ODOT restoring Safe Transportation after Deadly Tornado

State Transportation Director pledges
continued help in Northwest Ohio

Columbus (Friday, June 18, 2010) - With President Obama in Columbus to mark the 10,000th Recovery Act road project in the nation to get underway, preliminary figures from the Ohio Department of Transportation show that nearly 7,000 construction workers had jobs on Ohio’s stimulus-funded transportation projects in May - earning $8.5 million in paychecks in a single month.

President Obama was joined by Ohio Governor Strickland, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris and members of Ohio’s congressional delegation to recognize the start of work on a $15 million modernization of Parsons and Livingston Avenues near downtown Columbus.

The two-year project - paid for entirely with Recovery Act funds - will widen and improve the two highly-traveled streets; add new sidewalks, median and bike lanes; upgrade traffic signals; increase accessibility with new sidewalk ramps; and improve safety with new street lighting.

In addition to creating 325 construction jobs (based on estimates from contractor Nickolas Savko & Sons, Inc.), this transportation investment will contribute to the broader economic development effort underway in the area around Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The construction jobs on this project will add to the thousands of jobs already being created and retained by Ohio’s transportation stimulus investments. Since the start of the Recovery Act, workers on stimulus-funded transportation projects in Ohio have clocked one-and-a-half million hours and earned more than $41.5 million in paychecks.

According to reports from Ohio’s contractors, nearly 7,000 men and women were put to work with stimulus-backed paychecks, adding up to nearly $8.5 million dollars in earnings. From June through September, ODOT anticipates an additional $40 million in paychecks will be earned by laborers and workers on stimulus-funded transportation construction projects across the state.

The Recovery Act has brought an historic level of new federal transportation investment to Ohio, with more than $1.5 billion in total transportation stimulus dollars made available to Ohio so far (including $400 million for Ohio’s 3C Passenger Rail effort).

As of June 1st, ODOT and its local partners had awarded contracts on more than 368 stimulus-funded transportation construction projects worth more than $799 million in stimulus funds awarded to Ohio through the Federal Highway Administration. In all, ODOT and its local transportation partners will invest in more than 419 different construction projects with these FHWA funds.

For Ohio’s transit agencies - both large urban systems and small rural carriers - Ohio has more than $131 million in transit stimulus funding under contract, with another $69 million set to be awarded in the coming months.

At four of Ohio’s airports, construction is underway - and in some cases nearly completed - on more than $24 million in runway and safety improvements, including projects at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Ohio University Airport, Dayton Cox International Airport and Findlay Airport.

Ohio is also investing stimulus funds in 26 freight rail and railroad crossing projects, including $30 million in stimulus funds to provide double-stack clearance for rail shipments moving through Ohio along the CSX National Gateway freight corridor.

Earlier this week, ODOT and the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority dedicated two modernized mobile harbor cranes at the Toledo Maritime Center in Northwest Ohio. Funded by the Recovery Act, these cranes will be twice as productive as the Port of Toledo’s older cranes and modernize the region’s maritime shipping and logistics capabilities.

Ohio has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation for investing in a diverse multi-modal portfolio of transportation stimulus projects - targeting roadways and bridges, water port expansions, transit and pedestrian facilities, bikeways, airports, and rail development.

Transportation stimulus investments are being made in all 88 Ohio counties, with more than 95% of Ohio’s transportation infrastructure stimulus projects being constructed in economically-distressed counties.

For more information contact: Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640.