Proposed New Funding and New Construction unveiled for Major Transportation Projects connected to Job Creation, Economic Development
TRAC proposes $167.6 million in new construction, project planning and engineering
COLUMBUS (Thursday, December 9, 2010) - Connecting investments in new roads, bridges, bus routes, rail lines and airport access to the creation of new jobs and economic development, Ohio’s Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) is recommending $167.6 million in new funding commitments for several multi-modal projects across the state.
The TRAC - the bi-partisan independent committee that assists the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in selecting its largest investments - unveiled its 2011 draft listing of major new construction projects this morning in Columbus.
The TRAC is proposing that ODOT invest more than $74.6 million in new engineering, design and right-of-way costs for projects still in the planning stages across the state. Some of these new state funding commitments add to investments already being made by local communities.
Among the largest projects to receive new funding are $27 million to continue design of the new Brent Spence Bridge carrying Interstates 71 and 75 over the Ohio River in Cincinnati and $20 million for detailed design work on the State Route 7 Chesapeake Bypass to help ease congestion and spur economic development in Southern Ohio.
The TRAC is also proposing to invest more than $90 million in new construction, including $35 million for the first phase of the Cincinnati Streetcar plan, a project that would connect the city’s two largest employment centers of Uptown and Downtown with electric streetcars operating on fixed rail.
Also being proposing is $15 million in new funding to help the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority build the new Mahoning Road Transit Corridor in Canton; more than $13 million to partner with the Lucas County Engineer on building a new and safer railroad-roadway underpass at a high-traffic location on McCord Road in the Toledo area; and more than $14 million on a similar railroad-roadway underpass on State Route 58 in Wellington.
Other projects proposed for additional construction funding include $6 million to widen U.S. Route 42 in Strongsville and more than $7 million to add bus lanes on U.S. Route 6, U.S. 20 and State Route 2 in the Cleveland area.
To improve Ohio’s logistics connections for shipping freight, the TRAC is also proposing new engineering and design work on a multi-modal freight rail extension to the Dayton International Airport and a new roadway connector from U.S. 23 to the growing Rickenbacker Airport and Intermodal Terminal south of Columbus.
The TRAC also voted to FAST TRAC construction of a third travel lane on I-71 in Morrow County. FAST TRAC was introduced earlier this year by the TRAC as an investment tool to cut red tape and consider important transportation projects on an “as needed” basis, instead of the typical four-year planning horizon.
ODOT hopes to award a design-build contract on the first phase of this I-71 project in the next several months - worth approximately $46.9 million - meaning construction on the new third lane in each direction between State Route 95 and the Richland County line could begin as soon as next year.
ODOT and the TRAC will now begin to accept public comments on the recommended funding in the 2011 Draft TRAC Project List, with a vote to finalize the list expected in March.
The complete 2011 Draft TRAC Project List is available online on the TRAC Web site.
For more information contact: Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640.