Route 23 design request on list


Improvements to U.S. Route 23 between Delaware and Waldo are among the 31 projects statewide that are on the latest Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) list to possibly receive funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).

The portion of U.S. 23 involved in the proposed project stretches from Pennsylvania Avenue in Delaware to Waldo. Depending on the day and time, this stretch of roadway can have heavy truck traffic on it.

“This project is a smaller phase of the overall corridor study,” said the project description. “ODOT is seeking to proactively implement improvements along US 23 north of the City of Delaware that will eliminate existing signals by constructing interchanges and innovative intersections. The design request is for the construction of an interchange at U.S. 23 and State Route 229, and an R-Cut at the Delaware State Park Drive. The preliminary engineering funding will be used to develop solutions for the intersections from Pennsylvania Avenue to Coover Road.”

Planning studies have been completed, and the TRAC application was sent last May. Preliminary engineering funding of $2 million was previously committed.

There are three tiers of funding based on how far along the project is. The Route 23 project would be a tier II project, which ODOT said is, “The group of projects recommended for additional environmental, design or right-of-way development activities necessary before the projects would be available for construction.”

The $19 million funding request consists of $15 million in fiscal year 2023 for engineering, $3 million in 2024 for detailed design, and $1 million in 2025 for right-of-way. If approved, studies could take place next summer, with right-of-way acquisition in 2025 and utility relocation in 2026.

Additional TRAC funds could be requested for right-of-way ($10 million) and construction ($120 million) in the future. In total, the project would cost $157.5 million, with potential funding coming from TRAC (95.9%), ODOT 3.8% (from another program), and local sources (0.3%).

Route 23 is considered to be part of what’s called a Strategic Transportation System (STS) corridor, and a connection between two or more STS resources.

“This project will reduce the number of signals between Toledo and Columbus,” the TRAC application said. “STS resources include Interstate-75, I-270, Toledo Port facilities, Marion intermodal, and Rickenbacker International Airport.”

Maps of the area impacted go up to Detroit and the future Gordie Howe International Bridge going into Canada. Ohio businesses along the route with a vested interest in the project include Advance Auto Parts, CSX Intermodal, Greif, Jegs, Kroger, the Marion Industrial Center and PPG.

ODOT District 6 and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission have provided letters of support for the project, the application said.

The nine-member TRAC was established in 1997 to help ODOT in selecting major projects to fund around the state. It operates on an annual cycle. The public can comment on the draft list at [email protected] until March 23. TRAC will vote on a final list on March 29.

No posts to display