COLUMBUS — The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), in partnership with Columbus 2020, recently completed its second round of the Competitive Advantage Projects (CAP), an initiative to advance strategic infrastructure investments across the Columbus Region. The 43 priority projects, located throughout 10 counties, total more than $5.2 billion.
CAP projects are prioritized with input from local elected officials, economic development professionals, business leaders and others stakeholders. The priority projects include infrastructure improvements for transportation, water and sewer, energy, telecommunications and smart technology, and strategic planning in the central Ohio region.
“The CAP process means our communities have a list of prioritized, shovel-ready infrastructure projects that we can share with federal and state officials,” MORPC Executive Director William Murdock said. “The growth of central Ohio demands that we must be especially proactive with addressing our infrastructure needs. Through this process, we are ready to move forward and advance central Ohio’s priorities any time funding becomes available. We are excited about the infrastructure funding discussions happening at both state and federal levels.”
Major projects include:
• Columbus Crossroads (I-70/I-71 Innerbelt) through downtown Columbus
• Big Walnut Interchange in Delaware County
• Linking the City of Lancaster with job centers in central Columbus through a new transit route
• Restoring a freshwater source to Buckeye Lake to improve water quality and tourism
• Expanding the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor improvements through Union and Logan counties
• Improving the logistics-focused interchange at I-70 and SR 29 in Madison County
• Improving regional transportation assets such as access to Rickenbacker and new facilities at the John Glenn Columbus International Airport
“The Columbus Region is one of the fastest growing metro areas in America. To continue to thrive, it is more critical than ever to prioritize precious resources,” said Kenny McDonald, president and chief economic officer of Columbus 2020.
In 2016, MORPC began engaging counties to invite their participation in this new initiative. Each county compiled a comprehensive list of planned and desired infrastructure investments, and prioritized the top three to five projects for their county.
The top priority projects of each county, now designated as Competitive Advantage Projects, were not ranked or prioritized on a regional scale to ensure that the priorities of all counties were demonstrated through the initiative. MORPC and Columbus 2020 asked each county to revisit their list of priorities in the fall of 2018 in advance of the current legislative session. MORPC leaders recently met with federal legislators on Capitol Hill and shared the updated CAP priorities. The timing of these meetings was critical, with a bipartisan infrastructure bill being considered later this year.
To see the full listing of projects, visit morpc.org/cap.
Submitted by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.