Governor, Transportation Director Announce First
Round of FAST TRAC Projects
Five Major Roadway Projects Approved for Accelerated Construction by TRAC Today
COLUMBUS (Thursday, January 28, 2010) – Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene M. Molitoris announced today that the state’s Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) will accelerate construction on five major roadway projects under the new FAST TRAC initiative announced in the Governor’s State of the State address Tuesday.
“Our new regulatory reform initiative FAST TRAC will accelerate major transportation infrastructure projects – the kind that can quickly have a profound economic development impact for an entire region,” Strickland said. “By cutting red tape and advancing promising job-creating projects, more Ohioans will be put to work more quickly rebuilding Ohio from the ground up.”
TRAC is the independent committee that assists the ODOT in selecting its largest multi-modal investments. The Council voted today to approve the FAST TRAC process and the construction of the first five FAST TRAC projects at its meeting in Columbus.
The first FAST TRAC projects, detailed below, include five major roadway constructions in Franklin, Lorain, Clark and Butler counties.
FAST TRAC was introduced earlier this month by the TRAC as an investment tool to consider important transportation projects on an “as needed” basis, instead of the typical four-year planning horizon. The members of the TRAC called for this regulatory reform to cut red tape and capitalize on the success of ODOT’s expedited project development process under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“Because of the lessons ODOT learned from the Recovery Act, working faster, more collaboratively, transparently, and multi-modally have become the norm not the exception,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris, who also chairs the TRAC.
Each of these projects demonstrate a strong statewide or regional economic development connection, will leverage public and private investment, and can be under construction promptly.
The first FAST TRAC projects to be voted on and approved are:
- Interstate 90 Avon Interchange (Lorain County): construct a new interchange at I-90 and Nagel Road to reduce traffic congestion of surrounding interchanges and improve access for the City of Avon. With only 25 percent of the industrial land near this location developed, the new interchange - paid for entirely by the City of Avon - will provide the infrastructure needed for future growth and serve as the main access point for a future Cleveland Clinic hospital/office facilities complex. (Project Cost: $23.7 million)
- Interstate 275 - Gilmore Road Interchange (Butler County): provide additional capacity and improved safety along Winston and South Gilmore Road and at the interchange with I-275 near the city of Fairfield. Cincinnati Financial Corporation is planning a major expansion of up to 3000 jobs by 2030 that will heavily utilize the corridor and interchange facilities. (Project Cost: $27.45 million)
- Interstate 270 - Alum Creek Interchange (Franklin County): provide more efficient access at the Alum Creek Drive/Groveport Road interchange with turn lanes, by-pass lanes and roundabouts. With both private and public support, the modernization of this interchange will better connect the growing Rickenbacker Airport and Intermodal Terminal with I-270. (Project Cost: $17.3 million)
- Interstate 71 Grove City Urban Interchange (Franklin County): reconstruct the interchange of I-71 and State Route 665 with a safer, more efficient Single Point Urban Interchange. By sharing in the costs to replace this 50-year-old heavily congested interchange, ODOT and Grove City are partnering to improve mobility for daily traffic demands, including increased business traffic from FedEx and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio. (Project Cost: $35.0 million)
- Interstate 70 Added Lane (Clark County): construction of a third travel lane on both eastbound and westbound I-70 near Springfield from State Route 72 to U.S. Route 40. In addition to improving the pavement and widening the shoulder for safety, this new lane of traffic will better accommodate the estimated 20,500 trucks which travel this route daily. (Project Cost: $27 million)
- Please visit the TRAC Web site for more details, including maps, for these five projects
While these initial projects are highway improvements, FAST TRAC is designed to advance projects of all modes of travel and shipping, including transit, rail, airport and waterway improvements.
Because many of these first FAST TRAC projects are supported by local funding, these initial investments will not divert any dollars from ODOT’s major new construction budget (targeted at capacity-adding projects more than $5 million in cost).
Over the next two years, ODOT is dedicating $100 million in departmental cost savings, and a total of $400 million planned through 2017, to support future FAST TRAC projects.
Established by Ohio Revised Code in 1997, the nine-member TRAC assists in developing a project selection process for ODOT’s largest multi-modal investments. More information on FAST TRAC, as well as information on many of the state other major multi-modal transportation projects currently under development can be found online at www.dot.state.oh.us/TRAC.
For more information contact: Scott Varner, ODOT Communications, at 614-644-8640