Ohio Cities to propose Major
New Transportation Projects of the Future
Transportation Review Advisory Council accepting applications for all modes of travel and shipping
COLUMBUS (Tuesday, June 1, 2010) - Asking cities and local communities across the state to propose major new transportation projects for Ohio’s future, the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) is now accepting applications that seek new investment and new development in all major modes of travel and shipping.
“From new funding for projects ready for construction to projects that will be examined and designed for the future, we are looking for those transportation investments that best reflect Governor Strickland's focus on creating jobs and positioning Ohio to compete in a global economy,” said Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene M. Molitoris.
The TRAC - the nine-member independent committee that assists ODOT in selecting its largest investments - reviews and approves all major multi-modal projects worth more than $5 million that add capacity to the state transportation system.
This would include proposals for adding an additional lane on a state highway or interstate, new interchanges or bypasses, intermodal ports, major transit facilities, passenger rail projects, or new technologies that improve safety, increase mobility and reduce congestion on the highway system.
Applications for new construction investments as well as funding for new planning, design, and right-of-way work can be submitted by local municipalities, county commissioners and county engineers, metropolitan planning organizations and port authorities. Applications can be submitted through July 16.
Starting in September, the TRAC will then hold a series of regional public hearings around the state to meet with project sponsors. During that time, the TRAC will also accept public comments on any recommended funding through its website at www.dot.state.oh.us/TRAC.
ODOT and members of the TRAC will review and score the applications based on criteria which prioritizes projects using a benefit/cost ratio, added to measure the full public benefit of the project, not just traffic and congestion. An enhanced economic development category also scores whether projects reclaim brownfields or improve access to job centers and job-ready sites. The new scoring also emphasizes the need for land use planning and “Smart Growth” strategies, and recognizes communities who partner with state on investments in transportation.
For some major projects, the TRAC may vote to advance applications under its new FAST TRAC initiative, a process aimed at expediting construction of major infrastructure investments that can quickly have a profound economic development impact on a region.
“Every major new road, bridge, rail, transit, airport, bikeway, pedestrian or port project that comes to our department will be judged as an economic development and job growth opportunity,” added Director Molitoris.
Last month, the TRAC approved more than $30 million in proposed new construction investments and nearly $70 million in new planning, design, and right-of-way work. Through the 2010-2014 planning horizon, the TRAC has approved $2.877 billion of total investments by ODOT through its Major New Construction Program.
For more information contact:
Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640
Project Application Guidelines and Application Forms are available online at www.dot.state.oh.us/TRAC