ROADS/BRIDGES: Ohio pushes I-70 project forward by more than a decade

Funding recommedation looks to enable DOT to realize 2036 project by 2020

News December 22, 2014
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In Clark County, Ohio, a 3.4-mile stretch of I-70 breaks down into two lanes. It is the lone narrow portion of the 85 miles of this interstate and thus a prime candidate for widening. Such plans, while in the offing, were not projected to be realized until 2036. However, the state’s Transportation Review Advisory Council announced a drafted list of its recommended major construction projects associated with more than $2 billion in funding, and among the top 37 projects is the widening of I-70 through Clark County.
 
With a projected $53 million price tag, the project, which will affect the stretch of I-70 running from the north side of Dayton to the east side of Columbus, will add a third lane in both directions from U.S. 68 to Ohio 72.
 
According to ODOT, the design phase is nearing completion, and construction alone will eat up $49 million of the overall cost estimate. The 3.4-mile portion of I-70 carries approximately 55,000 to 70,000 vehicles each day, which exceeds projections made by ODOT for traffic volumes by year 2025.
 
Clark County Commissioner Rick Lohnes was recently quoted as saying, “This [3.4-mile] bottleneck will be resolved and that’s good for safety and traffic. It’s good for the community.”
 
State Rep. Ross McGregor (R-Springfield) concurred, saying he expects construction to lead to a boom in economic development within Clark County. “With Prime Ohio II (industrial park) in essence ready to bring in new job creators and having I-70 widened to three lanes all the way in essence from the western border of the state is going to be a huge benefit of the state for job creation and Prime Ohio II ought to be a huge beneficiary of that,” McGregor said.

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