systems.
Additional Stimulus Projects:
To make certain that the stringent timelines to obligate stimulus funds under the Recovery Act are met without delay, ODOT will also certify 52 additional projects to receive Recovery Act resources. These projects have all been previously announced by ODOT as part of the state’s 2009 construction season.
Adding these previously announced ODOT projects to the list of those slated to receive Recovery Act resources will be accomplished by exchanging the planned allocation of state transportation funds for these 52 projects dollar-for-dollar with the more than $115 million in federal stimulus resources currently allocated to the Interstate 90 Innerbelt Bridge in Downtown Cleveland.
The funds saved by exchanging these state transportation projects off of the 2009 ODOT project list to the stimulus project list will then be redirected to fully fund the $400 million replacement of the Innerbelt Bridge, one of the state’s most pressing transportation needs. Under the state’s previous stimulus plan, approximately $200 million in state and federal dollars were to be combined with $200 million in stimulus funds to build the new five-lane structure. Under this plan, more than $315 million in state and federal dollars will be directed at the project, with $85 million in stimulus resources added to fully fund the project.
No previously announced stimulus project on the priority list will be funded less than previously announced, and no project will encounter delays in resources as a result of this action.
Under ARRA requirements, ODOT must obligate approximately $327.5 million of its stimulus allocation by June 29, 2009; the remaining amount must be obligated by March 1, 2010. States that meet these timeline requirements can compete for additional money lost by other states that fail to meet these deadlines.
“While many other states prioritized only existing state transportation projects to receive federal Recovery Act resources, Ohio took a more innovative approach to ensure that local and regional projects received due consideration in the review, analysis and selection process,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris. “ODOT has worked closely with our partners at the Federal Highway Administration since announcing our prioritized project list. We have come to the mutual conclusion that these additional projects will help to make certain Ohio meets the June 29 obligation deadline.”
“Our commitment remains unchanged – we must make use of every available federal stimulus resource to benefit Ohioans and the Ohio economy,” said Director Molitoris.
ODOT and FHWA are working closely to assure that the ARRA is successfully implemented in Ohio, making adjustments when necessary to advance stimulus projects and better position Ohio to compete for additional stimulus transportation funding.
A complete listing of the projects identified for full or partial stimulus funding - including these additional projects - can be found ODOT's Federal Stimulus Ohio Transportation Project Information Page.
For more information, contact Scott Varner, Central Office Communications, at (614) 644-8640
or your local ODOT District Communications Office.