Embarking on the largest investment in Ohio’s transportation system in state history, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is officially kicking off its 2009 construction season, highlighted by multi-modal investments across Ohio and more than 650 roadway and bridge projects in each region of the state.
With a total investment of more than $1.9 billion in construction projects, ODOT’s 2009 construction season includes at least 36 interstate projects, 125 bridge projects, and dozens of multi-modal investments — ranging from improvements on railroads, at airports, and along the waterways.
At least 65 additional transportation infrastructure projects — impacting highways, bridges, railroads, airports, and shipyards — will also get under way this season, funded in-full or in-part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“The 2009 construction season will be the first of two years of historic investment in Ohio’s transportation system, as we leverage state resources with federal transportation funds and stimulus dollars,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris. “As more of the stimulus-funded projects are made ready for construction both this year and next, we will put thousands of Ohioans to work maintaining and modernizing roads and bridges, building railroad, maritime, and airport infrastructure, and creating enhancement and streetscape projects.”
Some of the major roadway projects this season are:
• Cleveland Innerbelt Bridge Safety Plan: Under an aggressive timeline, this $10 million structural steel repair project will allow full traffic to resume on the Interstate 90 Innerbelt Bridge into downtown Cleveland as early as the winter of 2009.
• Dayton/Cincinnati Interstate 75 Lane Addition: To accommodate growing business development between Dayton and Cincinnati, this $144 million project will include major reconstruction and construction of an additional lane in each direction of I-75 from the Warren/Montgomery county line to State Route 122.
• Columbus State Route 315 Resurfacing: With an investment of $24 million, ODOT will upgrade SR 315 with several bridge maintenance and resurfacing projects for 3 mi. (4.8 km) on SR 315 from I-670 to Ackerman Road, near the Ohio State University.
• Toledo Interstate 75/Disalle Bridge Repair: Motorists can expect intermittent lane restrictions in both directions of I-75 during this $10.2 million project to update the Disalle Bridge crossing the Maumee River.
• Akron State Route 8 Modernization: With an investment of $260 million, SR 8 will be reconstructed and modernized from Akron to the Cuyahoga County line, including the elimination of stop-and-go traffic along this interstate look-a-like. As a catalyst for economic development investments, the project also will serve a new hospital and a relocated courthouse. Reconstruction at the Ohio Turnpike interchange also borders the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Metro Park’s Bike Trail
• Northeast Ohio State Route 2 Modernization: This $86 million project will modernize SR 2 including additional lanes and a new ramp between SR 91 and Newell Creek/SR 306 in Eastlake, Willoughby and Mentor.
• Port Columbus International Gateway: By the Thanksgiving holiday, crews are expected to complete this $30 million project to build five new bridges, creating a safer and more efficient route to the airport.
“All of the projects this season speak to the important transportation needs of our citizens, communities and business, while creating jobs and positioning Ohio for long-term economic growth and stability,” said Molitoris. “With these investments, we are moving Ohio into a prosperous new world.”
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, ODOT was allocated $774 million in transportation stimulus funds, which will be invested in 149 transportation projects. Approximately 65 “shovel ready” infrastructure projects will get under way this season, with an investment of more than $340 million in stimulus funds. Combined, the stimulus resources and ODOT’s planned construction spending will total more than $2.8 billion over the next 15 months (through the 2010 State Fiscal Year).