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Kasich plans to invest $3 billion in transportation system

8/1/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

OHIO — Gov. John Kasich on July 22 unveiled a plan for improving Ohio’s transportation system with a $3 billion investment in infrastructure during the next several years.

Kasich’s Jobs and Transportation plan would allow the state to eliminate delays on some 41 new construction projects now slated to begin construction as soon as next year in some cases, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).

The plan uses money from the Ohio Turnpike to help build Cleveland’s $324 million Opportunity Corridor and second $340 million Innerbelt Bridge.

Projects local to the West Side Leader’s coverage are:

  • Reconstruct, widen and add a third lane on Interstate 271. The total cost is $62.5. The construction date under the Jobs and Transportation Plan is 2015 and without this plan would not start until after 2027, according to ODOT.
  • Reconstruct Interstates 76 and 77 to improve safety and reduce congestion on the Main/Broadway interchange. The total project cost is $96.4 million. The construction date under the plan is 2016 and without this plan would not start until after 2027.
  • Widen U.S. Route 42 to five lanes in Medina County. The total cost is $47 million. The construction date under the plan is 2016, which would keep the project on schedule.

Kasich’s recommendations were unanimously approved by the state’s independent Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) July 25. The TRAC vote automatically launches a written public comment period, which ends Aug. 16. Written public comments may be sent to: trac@dot.state.oh.us, or to the Ohio Department of Transportation, c/o Jim Gates, 1980 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43223.

ODOT officials will present certain projects to the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission in August. The TRAC will then vote to finalize the list in September.

Some funds for the Jobs and Transportation plan were made possible by a plan to issue bonds backed by turnpike toll revenue dedicated to Northern Ohio, according to ODOT officials.

 

Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.

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