Panel seeks input for ‘The Point’


By Brandon Klein - bklein@civitasmedia.com



The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission is soliciting comments on four projects, including two in Delaware County, seeking funding from the Transportation Review Advisory Council of the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The Transportation Review Advisory Council was established by the Ohio Revised Code in 1997, according to Nancy Burton, spokeswoman for ODOT District 6.

“The TRAC, led by ODOT Director Jerry Wray, assists in developing a project selection process for ODOT’s largest investments,” she said. “The TRAC also approves funding for major new projects all over the state.”

The TRAC has accepted applications for its 2016 project selection round, which have a total project cost of more than $12 million. The deadline for comments is Sept. 16.

The requests include $1.5 million for detailed designs of all improvements to The Point project in Delaware at the intersection of U.S. 36 and State Route 37. The city plans to replace the railroad bridge over the intersection, widen the route to two lanes in each direction with additional turn lanes.

Total costs for the project are $23 million, including $18 million in construction costs. The project would be funded with $11.5 million in federal dollars; $4 million from ODOT; $1.5 million and $6 million in local funding, according to city spokesman Lee Yoakum.

City Council has approved placing a proposed increase of its income tax rate — from 1.85 percent to 2 percent — on the November ballot. The additional increase, if approved by voters, is expected to raise $2.2 million that would be used solely for transportation.

But Yoakum said the TRAC designation is based on the merits of the project and not on the levy’s success.

Aside from The Point, ODOT District 6 submitted a request for TRAC funding of its $163.13 million project for improvements at the interchange of Interstate 71 and U.S. 36 and Route 37 near the new Tanger outlet mall, which opened in late June. The district is requesting $10 million for construction. Improvements include additional ramps and a new east-west regional route to alleviate congestion, according MORPC.

The other two projects include improvements at the Interstate 270 and Brice Road interchange in Columbus and U.S. 33 and State Route 161 interchange near Dublin.

Comments can include any additional information, such as the advantages and disadvantages of particular projects. MORPC will review and consider comments during the prioritization and anticipates recommending regional priorities for adoption during the October business meetings starting Oct. 3. These priorities will be transmitted to TRAC by Oct. 14.

Comments must be sent in writing to the attention of Dina López by letter, fax 614-233-0750, or e-mail at dlopez@morpc.org. For more information, contact López at 614-233-4149.

By Brandon Klein

bklein@civitasmedia.com

Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

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