Several major new construction projects based in Delaware County have made the draft list approved Wednesday by the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) to receive funding over the next four years.
That doesn’t mean it’s done deal, however.
“The draft list is simply the list of recommendations for the final list,” said ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning in an email. “That said, we value public input on these projects, so we certainly encourage people to weigh in and let us know their thoughts before the September 17th deadline.”
“The public can comment on the draft list by emailing [email protected] until Sept. 17,” ODOT said in a news release. “TRAC will vote on the final list at their September 22 meeting.”
The projects making the draft list are as follows: U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 (widening of the roads and replacement of the railroad bridge at the point); US 36/SR 37/Interstate 71 (Phase A: construction of new interchange south of existing interchange and extending Sunbury Parkway); US 23 corridor study (evaluation of connection between US 23 and I-71); I-71/Big Walnut Road (construction of new interchange at Big Walnut and widening of I-71).
Projects receiving funding commitments from TRAC are placed into three tiers based on the level of development. Tier I is recommended for construction; Tier II is recommended for additional design, environmental or right-of-way before construction; Tier III are additional phases of Tier I projects.
The US 36/SR 37 and US 36/SR 37/I-71 projects are considered to be Tier I construction commitments; the corridor study and I-71/Big Walnut Road projects are listed as Tier II development commitments; and the latter project’s two-phase extension of Sunbury Parkway is considered a Tier III development commitment.
The annual draft list consists of 57 projects all over the state totaling more than $292 in new funding commitments. TRAC considered 36 new project applications this year. ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks chairs the nine-member TRAC, which prioritizes new construction projects once basic maintenance needs have been met.
“TRAC’s mission is more urgent than ever,” Marchbanks said. “Traffic volumes are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels and truck traffic has already exceeded pre-pandemic level. “We need to make strategic capacity improvements that improve system safety and accelerate Ohio’s economic recovery.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.