COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that several central Ohio transportation projects will move forward thanks to the increased gas tax in Ohio’s new transportation budget.
The Ohio Department of Transportation said House Bill 62, passed by the legislature and signed by Governor DeWine, will generate approximately $828.5 million per year in additional funding for maintenance and safety upgrades on Ohio roads.
ODOT says the Central Ohio projects include three future phases of the Columbus Crossroads project that will reconfigure the I-70/I-71 interchange through downtown Columbus to decrease congestion and reduce crashes. Several phases of the project are already finished, but ODOT says the new funding ensures that the entire project will eventually be complete.
“This interchange was built in the 1960s, and Columbus has long outgrown it,” said Governor DeWine. “Right now, drivers are traveling on a highway system that wasn’t built to handle the number of cars that travel in and out of Columbus today. Now that we know the Columbus Crossroads project will proceed as planned, we can look forward to a safer interchange in the future.”
Further projects include:
-Reconstruction and widening of I-71 from Broad Street to Long Street. ODOT expects this project to begin in 2020. It includes replacing the Broad Street Bridge to make it more pedestrian friendly and reconnect neighborhoods.
-Reconstruction of I-70 east to I-71 north. ODOT expects this project to begin in 2021.
-Reconstruction of I-70 west and I-71 south. ODOT expects this project to begin in 2022.
All three phases of construction are expected to be completed by 2024 at a cost of $253 million.